Because hiring decisions, like purchasing decisions, are based on emotions and then rationalized with logic, anything we can use to emotionally engage with our target audience can be useful in our brand building and job search efforts.
As studies have shown that humans are hard-wired to respond to color on an emotional and physiological level, color can be a powerful (and often under appreciated) brand communication tool.
The Use of Color
Color can be used in various ways in your brand communications - in your business cards, presentations, online profiles, blog or site, email signature, resume or CV or other career marketing documents.
Color can also be used with what you wear or even things in your office or workspace. I often advise my clients to choose some a piece of clothing in their brand color (shirt, tie, scarf) or accent pieces (jewelry, pen, business card holder) that they can wear or use consistently enough that people will start to associate that color with them. And I always recommend that whenever there are photo opportunities (bio pictures, presentations at conferences where photos will be taken) those signature pieces be worn or used.
The Meaning of Color
When the right color or colors are chosen and used strategically they can strongly reinforce your unique message of value and exert greater influence on your target audience.
Hence it’s important that you understand the meaning of colors so you can choose one(s) aligned with your personal brand.
This infographic is not inclusive of all the meanings of all of these colors, but they can get you started thinking about which colors might be aligned with with message you are trying to send. (See links at the bottom of the article for more complete resources.)
The Meaning of Color Across Cultures
Although the way humans react to color is similar, we must recognize that individual reactions can be strongly guided by the culture in which a person was raised. And colors can mean different things across cultures.
So if you are looking to work abroad, it not only important to understand the meaning of the colors you’ll use in your efforts to build your personal brand. It’s also important to know the meaning of the color in your target culture so you are not inadvertently sending the wrong message to your target audience.
For example, many sources will tell you that the color of red signifies boldness, passion, energy and action. And in many eastern cultures it is a sign of good luck, celebration and prosperity. But in Russia it is a sign of revolution and in the Middle East it is sign of evil.
Or many sources will report that yellow sends a message of happiness and cheer. But in India yellow is it the color of merchants or commerce, in China and Japan it is a sign of nobility or royalty and in Egypt it is a sign of mourning.
Resources on the Meaning of Color and Color Across Cultures
EXPAT AND INTERNATIONAL CAREERS SUCCESS TIP: Review the color resources provided and choose one or two colors whose meanings are most aligned with your unique value or personal brand and your target culture. Then use those colors in as many of the ways mentioned in the article above as you can.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Megan Fitzgerald and Career by Choice can help you...explore international career options and find work abroad ~ understand your Personal Brand DNA® and how you perform at your best ~ clarify your personal brand so you can stand out and be sought after for top jobs overseas ~ develop marketing tools and strategies to communicate your unique expertise in a compelling way ~ strengthen your online reputation to attract employers and secure international jobs ~ become highly visible, recognized and well compensated for the value you create ~ overcome challenges and grow as a leader on international assignments ~ leverage social media to build your global online network ~ develop a global mindset ~ find an international career coach and experienced guide ~ conduct an international job search ~ optimize your choices and discover success abroad on your terms by being your best self. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~