Since the pandemic began, many women feel isolated. This is why brand management is more important for women now than it was a few years ago.
The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on many women professionals. McKinsey says that job growth for women may not get back to pre-pandemic levels may not happen until 2024.
Women were more than 50% of the workforce before the pandemic. But many women who have young children or parents who are getting older have lost their jobs. Moreover, many have chosen to leave the workforce to help their families in other ways. This is true for both mothers and adult children of aging parents.
Having a school in the living room instead of in the classroom made many women choose between their careers and families. Here’s how women can use personal branding to get ready for a good return to the workforce.
Move forward by taking a step backward.
This pause may have given you a chance to think about what’s important to you and where you can add the most value. Back where you were may not be what you want or need.
There are many things you’ve learned and gotten better at over the last year. You’ve also gained new skills and a new perspective because you haven’t worked so much. Your post-pandemic job should be meaningful, allowing you to use your skills and style.
This means you need to think about the six things that make up your brand: passions, values, differentiators, superpowers, purpose, and goals.
First, the most crucial step in personal branding is figuring out your unique promise of value and writing it down. These questions will help you think about yourself:
- What are your “non-negotiables?”
- When you do it, what makes you lose track of time?
- What do people come to you for?
- What’s different about how you do what you do?
- When you look back on your career, what do you want to have made?
- What would you like to do in your job next?
Use what you have.
There is a lot of demand for people who have strong emotional intelligence. Women are typically better at having good emotional intelligence than men. We live in a relationship economy and having good emotional intelligence is essential for having strong, long-term relationships.
Of the professionals who were able to stay with their company after Covid-19, many have felt isolated, lonely, and craved human contact.
In a Harvard Gazette study last October, 36 percent of respondents said they felt lonely “frequently,” “almost all the time,” or “all the time” in the last four weeks, compared to 25 percent who said they had problems in the two months before the pandemic.
Women usually have an advantage when it comes to providing the leadership style needed to get a workforce back on track and back in sync with each other again.
Make sure your digital brand is in good shape before you start.
If you go back to work, hiring managers and recruiters will look you up on Google to learn more about you. When decision-makers meet you online, they’ll be able to tell right away who you are and what you can do for them.
Take some time now to show off your unique brand online. Google your name and see what comes up. When you look at the results on the first page, what does it say about you? These results would make someone think of you in a certain way.
Make sure you pay attention to your LinkedIn profile. Make your case in the best way possible. Your LinkedIn bio will get the most attention.
Think about all the things you’ve done and all the things you’ve done well. Then, combine them all into a compelling story about the brand called you.
People should know who you are, why you’re so good, and why they should care about your “About” page, so make sure it does that.
Add a new headshot where 60% to 80% of the frame is your face. It’s also good to make your headline match the job you want. To get people excited about you, you need to make it unique to you. Take a stand, and make sure you stand out for all the right reasons.
Prepare for your close-up.
Most likely, you’ll be doing some or all of your interviews through Zoom or another video conferencing app.
To make a solid first impression, ensure that all the technical parts of online meetings work well. Make sure that lighting, audio, and you are the main things you pay attention to.
- Lighting. Place yourself in a place where the light is coming straight at you, not from the side or behind you. If that place doesn’t exist, you can get an extra glow light to make sure you look your best.
- Audio. To make sure your voice is clear, use earpods or a directional mic. When you speak, the microphone on your computer picks up all the noise and echoes in the room, making you sound hollow.
- You. Make sure you are in the middle of the screen, and your eyes are aligned with the top third of the screen horizontally. This is called the rule of thirds. Take a candid look at your laptop’s camera, not pictures of the people you’re texting or calling. Make sure what’s behind you helps keep your brand strong and doesn’t take away from your skills.