Key Qualities Of Great Brands

Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.

– Walter Landor

Everyone’s definition of what a brand is, is slightly different. Ask someone what a brand means to them, and you’ll get a different answer every time. We can all agree, however, that a brand is a lot more than just its colour palette, a logo, and some creative fonts.

The truly good brands understand that the key to branding success lies in getting key factors right. It’s these qualities that distinguish successful brands from poor ones.

Below are five principles to keep in mind when thinking about branding.

Keep Things Simple

When it comes to branding, keeping it simple is important. A complicated brand message only leads to potential misunderstandings about what it is the brand does or what makes it different.

There should be no confusion around how the brand is perceived in the marketplace. Simple doesn’t mean boring as long as it’s memorable, think Netflix.

Focus On Consistency

You want your brand to be memorable, yes, but you also want people to trust it. Having a consistent image and style that you can share with people over time, helps them recognize and place your brand. Trust is built through experiences. Consistently delivering a unified brand experience, assures people of a positive outcome.

 Be Unique

The sum of all the things that separate you from your competitors. It’s not just a brand’s image that makes it unique, but its story as well. How a brand visually expresses, positions, and shares its personality makes up its unique identity. It’s this unique identity that people remember and relate to.

Continuously Build Relationships

Brands that can build relationships with their target audience can keep them coming back. Engaging with customers and analysing any feedback helps you align consumer wants with business goals. 

Focusing on relationship building is a good way to ensure long -term brand success. Good relationships mean loyal customers.

Share Stories

It’s no secret that storytelling is a powerful technique in helping people connect and build relationships. Never has it been truer than today, where most of us live in a fast-paced, digital world.

Stories are something we are hardwired to pay attention to. The secret for brands is to share stories that highlight their value, consumers that share those values will be more motivated to interact with that brand.

When used correctly these branding and marketing principles create the right opportunities for brands to create awareness and grow.

Is your business using social media’s full potential?

At Brieffin we use our expertise to unlock everything social media has to offer your business or personal brand. We use our experience in content creation, strategy and planning, and social media management to help build consistency and deliver marketing success. Let’s talk.

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How to create a professional portfolio

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

– Maya Angelou

A portfolio is more than just a collection of your work. For creatives and non-creatives alike, a portfolio is a calling card to the outside world. It’s a way for you to showcase your abilities while sharing your story.

Portfolios can be used to help boost your personal brand, share your skill set, increase your digital visibility, and most importantly attract potential clients.

Creating a portfolio that stands out while quickly and clearly sharing your expertise and value with visitors is important. First impressions count no matter what industry you’re in, it’s not only designers and creatives that get to create amazing portfolios.

Even if you work in a non-creative role, thinking outside the box can help you represent your work visually and take advantage of the way people process information.

So, what elements make up a well thought out and professional portfolio?

You & Your Work

You want to create a portfolio that shows off who you are and what you’re offering. Help clients understand what it’s like to work with you by introducing yourself, sharing your experience, personality, and background.

The work you decide to include in your portfolio has to be the right mixture of ingredients to shine. Include your best (or most successful projects, quality over quantity), and content that targets your ideal client (keep to your niche or where you want to be).

Don’t limit yourself to work projects alone, include personal projects or mock-ups. Having a mixture of content lets you showcase your skill and creativity, something all clients are looking for. 

Showcasing you and your work together is all part of building your personal brand.

Simplicity (Design and Navigation)

When it comes to portfolios ‘less is more’ really is the best. Keeping the design and layout of your portfolio clean and simple to use is important in creating a good first impression.

Categorizing (or filtering) your work makes your portfolio easier to navigate and informs clients of the different skills or areas of expertise you have. Make yourself accessible so clients know how to best contact you.  

Awards and Accomplishments

Including social proof or your track record in the portfolio helps build credibility and trustworthiness in your personal brand.

Share client testimonials, awards, and certificates. Let people know how good you really are.

Keep evolving

A portfolio is an evolving collection of your work and professional career. Search engines are always looking for fresh content and clients want to see up to date styles.

Update and change your portfolio as you grow, your goals change and your work evolves.

Creating a portfolio is an effective way to highlight your uniqueness in a sea of competition, it helps potential clients understand more about you, your style, abilities, and accomplishments.

