You Are the Face of Your Brand

Who would you, your customer or a potential employer hire? The silhouette above or one of these smiling faces below?



Your image is part of your brand. Having your smiling face in your social networking profiles helps build your “know, like, and trust” factor. People do business with those they know, like, and trust.

Not only that, have you ever said, “I know the face; I just can’t remember the name…”

Your face, your professional headshot, helps people remember you.

When attending networking events, you leave with loads of business cards, many with names, contact information, and logos, but no face. How do you remember if the name you found on LinkedIn is the right person you met when the profile has only a silhouette?

It’s frustrating.

That smiling mug of yours is part of your brand, use it!

Having your face in your social networking profiles helps people connect with you and know that it’s YOU they met at last week’s event or conference.

According to psychologist Albert Mehrabian in a study about non-verbal communication, “Total liking = 7 percent verbal liking + 38 percent vocal liking (i.e., tone of voice) + 55 percent facial liking.” Fifty-five percent facial liking — that’s significant.

This likeability factor plays a role in helping you build your brand, your connections, and more. People ask me all the time if they need a professional headshot in their social-networking profiles. YES, you do.

Here are a few excuses I’ve heard as to why there’s no photo:

“My head is too big.” It’s been said that Oprah has a large-sized head, and she seems to be doing just fine.

“I want to lose weight before I pay money to get a professional headshot.” When’s your next networking event? Your next conference? Your next sales call? You are fabulous just as you are now. As most people Google you before they meet you, when you arrive, people will immediately recognize you and know that you are the person they were scheduled to meet (not you from 1980, but you 2014). When you lose your planned weight, fantastic! That certainly will warrant a brand new headshot of skinny you.

“I don’t have any money for a professional headshot.” Find a well-lit space in your home or apartment and a light-colored empty wall (no dings either). Wear something professional, smile big, and have your friend take a photo — or several so you can choose your favorite. Save a bit every week and you can invest in a professional headshot soon.

People relate well to facial photos. They like to do business with a person, not a logo or your cat.

Your photo is part of your brand image. Make it congruent to your professional goals, in alignment with your personal brand.

On LinkedIn, it’s important that your profile picture is professional (like the examples above) versus a crazy pose or body shot. One client told me about a person who had a service they wanted to use.

“I Googled him before we met. He had this crazy picture on LinkedIn with his mouth open and head turned sideways. I wasn’t too sure about heading for the meeting after that.”

You can do some fun expressions on Facebook if you wish. Do keep in mind the “Mom and Boss Test” — if you’d be embarrassed if your mom saw the photo or fired if your boss did, then keep your profile photo clean and professional. Not too outlandish.

Twitter’s profile-picture spot is very tiny. Keep that in mind when uploading your profile picture. For Twitter, I do recommend having just your face in the profile photo. Your whole face, not your eye or a tiny picture of your full body. It’s too hard to see.

George Blomgren, Culture Strategy Director of The Good Jobs, said, “We will judge you not just on your profile, but your overall mastery of LinkedIn (especially for IT, sales, marketing, human resources and recruiting jobs). We look for a professional headshot, a powerful summary, at least several hundred connections, a complete employment history (including descriptions) and a good list of relevant groups.”

Final Thoughts on the Face of Your Brand
Start by getting your professional headshot and let’s see your fabulous face online!

© 2006 – 2014 | Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

This article is part of Quintessential Career’s Job Action Day 2012.

Wendy Terwelp, Opportunity Knocks, is a recognized career industry leader. Named in the Top 100 Career Experts to Follow on Twitter and Top 51 Job Search Blog posts, Wendy was dubbed “LinkedIn Guru” by The Washington Post, She’s also regularly quoted in national media including, The Wall Street Journal, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Business Journal, More Magazine, Fast Company,,, ABC, NBC and speaks about networking, social media, branding, and careers throughout the country. Wendy is also one of Quintessential Careers’ Career Masterminds, and author of Rock Your Network®.

Job Action Day 2012 – Nov. 5


Get ready for the annual Job Action Day, hosted by Quintessential Careers happening Monday, Nov. 5. Here’s what’s planned thus far:

Job Action Day 2012, November 5th, is all about empowering job-seekers to create, build, and enhance your personal career brand to help you move your career and/or job-search forward.

Job Action Day is a day for all job-seekers and workers to take stock of their situations and make plans and/or take action steps to improve their careers.

As job-hunting and career development strategies continue to evolve, one thing is certain — the power of branding to establish, build, and enhance a job-seeker’s reputation.

A job-seeker’s career brand is the unique set of experiences, accomplishments, skills, education, attitude, passion, and the like that provide the promise of value to future employers.

Career branding strategies should be used in all aspects of career development and job-hunting, including on resumes, LinkedIn profiles, personal websites, social media activities, interviewing, and salary negotiation.

Job Action Day 2012, the fifth-annual initiative spearheaded by Quintessential Careers, includes expert and empowering articles, tips, and blog posts that give job-seekers information, ideas, and concrete steps that you can take to tackle your career brand.

Links will be released soon on the articles, bloggers, and other features that will be published on Job Action Day 2012, including these articles:

  • You are the Face of Your Brand, by Wendy Terwelp
  • The Value of Creating an Adaptive Professional Brand, by Nacie Carson
  • 10 Reasons to Love Your Personal Brand, by Meg Guiseppi
  • Branded Career Communications for Job-Seekers, by Susan Guarneri
  • Employers Don’t Give A Damn About You!, by Rick Gillis

See you there!

