Get Future Ready blog - Bianca

Bianca Miller

Speaking to my fellow panelists at the EY ‘Get Future Ready’ event, I found it very interesting that we had similar ideas around the importance of gaining new experiences, exploring opportunities and being visible within an organisation.

Our routes to our chosen fields were different but what remains the same is the commitment to personal development, the passion for our work and the strength which comes from an ability to adapt to the needs of the organisation. As a graduate, the business does not expect you to know it all - they expect you to come with a keen interest, humility to listen and ability to learn.

As a personal branding consultant, in my opinion, this will always be a key factor in the climb to the top. Being ‘future ready’ is largely about having a sense of self – what you can do, how you do it, what you do well and how you market what you do to those who need to know.

It’s important to recognise that people ‘see’ your personal brand – and form opinions on it - from the moment they meet you. Here are my tips to help you make the impression you want (think ‘PACK’).

  • Presentation. You have just seven seconds to make a first impression. Most of this will be based on visual information, so think carefully about how are you physically presenting yourself - what does your clothing, grooming and posture say about you?
  • Approach. Consider the signals that your body language (handshake, eye contact, etc.) sends when meeting someone for the first time – is it confident? Personable? Understand your target audience so you become the solution to the problem: e.g. the problem being there’s a job vacancy and you want to fill that position.
  • Communication. Whether face-to-face, over the phone, via email or on social media, everything you communicate can affect your opportunities. Your ability to listen well is just as important. Practice your elevator pitch - when you meet someone for the first time, are you able to introduce yourself in 30 seconds in a way that's interesting and compelling enough that they want to ask more about you?
  • Knowledge. You have knowledge and experience that is unique to you. Think through school and university, hobbies, sports or weekend jobs, and how you can utilise that experience to build your foundations and a good CV. Try to package this in a way that makes it interesting – how are you telling your story?

I believe strongly in having a commitment to your own development and creation of your personal brand, in addition to building relationships that will assist in your future. In a world full of distractions, one thing remains true and that is who you are – people buy people, so be the best version of yourself. As my business mantra goes ‘Be You, Only Better’ or as Oscar Wilde puts it ‘Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Taken’.

Bianca Miller-Cole
  • Bianca Miller-Cole

About the author

Bianca took her Business Management and Economics degree to a global management consultancy firm, where she became HR Advisor to a third of its 1000-strong graduate pool. She then formed The Be Group in 2012, a 360° personal brand development service that encompasses Be Branded UK, Be Employed UK and Be Styled UK. It became a Startups 100 business in 2013. Bianca was a mentor on the Brunel Buddy Scheme in 2013 and 2014 and she currently facilitates personal branding and employability workshops at the LSE, KCL, UAL and at City, Kingston and Southampton universities. Bianca's business proficiency and big personality took her to the final of The Apprentice 2014.