Is your business using social media’s full potential?

At Brieffin we use our expertise to unlock everything social media has to offer your business or personal brand. We use our experience in content creation, strategy and planning, and social media management to help build consistency and deliver marketing success. Let’s talk.

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Do I need a logo for my personal brand?

Personal Branding is not about pretending to be a perfect person. It’s being real to the world with your flaws and fortes.

– Bernard Kelvin Clive

To answer the question of whether a personal brand needs a logo it’s best to start with a question.

Why do you think your personal brand needs a logo?

A common answer here is, “ because I need an Identity “, “ it’ll make me look credible, especially for social media ”. And while the primary function of a logo is to identity, there is a difference between a logo used by business brands, to differentiate and create separate identities for their products and services, and one representing a personal brand and reputation.

To get a logo for your personal brand just because, would not be a good reason. A personal brand can survive and succeed without a logo.

However, there is a case to be made for having a logo for the right reasons. A personal brand is a combination of your unique style, values, and beliefs, and the logo you choose to use should attract and remind audiences of your style and values. A logo forms part of your personal brand identity, it shouldn’t be what defines it.

A logo also helps you stamp your expertise in your specific niche, enhance your marketability, and through your logo design aids in helping people build an affinity towards your personal brand and you as a professional.

So, what makes a good logo? There are a few elements that determine if a logo is good or not.

Is it simple? Simple logos are quicker and easier for people to recognize. Limit the colors, fonts, and wording you use to keep the design clean and simple.

Is it relevant? Not just to your niche but to the market and time. This is why we see companies rebrand and reposition themselves over the years.

Is it unique and memorable? Your logo should grab attention while showing off your uniqueness. Having a well-designed memorable logo is a way for people to instantly connect and associate with you and your personal brand.

Is your Personal Brand using social media’s full potential?

At Brieffin we use our expertise to unlock everything social media has to offer your business or personal brand. We use our experience in content creation, strategy and planning, and social media management to help build consistency and deliver marketing success. Let’s talk!

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Why Every Entrepreneur Should Build a Personal Brand

Don’t be scared to present the real you to the world, authenticity is at the heart of success.

Unknown

We’ve all heard the saying ‘people connect with people’, and for entrepreneurs and freelance professionals, this statement is especially important. To understand how important, we need to look at where the global freelance market is heading. According to (Peerism) Freelancers could represent 80% of the global workforce by 2030, an eye-opening estimate.

With so many people becoming self-employed, differentiating yourself from the growing entrepreneurial workforce will become vitally important when trying to attract new clients or land freelance gigs.

Building a Personal Brand is the key to standing out and being noticed. This is not just true for those that are themselves the face of their businesses, think authors, speakers, or consultants, but is equally important if you run your own business.

Which brings me back to ‘people connect with people’. An audience is more likely to be attracted to and connect with a person than a faceless brand. It’s a way for you to create impressions that customers will remember. Every action is a way for you to increase exposure.

Let’s have a look at a few benefits having a personal brand can offer:

Establish yourself as an expert and build authority.

Having a personal brand can help you position yourself as someone with expertise in your niche. This helps you build trust and a connection with your audience, and in the famous words of Zig Ziglar; “If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you”.

Grow your network and gain clients.

We all know why growing our professional and social networks is a smart business move. Having a personal brand that speaks to who you are and what you stand for makes it easier for people to want to connect with you.

Premium Rates.

A personal brand separates your products or services from everything else on offer. When people see the value in your brand, they become willing to pay higher rates.

New Opportunities.

Having a personal brand can open doors and lead to new opportunities. It makes it easier for you to be found by potential clients, businesses, and the media. It also makes it easier for you to pitch yourself or your business when new opportunities present themselves.

In the future, you may decide to change your offering, sell your business, or start new ones, but your personal brand and experience will continue to evolve with you. Helping separate you from the competition as someone unique and worth talking to.

Is your business using social media’s full potential?

At Brieffin we use our expertise to unlock everything social media has to offer your business or personal brand. We use our experience in content creation, strategy and planning, and social media management to help build consistency and deliver marketing success. Let’s talk.


