Establishing Your Personal Brand Through Stationery, Part 2
In Part 1 of this post, I talked about the things you should include or consider including in your letterhead. As I say in Part 1, you don’t have to be a design professional to establish a sleek theme for your correspondence. In Part 2, I get into the particulars of how you can design your letterhead.
If you are a design professional, you are arguably leagues beyond the guidance I provide here. If you are not a designer, but you want to capitalize on whatever points you can gain by putting together a smart design in your personal branding without busting out advanced design techniques or tools, then keep reading.
Establishing Your Personal Brand Through Stationery, Part 1
If you are applying for jobs, are establishing a side hustle or your own company, or are otherwise engaging in professional correspondence as your own agent and not on behalf of another entity, then this topic is for you.
Part 1 of this series introduces the various pieces of correspondence that are a reflection of your personal brand and what to include in the letterhead that should appear in all of the pieces of that correspondence.
Let’s take a second and talk about personal branding as far as it pertains to stationery and letterheads. I want to touch on this because it usually comes up in the presentation I give on cover letters, and while I try to address what job seekers need to know about stationery and letterheads as a part of building a solid cover letter, it’s not the focus of the presentation and therefore isn’t something for which I want to use my precious 60 – 90 minutes. (And, yes. We spend more than an hour on cover letters, and we barely skim the surface on stationery and personal branding. If you are curious, you should check out my Events page, and register for my next workshop!)
First, let’s review why this is a part of personal branding. If you regularly send out letters attached in emails or in the mail as a part of the work you do for a job, then you are probably sending those letters on company letterhead. Sure, your name, signature, and job title may be on the letter, but your company’s branding is in the letterhead. What I’m talking about is for your own individual use. If you are applying for jobs, are establishing a side hustle or your own company, or are otherwise engaging in professional correspondence as your own agent and not on behalf of another entity, then this topic is for you.
Sometimes we only think about putting our name and contact information on correspondence when we are dusting off our resumes, and while job-application materials are certainly a part of this topic, I want you to realize that this isn’t just about putting your name on a piece of paper. Your name is your brand, so whether you are putting this information at the top of a resume, a cover letter, a pain letter, as a cover and explanation to a sample of work, on a business card, or any other form of correspondence that isn’t being sent to a close friend, family member, or loved one, be intentional about it.
Alright, esteemed colleagues. Let’s dig in.
Cover-Letter Tip: It's Not About You
A well-written cover letter focuses on the employer.
Perhaps you’ve read the title of this post, and in your mind, you’ve just heard the high-pitched squealing that in-motion tires make when the driver abruptly hits the brakes (errrrrrrrrrrrrp!), and you’re thinking: Um, excuse me…What? How could a cover letter I’m writing not be about me? I’m writing about myself to try and get an interview for a job that I want. In fact, it feels like it’s entirely about me. Relax. Of course, your cover letters are about you. But, don’t let the fact that cover letters are a space to discuss your qualifications distract from the reality that you should be targeting your writing to the companies where you are applying for jobs. Truly effective cover letters are all about the employer. You need to make employers feel as if you are speaking directly to them and their needs.