Personal Branding for Job Search: Response to Attendee’s Questions

Personal Branding for Job Search: Response to Attendee’s Questions: No doubt, building a personal brand is one way you can stand out from other job seekers.

When people hear the word ‘Branding’ they think about organizations that build their brands to attract customers or investors. That is not the case any longer.

Individuals are taking their personal brand seriously. You can do the same too as a job seeker.

These are answers to some of the questions attendees asked during the training.

Is it necessary to put your pictures in the CV?

There is no direct YES or NO response to this question. Adding your pictures to your CV largely depends on factors like:

  1. The role you are looking to fill.
  2. The company’s policy, etc. 

Although a photo on your CV may make it look more attractive, you should know that it may reflect negatively on you when recruiters study what the photo reveals about your character.

Because recruiters are human beings, they often equate appearance with personality. If you apply for a job where your appearance would play a big role—say, modeling or event staff—adding a photo to your CV can help you sell yourself better.

It is best to include a photo with your CV, as this will make you appear more approachable and personable.

If a company is considering your appearance when deciding on a candidate, they will most likely ask you to submit photographs of yourself and your lifestyle to them. Companies may also use social media websites to learn more about you and your lifestyle, so it’s not uncommon that they should ask you to voluntarily send a photograph of yourself.

If you must include a picture for any reason, you should:

  1. Dress according to the role and company.
  2. Consider hiring a professional photographer.
  3. Make the picture match your LinkedIn photo.

How do we know the problems the company may be encountering?

Even if a company does not publicly acknowledge its challenges, you can still discern them by studying the company’s products and services. Although companies do not discuss their weaknesses, they often show some of the flaws in their products and services. When you discover a company that interests you, the next smart thing for you to do is to FOLLOW this company. When I say follow the company, I mean:

  1. Visit their website for more information on their services and products, however, you may wish to subscribe to their newsletter to receive updates about company happenings.
  2. Follow employees who work at the company on social media to learn more about what it’s like to work there.
  3. Attend their event (online or physical events)
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The above steps will help you to develop a comprehensive understanding of the company under consideration. Based on this information, you should have a clear idea of the company’s strengths and weaknesses.

Once you have identified the company’s weak point, then you can go ahead in generate a strategy to exploit that weakness.


Is it always necessary to add age while writing a CV?

It depends on the job and the company. Some employers place age limits in the job description. If you are within the limit, then mentioning your age on your résumé can be an advantage.

While it is true that some positions require you to include your age on a resume, if age is not a criterion for the position you are applying for, it is not necessary to include your age on a resume. If you are older than thirty or even in your early forties, including your age may work against you (except if required).

Can 10 year-experienced candidate get a 3-5 years role, if he meets the other requirements?

Though this is not always the case, employers sometimes refrain from hiring people who are overqualified for a job for fear that such employees will ask for raises or promotions too soon.

Other employers believe that some people with advanced degrees and a lot of experience, who are in fact overqualified for a position, come to the new job with an unrealistic sense of their own worth—for example, that they should be paid more than more junior employees. An overqualified employee may also be difficult to manage, especially by a less experienced superior.

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If you have a minimum of ten years of working experience in general, and at least three to five years’ experience in that specific role, then you may be able to get the job.

When you are applying for a position apart from attaching your CV and cover letter what should be in the body of the email?

If you are attaching your CV and cover letter to an email application, please let the HR Manager know that a file is attached.

Never send a blank email simply because you attached a file!

Even if all the information needed on your CV and cover letter is included in your email message, write a short message to the recruiter letting him or her know that you have attached your cover letter.

Your simple, short message can be something like this:

Dear Ms. Funke,

Please see my attached CV and cover letter for the (job title) position.

Let me know if you would like any more information.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sam agada

How can I add value to myself as an accountant?

Even if you are in a more technical area of the business world, like accounting, you can add value to yourself. Despite an increasing trend toward automation, individuals with specialized skills can still stand out from their counterparts.

These practical steps can help you add value to yourself:

  1. Educate yourself by taking online courses and tutorials.
  2. Start networking with people in your industry.
  3. Evaluate financial information. (you can search for information in newspapers, company updates, et).
  4. Learn accounting software (some companies want to hire accountants that can use accounting software).
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The basic way you can add value to yourself is to constantly learn and be in the loop of accounting practices.


  1. We are always told to address our cover letter to a specific person in the organization. often they don’t give the name of any recipient. And they don’t even reply if you now request. What do we do?

If you cannot find the name of the hiring manager of the company after reaching out, you can try the following methods:

  1. Check the company’s website.
  2. Check LinkedIn to find the positions of employees in the company.
  3. You can also do a quick and simple google check to find out the name of the hiring manager.

If you have done all of the following, and you are still unable to figure out who to address your cover letter to, you can consider addressing it “To Whom it May Concern.”

You can address an unknown hiring manager with the following titles:

Dear Sir/Madam

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Human Resources Director

Dear Hiring Manager.