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Your Professional Profile: Social Media

Do not hide your light for fear of what others may think of you. Let it shine and be a reflection of what is possible.

Kristi Bowman

We’ve talked before about how LinkedIn can be an important asset when it comes to the job application. But LinkedIn isn’t the only social media profile that can help or hurt your chances of landing the job you want.

While LinkedIn is the most-utilized social media website for recruiters to use during the hiring process, it’s far from the only one. 92% of companies are using social media profiles to help with hiring decisions, but 66% use Facebook and 54% use Twitter. Certainly, others use Instagram as well.

Maybe you’ve heard it before: you want to be sure to clean up anything that you wouldn’t want a future employer to see. Whether that’s removing certain photos from your college days, or deleting shared posts or memes that don’t reflect your very best. At the very least, make sure your profile is on private if you aren’t able to go through and remove everything.

Afterwards, try logging out of your account and taking a look as if you were a stranger. What image are you presenting? What message are you sending?

However, just as social media can work against you, it can also work for you. If you have a public or semi-public profile that showcases your personality or passions or professional image, consider keeping it available for future employers to see. It’s a way for them to get a look into who you are, before they even bring you in for an interview.

If you feel the message you’re sending is a positive one, there’s no reason to hide it away. In fact, perhaps the hiring manager – or CEO – will find something on your profile that they relate to. Or really intrigues them. Or maybe, they love your creativity. This could actually give you a leg up on the competition.

As with many things in life, it’s about finding the right balance. We have to be aware of the things we post online, because as many of us have heard – “The internet is forever.” Being conscious of our social media habits is a way of looking after ourselves and making sure nothing from our past inhibits our future.

And once you’ve struck that balance, remember to multiply it by the number of social media profiles you have. It’s not enough to have a stellar LinkedIn profile, though this is probably the most important one from a career perspective. But sharing that same, coherent message across different platforms, you present the most consistent version of who you are. And consistency is a highly sought-after trait.

Does any of this sound familiar? It should – because we are talking about personal brands (again)!

Your personal brand is how you can share your uniqueness with the world, in a professional, consistent manner. In a way that showcases your distinct experiences, skills, talents, and dreams. Across multiple platforms. All tied together with great content and design… and a pretty bow on top.

When you’re ready to get started, we’re here.

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Time races on, you’ve just gotta keep on keeping on.” – First Aid Kit (My Silver Lining from Stay Gold)

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Making The Most Of LinkedIn

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.

Jimmy Johnson

Some parts of the job search are the same as they’ve always been – like your resume and cover letter. But technological advances have led to some marked changes in how we make ourselves stand out as job candidates.

One of these big changes is the digital portfolio. Rather than bringing a paper folder to an interview, applicants can make an impression on hiring managers as soon as they apply. By attaching a link to an email, they can share a summary of their work digitally – allowing hiring managers to make quicker decisions on who to invite back for an interview.

But equally important, these days, is having a strong LinkedIn profile. As the world’s largest professional networking site, LinkedIn has secured its status as the place to be for job searchers, recruiters, and hiring managers alike. According to Hootsuite, 30 million companies have profiles on LinkedIn. And despite a stagnant number of new users on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn continues to grow year over year – with two professionals signing up for LinkedIn every second.

So, why is it so popular?

Essentially, a LinkedIn profile is like an interactive resume. It’s not limited to one or two physical sheets of paper, so you can add more detail. (My LinkedIn profile includes some of my less-relevant jobs – like when I was a waitress in college, though that definitely doesn’t make the cut on my official resume.) When you list a company as your employer, it becomes a live, codified link that is clickable for anyone seeking more information. And like a digital portfolio, you can upload samples of your work or important projects and display them on your profile as well.

If you’re looking for a job, LinkedIn is a good place to start. Three million jobs are posted on LinkedIn every month. Some of them, you can apply directly through LinkedIn with the click of a button. And not only will LinkedIn recommend jobs you may be interested in, but you can also utilize your network to help make connections within your desired companies.

Even if you’re not a job seeker, it’s a good way to stay in touch with industry trends and others in your network. You can join any number of specialty groups based on your profession or interests, which may even lead to new opportunities. Additionally, LinkedIn hosts its own blog publishing platform, allowing any user to blog about any topic they wish. You never know how far that post could reach!

