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The Value of Trust | #MyFridayStory No. 46

The Value of Trust | #MyFridayStory No. 46

In #MyFridayStory Brand You, I suggested how presenting your best self to the world makes lots of sense. Not as a façade or by being false, but by being the real, authentic you, warts and all.

In another #MyFridayStory titledHiring Right, the Curriculum Vitae or résumé is relegated as a primary tool for gaining employment. And, in a heartfelt plea to newly graduated students, tips on entering the workplace are shared in, Dear Graduates.

In marketing, brands that are able to establish trust early with their audience, are more likely to gain their business. It stands to reason that anything that can support that endeavour, should be pursued with vigour. In a Forbes article, 7 Traits That Instantly Build Trust With Your Brand, Honesty and Emotional Connection, speak of building trust through transparency, being authentic, and touching your audience emotionally. Successful brands know how to gain your trust early on, often long before you have made a purchase. Trust in a brand is strengthened and reinforced over time, by honouring and keeping their promises.

So far, so good.

I recently ran a LinkedIn Job posting for a friend. 10 days after the position was posted, there were over 1200 applicants for the position, and counting.

The South African economy is heading for a recession, according to a report in Fin24 dated 15 June 2018 by Mike Schüssler chief economist of Economists.co.za. Unemployment is on the rise, currently standing at 27.2%, an increase from 26.7% in the previous period. Finding employment in this country is going to become even tougher.

I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade, after all, it is Friday.

As I sifted through over 1200 applicants’ LinkedIn profiles, I couldn’t help feel despair for many of them. Many times, I wanted to stop and write back to the applicant, explaining why they stood little to no chance of being chosen. You can call it cognitive bias – which is very real and present in all of us – or maybe it happens randomly, but being chosen, in this sense, for me to stop scrolling through reams of profiles and click on your profile, I need to ‘trust’ you.

That trust must be gained within seconds, and it must be enough to draw me in to find out more about you. On LinkedIn, there isn’t much space to convey trust. The only available real estate you have is your profile picture, your name, your area, your title, your current and past employment and your education. It would make sense to make the best use of the limited space.

A profile picture is a non-negotiable.

It serves as a quick visual guide to who you are and helps build trust on an emotional level, especially if the profile picture has you smiling. Your name and surname should use a capital letter for the first letter and lowercase for the rest. Under your title, you have the most space to be creative. Use your title as a ‘strapline’ or to give a brief explanation of what you do. Your area and country are important indicators for recruiters to know where you are located, make sure you have yours stated accurately.

Marketing isn’t a mystery.

To present your brand in the best possible light is surely the wish of every business owner or executive. When you do that consistently for long enough, you build long-term value. As things become tougher, so brands – and people – need to look carefully at how they are going about building trust. Whether you are a brand or a person, this is definitely not a time to be boring.

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