Did you know that 55% of communication is non-verbal? Think about the last time you were at a party and someone was talking with their hands or a political debate that was scrutinized after for every facial expression the candidates made. Humans love to ‘speak’ even when we don’t say a word.

Observing your body’s effect

Have you ever sat in a café or park and observed others (a.k.a. people-watching)? Given today’s interest in others, there’s a good chance someone has watched you as you walked down a street heading to an interview, sat in a café preparing for a meeting or simply sat in a park thinking about your day.

What is your non-verbal brand saying about you? Does the way you raise your eyebrows tell others your interested or upset? Does your body language align with your personal brand?

Your body, brand & interviewing

Many hiring managers make up their mind in the first 8 seconds of an interview. How is this possible when you’ve barely said “hello”? Their decision is based on your non-verbal personal branding. We all know Eliot Spitzer didn’t speak a word in the first 8 seconds of the interview for his new CNN Parker-Spitzer role; his brand spoke before he did.

Job search personal brand elements include everything from your posture and handshake to your choice of attire and hairstyle on interview day. (hint: maintain a confident posture during the interview) Is your body language aligned with your job search personal brand? Does it send a consistent message to the interviewer?

What your business cards say

During the interview it’s important to ask for a business card and when networking, to have one to hand out. Your stationary speaks for your personal brand just as your body and voice do.

It had been less than 5 minutes after I met Mark when he asked for my card and responded, “Wow, great card. Business must be going very well.” I simply replied, “Yes, it is, thank you.” Mark, a V.P., Marketing for a NY-based digital media group was playing with my card like a kid plays with a new toy on Christmas morning when he handed me his and said, “I had a limited budget to work within.” I smiled and replied, “It’s very nice. By the way, it’s 16pt. satin finish (alluding to my card’s finish)” and then changed the subject to their new client, who I happen to know.

The bundled brand

As a savvy job seeker in today’s high-stakes job search game, it’s essential to bundle the non-verbal and verbal elements of your brand. Take time to include everything from your wardrobe to your posture and stationary and present a cohesive, clean and concise personal brand both inside and outside the interview.