At Brieffin, we want to help you take your professional image to the next level.

Whether you’re looking for website development, personal branding, resume design and writing, or even spicing up your LinkedIn profile, we’re here. For you.

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“The whistling wind is on my mind, but I don’t mind.” – The Vernes (Hrglass from Yr of the Rat)

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What Are Brieffin Workshops?

Teaching is the greatest act of optimism.

Colleen Wilcox

When you think of the word “workshop,” many different images might come to your mind. Maybe, you take it very literally – you imagine your dad’s workshop in the garage. Or maybe, your mind takes you to a boring work meeting that you’re forced to attend with your co-workers, while your more important tasks pile up. Or maybe you think of something else entirely.

So when we at Brieffin say that we offer workshops for social media/digital marketing – as well as personal branding – you might not know exactly what we mean by that.

Here’s how one dictionary defines it:

A workshop is a period of discussion or practical work on a particular subject in which a group of people share their knowledge or experience.

The way we see it: workshops are an opportunity for an interactive, hands-on learning experience in which all participants are fully engaged in pursuit of a common goal. Workshops can be useful in almost every area of life, and social media and personal branding are no different.

At Brieffin, we’re passionate about sharing our knowledge and experience with others because we remember the challenges we faced when we were just getting started.

Since 2012, we have years of experience in the design, creation, and distribution of online content, organic and sponsored, for brands and personal brands. And now, we’re able to offer workshops in these same areas in the hopes of inspiring and empowering others.

Social Media

Purpose and awareness are two words that perfectly match the mission of an effective online communication plan: Creating thoughtful messages for audiences, with the purpose of building knowledge and perception of the brand, thus raising awareness.

We’ll work together to develop a customized strategy for you and your brand. By taking factors such as purpose, target audience, frequency and timeline, and KPIs into consideration, we can recommend a content plan and the best social media platforms to meet all your needs. And later, we’ll provide you with all the necessary tools to track the success of your strategies.

Since the birth of social media, it’s never stopped changing, and it probably never will. But rather than allowing this fact to discourage us, we embrace it. We have to continue learning, evolving, and tackling the challenges that come our way. And we’re excited to have you on this journey with us.

Personal Branding

Personal branding is a buzzword that seems to have only popped up in the past few years, though the act of personal branding is long-established – whether we had a word for it, or not. Either way, it’s one of our other specialties.

Personal branding is all about turning the essence of you – your skills, your experiences, your passions – into a distinct professional image. We already think you’re pretty great, and we want the world to see that, too!

A personal brand includes obvious topics like your resume, but it may extend even further than that. A robust personal-brand presence includes consistency across multiple digital touchpoints, which could include a website/portfolio, blog, a logo, social media, your LinkedIn profile, and even search engine optimization.

Get in contact with us!

With our workshops, we come to the meeting prepared with an agenda, materials, topics of discussion, our knowledge and experience, and an open mind and heart to listen to our clients.

We know the importance of face-to-face contact – whether that’s in person, or over video conference. If you’re interested in scheduling a call with us, send us an email to connect@brieffin.com and we’ll be in touch.

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“If you come to find out who you are… may you find out, may you find out who you are.” – Kevin Morby (Parade from Still Life)

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Resume Writing Best Practices

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Susan Jeffers

Ask anyone what the most important asset to the job search is, and most would say one answer: the resume. This short document summarizes the applicant’s skills, experience, background, qualifications, and education to a hiring manager. It also includes important contact information which is used to contact the applicant.

In the sea of job applications received for any given position, your resume is an opportunity to set yourself apart from the others.

You may have heard the oft-quoted statistic that hiring managers only spend six seconds looking at each resume. However, newer studies suggest that only 17% of hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds, while 68% spend less than 2 minutes reviewing each resume. Nevertheless, your time to make an impact is limited, so it’s important to ensure your resume establishes yourself as a strong candidate in a timely manner.

When it comes to writing your resume, standard advice has changed over the years. No longer are the templated, rigid resumes suggested for every position in every industry. As multimedia portfolios and LinkedIn profiles have entered the mix, it’s easier for a prospective employer to get a holistic look at any given job applicant through more mediums than just the resume.