I look forward to seeing your comments and ideas. Do share!

Prepare to be Googled

Whether you’re in job search mode or navigating your career, you’ll be Googled. Got a sales meeting? You’ve been Googled. Speaking gig? The audience will Google you. With that in mind, it’s mission critical your online brand demonstrates how you wish to be perceived. Google yourself now (first and last name in quotes) to see what pops up.

Got dirt? Clean it up by removing it (Facebook tags and pics beware!) or burying it (blog content, LinkedIn updates, Twitter posts).

Minimal presence? Start with LinkedIn (typically found on page 1 when you’re Googled). Complete your profile, upload your headshot, and create a dynamic bio. Ambitious? Start a blog and post regularly.

Get found the right way online. Good luck!

© 2012 | Wendy Terwelp |

Recruiter LinkedIn Secret: Follow Companies Where…

George_Blomgren_med - picGuest Expert, George Blomgren,
MRA, The Management Association

The other day, a recruiter colleague shared a tip with me. He told me that when a candidate applies for a job with his company, if that candidate otherwise looks qualified, he looks to see if the candidate is following his company on LinkedIn. If not, he won’t consider that candidate.

Rather an extreme attitude, but it illustrates a best practice. Recruiters assume that the main reason you follow a company on LinkedIn is that you want to work there. So smart recruiters use their company’s followers on LinkedIn as the “low hanging fruit” for their hiring needs. So, take a moment to follow the companies you want to work for!

Editor’s note: Great tip George! The same holds true if you want to get on a company’s radar for your business. And if you’re running a business and want to attract great employees, ensure your company has a company page on LinkedIn.

George Blomgren is the  Director of Recruiting Solutions for MRA – The Management Association. George has 20+ years of talent acquisition (aka recruiting),  and operations experience. Prior to joining MRA, George ran the advertising and marketing department for a fast-growing network of local employment websites.

Ticked off? Step away from the keyboard!


Taylor Grey Meyer was ticked. So ticked after sending the San Diego Padres 30 resumes and getting rejected, she wrote a counter offer – via email. The email went viral.

Check out Taylor’s letter here. The letter’s a must-read prior to reading the rest of this post. Warning, strong language.

From the story, “Just looking at the forwards on the chain that eventually made it to us, Meyer’s letter has been seen by, in order: the Cavaliers, the Lake Erie Monsters, the Diamondbacks, the Yankees, the Astros, the Bobcats, the Heat, the Houston Dynamo, the Marlins, the Dolphins, the Red Sox, the Cubs, the Mets, FC Dallas, the Nationals, the Orioles, the Falcons, the Vikings, the Bengals, the Cleveland Gladiators, the Dayton Dragons, and the Chiefs.”

I’m guessing this is not the first impression she wanted to make. And it could be a career-ender.

Some ideas Taylor could have tried: Instead of sending resumes to the job board for multiple positions where she was overqualified, she could have tapped her network to see who she knows who knows someone in the Padres organization. She could have checked her LinkedIn network to see who may have a Padres connection. Revamped her resume and cover letter to better fit the career goal. Or stopped by in person, as she already relocated to the area.

So many ways Taylor could have approached her search that would have netted better results. Instead, she wrote a ticked off email that went viral and may end her career in sports all together… and after the graduate coursework too.

What are some other ways Taylor could have connected with the Padres?

Have you ever sent an email, wrote a blog post, or tweeted something you’ve regretted? What was the result? Were you able to save the situation?

Share your stories and ideas. I look forward to hearing what you’ve got to say.

© 2012 Wendy Terwelp | Opportunity Knocks™ | All rights reserved. |

Networking 101 – Starting Conversations

“I know networking is really important, but how do I get the conversation started?” said an attendee at one of my presentations. In the words of Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get people interested in you.”

Translation: Ask the new people you meet about themselves. When in a group or at a party, listen carefully to the conversation. See where you might be able to jump in. It may be something as simple as an exclamation, “You’re kidding me!” that gets the ball rolling.

I recommend preparing in advance of the event by setting networking goals and having at least three open-ended questions you can ask any person at the networking event.

Here are open-ended questions that encourage conversation:
1) What brings you to today’s meeting [event, conference, barbeque…]?
2) What one or two things would you like to take away from this event [conference, meeting, party…]?
3) What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you all week?

NEVER ask: “Do you know anyone who’s hiring?” Or “Do you know anyone interested in buying [insert your product here]?”

If you’re at a business event, get a business card from the new contact and jot down some notes from the conversation. It can be as simple as, “Big Elvis fan.” That way, the next time you see the person or call the person, you can start the conversation with, “Hey, did you see the new 2-CD set that came out on Elvis? Has all the songs, plus a 32-page book. Cool.” Then, once they’ve exhausted their excitement of the big event, you can jump into the “real” conversation, “So, what’s going on at the office? Did they create that position we talked about at Bernadine’s Memorial Day party?”

Your goal is to create real and helpful connections, NOT close the deal on a job offer, nail the sale of your product or service or collect the most business cards in the room.

©2005 – 2012 | Wendy J. Terwelp | All rights reserved.