However, resumes continue to be a crucial aspect of any job application, and here are several tips to keep in mind when writing yours.

Keep it short and sweet

In general, resumes are suggested to be no more than one page long. Remember – most hiring managers are spending less than 2 minutes reading your resume. If it’s too long, they might not even make it to the second page. Being able to condense all your information into one page also shows that you’re able to make decisions about hierarchy of information importance.

There may be some exceptions – if you are applying to a very high-level job and have many years of relevant experience, two pages may be more acceptable. But in general, one page is considered to be best practice across most industries.

Decide what’s really important

This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point, but on the flip side as well. Don’t include everything that’s ever happened to you, even if it keeps your resume under one page. For example, I used to be a waitress at the American pancake restaurant IHOP. While I value the experience gained and lessons learned, it’s not very relevant to the positions I’m interested in at this point in my life. However, if I ever find myself interested in the food service industry again, it might be something I would include. Be discerning about your experience and the desired position.

Show the numbers

Any time you can discuss results you achieved in your previous positions, it speaks to your previous success and suggests what you can contribute to your new company. Any time you can include numbers, statistics, or facts, it quantifies those achievements. Instead of generic statements, include specifics such as these: “Closed support queue tickets within target timeframe 100% of the time,” or “Implemented new travel management tracking software, saving $15,000 in overhead costs during initial 6 months.”

Fit the industry

When you’re applying for a creative role, such as an art director or copywriter, it’s generally acceptable to let your resume show a bit of personality. Using strategic pops of color or infographics would not seem out of place; in fact, it might be an advantage for the hiring manager to see how your creativity fits in with the company. However, if you’re applying for a more corporate job, it’s probably a better idea to use a very structured, buttoned-up format for your resume. You don’t want to stand out in a bad way!

Proofread

Just like we mentioned in a previous article about cover letters, it’s of the utmost importance to proofread. There’s nothing worse than sending off your resume – which you’ve worked so hard on, and are so proud of – to your dream job… and then finding a typo or grammatical error afterward.

There’s really no way to undo it, and all you can do is hope that the hiring manager doesn’t notice it. But the unfortunate reality is that many are looking for any reason to disqualify an applicant from the application pool, and spelling errors are an easy way to narrow it down. After finishing your resume, come back to it the next day with a fresh set of eyes. Have a friend or family member read it, too.

Include contact information

You should always include your first and last name on your resume – of course – because how else will they know it’s yours? You should also include your phone number with area code (and country code if applicable), full mailing address, and email address.

Many employers will make initial contact via email, so you want to make sure you have a “professional” email listed. If your everyday email is something like dance_gurl12345@gmail.com, you might think about using a different email address. Better yet, use an email provider like Gmail to create a brand new, professional email address. Ideally, it should be some variation of your name with minimal numbers.

Format appropriately

You want your resume to be visually appealing and organized in a sensible way. It should flow well from top to bottom. However, that’s not the only formatting you should think about. When including your resume file to attach to an online job application or email, you’ll want to make sure you’ve saved in an appropriate, efficient manner as well.

Saving your resume as a .PDF is a great way to make sure you don’t lost the integrity of the document when your file is being viewed on different computers or operating systems. Additionally, make sure you give the file a professional name, because the hiring manager will see it. John_Smith_Resume.pdf is a good example.

Resumes can be a complicated topic, but these tips should help to put you on the right track! Remember, at Brieffin we specialize in professional resume and portfolio design, so reach out to us if you need a hand getting started.

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Cover Letter Do’s and Dont’s

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

Confucius

Maybe you’ve got your resume or CV all ready to go. It’s formatted, polished, and optimized to a T. 

Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing you need to be successful in your job search.

Yes, here we are talking about the dreaded cover letter. Just the name alone can be enough to send shivers down any job-seeker’s spine. For some reason, it seems easy to distill all the relevant information about our skills and experience into a set of clear and palatable bullet points. The resume is done. It covers all the most important stuff, like our basic contact information and work experience. Though we may need to tweak it, making small changes when applying for different jobs, it’s more or less ready to go.

But writing a letter… that somehow has the perfect balance of new information, while re-hashing the most relevant points from our resume without being redundant, and without it reading like it was written by a robot whose sole purpose is applying for the desired position… now, this is a real challenge.

At Brieffin, we specialize in professional brand-building – from portfolios, to resumes, and everything in between. And yes, that includes cover letters. Today, we wanted to share a few of our favorite tips for cover-letter writing – what to do, and what not to do.

Cover letter DON’T: Use a template

Google search “cover letters” and you’ll get no shortage of results. But many of them will be templates. Just stay away from them. While it might not hurt to read a few samples to get an idea of formatting, it’s almost always obvious when someone uses a template. Plus, using a template always carries an additional risk – you might accidentally leave in some of the pre-set information instead of replacing it with your own. 

Cover letter DON’T: Use the same cover letter for each job

Your cover letter should be so specific that it wouldn’t fit if you sent it to another company. That means you should focus on the details of the job you’re applying for, and tailor your letter for the company and job description. That means you’re going to have to do your research and write a different cover letter for each job. And this isn’t a lot of fun, but it’s imperative to the cause. Also, like we talked about before, using completely different cover letters helps keep you from making mistakes by forgetting to replace one company name for another. 

Cover letter DON’T: Write your autobiography

Just like a resume, cover letters should generally be limited to one page. This includes the heading and salutation, which can often take up one-fourth of the page or more. When you get into the body of the letter, don’t immediately launch into your life story. While you want to put your best foot forward and include all the necessary information, a shorter, more concise cover letter is less likely to exhaust a hiring manager just by looking at it. Focusing on the most relevant details makes each one more salient.

Cover letter DO: Let your personality shine through

Your cover letter is the only opportunity you get to be “you” in your whole job application. And what you can offer to a job or a career is so much more than the sum of all your skills and work history. Your potential employer is – or should be – keeping that in mind as well when making hiring decisions. They want to know how you’ll fit into their current company culture and who you are as a person. The only way you’re going to set yourself apart from every other applicant is with your cover letter. Let your personality shine through.

Cover letter DO: Focus on what you can offer

While you want your personality to become apparent, remember that the cover letter isn’t really about you. It’s about what you can offer to the company; why you’re the best fit for the job in a sea of other applicants. It’s okay to talk about yourself, but make sure it all relates back to the desired position. 

Cover letter DO: Proofread

There’s nothing worse than sending off your resume and cover letter – which you’ve worked so hard on, and are so proud of – to your dream job… and then finding a typo or grammatical error afterward. There’s really no way to undo it, and all you can do is hope that the hiring manager doesn’t notice it. But the unfortunate reality is that many are looking for any reason to disqualify an applicant from the application pool, and spelling errors are an easy way to narrow it down. After finishing your cover letter – and resume, for that matter – close it and come back to it the next day with a fresh set of eyes. Have a friend or family member read it, too. This will ensure that your cover letter is working for you, not against you.

While cover-letter-writing may not be anyone’s favorite activity, especially while dealing with the stress of the job search, we at Brieffin want to you know what we’re here for you. With our consulting services, you can feel confident that your professional image is coherent, working together in harmony to offer the best of yourself.

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A Different Perspective on Brand Personality

Find out who you are and do it on purpose.

Dolly Parton

Many people have heard of the famous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, also sometimes known as a personality test. When I was in my first year of college – and an “undecided” major – I went to our campus career resource center to do a few tests that could hopefully help to provide me with some clarity. One of these tests was the Myers-Briggs.

While some discount its accuracy – or even usefulness – it’s still the most widely-administered personality test that exists. And whether or not it’s totally accurate, doesn’t actually matter. We’re just going to talk about it in a way that’s fun and could potentially give us something new to think about.

When you take the MBTI, the classic result format is something like INTJ or ESFP. Test-takers are grouped into one of two categories for each of the four “digits.”

First: I (Introversion) or E (Extroversion)

Second: N (Intuition) or S (Sensing)

Third: T (Thinking) or F (Feeling)

Fourth: J (Judging) or P (Perceiving)

Most recently, when I took the test, I was allegedly an ENFJ. But looking at the acronym, even knowing what all of the individual components mean, does that really tell you anything about my personality?

A newer development in the Myers-Briggs world is the website, 16personalities.com. It rounds up each of the 16 possible results into a tangible personality – not just an unhelpful string of letters. Nearly 200 million people have taken the test via this platform.

My result: “The Protagonist.” According to 16personalities, protagonists are “charismatic and inspiring leaders, able to mesmerize their listeners.” My sister is an ENFP – “The Campaigner,” and campaigners are “enthusiastic, creative free spirits, who can always find a reason to smile.”

The website breaks it down into four subgroups with four personality types in each:

Analysts

  • Architect – INTJ
  • Logician – INTP
  • Commander – ENTJ
  • Debater – ENTP

Diplomats

  • Advocate – INFJ
  • Mediator – INFP
  • Protagonist – ENFJ
  • Campaigner – ENFP

Sentinels

  • Logistician – ISTJ
  • Defender – ISFJ
  • Executive – ESTJ
  • Consul – ESFJ

Explorers

  • Virtuoso – ISTP
  • Adventurer – ISFP
  • Entrepreneur – ESTP
  • Entertainer – ESFP

Having a concrete title for each personality type definitely tells you more than just the four letters. You can also dig into more information about each personality type’s strengths, weaknesses, workplace habits, relationships, and more.

Now switching gears… let’s talk about it from a brand perspective.

At Brieffin, we believe that personality is an extremely important part of any brand. It’s the magic dust that brings your brand to life. Finding a way to humanize your brand will make it relate to your customers. They’re looking for connection. “What is your brand personality?” is a great question to ask yourself when evaluating your brand’s humanity.

The idea of these 16 personality types can be a different angle when looking at, or trying to determine, your brand’s personality.

Even with just the brief descriptions of each type, you start to get an idea of who that “person” is. Those who identify as the Logician, for example, are “innovative inventors with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.” And the Entertainer is someone who is “spontaneous, energetic, and enthusiastic. Life is never boring around them.”

From a consumer perspective, can you think of any brands that fit the above profiles, in your opinion?

As you read all 16 profiles, which ones stand out to you? Which ones resonate with who your brand is, or who you want it to be?

Even if you already feel that you have a strong brand personality, choosing one of the 16 types and reading the additional information may inspire you to look at your traits or messaging from a new perspective.

If you’re not sure, an interesting idea might be to actually take the test, and answer how you think your brand would answer – or how you’d want it to answer. Getting that result back can tell you a lot about how your brand interacts with the world, what your brand values, how your brand processes information, and how it reacts to different situations. These are all definitely human traits, but that’s what we want to do – bring humanity to your brand.

When it comes to the result – whether you distinguish it for yourself, or let the test do the work – it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a right or wrong type. Just like people, every brand has a unique set of characteristics; strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. The goal here, is not to be boxed in by any results, but to be empowered with the knowledge of seeing your(brand)self from a new angle.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Don’t concern myself with all of the lives I might’ve had.” – K.Flay (I Like Myself (Most Of The Time) from Solutions)

Join our playlist on Spotify and breathe in and out. Namaste.

Should You Include a Photo on Your Resume?

In a gentle way, you can shake the world.

Mahatma Ghandi

It’s one of the many questions that professionals and job seekers ask: should you include a photo on your resume or CV?

The answer, of course – like so many things in life – is simply: it depends.

It depends on so many different factors. Where in the world are you? What position are you applying for? Even… what photo would you choose?

With all this in mind, let’s weigh these factors and help you come to a conclusion about the right decision for you.

Based on Location

Interestingly, every continent of the world seems to have a different idea regarding what’s appropriate. As someone from the United States, we would never even think of including a photo on a resume. It’s seen as unprofessional and excessive. But with the advent of LinkedIn, which includes a photo, I can understand now that opinions may be changing.

In most of Europe, the consensus seems to be that you should include a photo. In some regions, such as Scandinavia, it’s strongly encouraged. In other parts, it’s typical and generally expected to include a photo. And in places like Spain, it’s often required. However, in the United Kingdom, it’s extremely uncommon to include a photo and job seekers are generally advised against it.

In South America, the Middle East, many parts of Asia, and most of Africa, applicants should generally include a photo. Some of these places do not have explicit anti-discrimination laws that would discourage photos. And in Oceania, the choice to include a photo is yours. It may not be a norm, but it would not be out of the ordinary for you to include one.

Based on Position

If you’re in a place where including a photo is a legitimate option – so, almost everywhere except the U.S. and the UK – another consideration you should make is the position you’re applying for.

Here’s one benefit of not including a photo: it allows your skills, knowledge, and achievements to speak for themselves.

At Brieffin – as professional resume designers and consultants – we generally advise our clients not to include a photo when applying for high-level positions. We want the resume’s content to be the focus, not the photo. However, we do provide our clients with two resume designs – one with a photo, and one without. This ensures that our clients are equipped for any situation in which they need their resume.

Choosing a Photo

If you do decide to include a photo, it’s imperative that your photo works for you, not against you. Keep these things in mind for effective photo usage:

  • Use a high-quality photo – selfie photos are not appropriate for your resume. You may consider hiring a professional photographer, or even set up your own do-it-yourself photo studio in your home and ask a friend to help you take a good shot.
  • Dress according to the role – a corporate banker and a creative director are likely going to dress differently when they come to work, and you can reflect this in your resume photo.
  • Your photo should be an asset, not a distraction – don’t do anything crazy with your hair, makeup, or outfit.
  • Be consistent – use the same photo for your LinkedIn profile to show a harmonious uniformity between the two mediums. Show the employer you have a personal brand.
  • Make sure the photo is an appropriate size – don’t make the photo seem like an afterthought on your resume, but also not the main feature. Use it in a way that enhances your resume’s design but doesn’t steal the focus.

If you’re looking to revamp your resume, you’re in the right place. We’ll give you two resumes – one with a photo, one without – so you’re well-prepared for any situation.

We’re here if you need us.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Would you rewind, do it all over again, given the chance?” – Wallows (Remember When from Nothing Happens)

Join our playlist on Spotify and reconnect with your childhood space. Namaste.

Creating Your Personal Brand

At the center of your being you have the answer: you know who you are and you know what you want.

Lao Tzu

The first time I learned about building a personal brand was my last year of college. My communication-department senior seminar class was focused on preparing us for the “real world.”

How to write resumes. How to prepare ourselves for the full-time job that is job-seeking. How to stand out. How could we stand out?

You could undoubtedly teach an entire course on personal branding alone, but I got more than a few takeaways from my class. I was inspired to redesign my resume – unafraid, for the first time, to use pops of color and infographics – and ordered a stack of custom-branded thank-you cards.

With my purple accents and clean, sans-serif font, I hoped to portray a little bit of my personality to my potential employers. And this was the first time I’d ever learned that this was okay.

After a few years and spending time in the branding industry, it’s clear steps like those are crucially important. At the same time, they only scratch the surface.

The word “brand” itself can sometimes be seen with less-than-positive connotations. In an era where social media has transformed into more than just human-to-human interactions, there are of course examples of brands trying to connect with consumers and missing the boat completely. These can give off an air of inauthenticity.

But your personal brand is another matter entirely. The best part about it is that it’s 100% YOU. As a positive, creative person with so much to offer to the world, you can’t possibly be anything other than authentic.

Showing your personality is not the professional faux-pas that most of us were taught to believe at one point or another. Personal branding is about turning the essence of you – your skills, your experiences, your passions – into a distinct professional image.

So you can start with the resume – don’t worry, we can help you! But a robust personal-brand presence includes consistency across multiple digital touchpoints: a website/portfolio, blog, a logo, social media, and even your LinkedIn profile and bio.

When starting to think about your personal brand, here are some questions you can ask yourself:

What is my passion?

What is my story?

What are my values?

What 3 words would I want to be associated with?

Who do I want to attract?

What can I offer?

What differentiates me?

Am I following my bliss?

What message do I want to send?

As we say here at Brieffin: Your brand is your message. People will encounter your brand before they ever meet you. This is your opportunity to send them a message. What do you want that message to be?

It’s a lot to think about, to be sure.

But this isn’t something you have to do alone. Personal branding just so happens to be one of our passions, and if you need us – a lot or a little – we’re here.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Calm down, now stop and breathe a second; go back to the very beginning.” – Glass Animals (Agnes from How To Be A Human Being)

Join our playlist on Spotify and breathe for a second. Namaste.

Industrial social media specialists of the year 2020 - Spain