Personal Branding: Lessons from GLEE

By Wendy J. Terwelp, Career Coach, Brand Strategist

On Tuesday’s episode of Glee, Sue Sylvester tells two students, “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to put in a call to the Ohio Secretary of State notifying them that I will no longer be carrying photo ID. You know why? People should know who I am.”

Do people know who you are? The right people?

While you may not have the need of Ms. Sue Sylvester, who feels everyone should know who she is, it’s important to have the right people know who you are.

Who are those right people? Here are some tips to identify them – and make the connection.

1. Know your career goal. The stronger focus you have on your goal, the easier it is to attain it.
2. Know the industry you serve. Target 25 companies.
3. Who needs to know about you in this industry? Make a list.
4. Who are the key players? Check professional organizations – and join! Attend meetings regularly. Play a key role. Get connected to the key players.
5. Know what you bring to the tables others do not. Think about it like this, why should someone hire you? What skill, ability, RESULTS, have you achieved that would motivate your new and current connections to open up their contact database and give you names? Share the reason with them.

Next, make the call!

Want more tips? Check out Rock Your Network® for Job Seekers.

Did you miss Glee? Here’s a link to the episode on

PS: Lots more about personal branding in this episode – check out the last song by Mercedes.

Job Search Follow Up: There’s a Right Way

When I was a recruiter, candidates sometimes called our company a few times a day asking if we found anything yet. Sometimes it was once a day, every day during the week. Interestingly enough, these were for all levels of positions, including high level professional positions (I specialized in placing IT and sales executives).

This extreme follow up is annoying and definitely the wrong way.

In a conversation with an executive recruiter the topic of “annoying versus professional and persistent” follow-up techniques came up in the conversation.

What’s the right way? A value-focused phone call that leaves the employer wanting more.

Old way: “Hi, I’m calling to see if you received my resume.” BORING.

Better Way: “Willamena Herzog it’s Fred Smith. I’m calling to see if you had a chance to take a look at my resume and to mention I am very interested in the sales position. When I researched your company, I saw that you sell the XWY Widget 1000. This is a core area of my expertise. In the past year, I sold more than $1 million worth of this product. I’d like to do the same or better for you. Please give me a call between 2 and 4 p.m. Tuesday and I’d be happy to answer any of your questions.”

Using this strategy, you indicated your value, interest in the position, AND the best time to reach you. This technique also helps avoid playing phone tag.

When following up with recruiters, Laurie Purcell of Key Search recommends contacting recruiters no more than three days after emailing a resume. She recommends waiting no more than one week before following up with employers.

Challenge: Check your list of targeted employers. Have you followed up? If not, make a call or send an email. Be sure to communicate your value, interest, and best time to be reached. Stand out from the crowd.

© 2006 – 2010 • Wendy J. Terwelp • Opportunity Knocks™ • All rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp,, has helped thousands of clients get hired faster and be rock stars at work since 1989. A recognized expert on networking, both online and off, Wendy has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Fast Company, The Business Journal,,, and more as well as numerous radio shows. She has published hundreds of articles on the web and in print and most recently wrote the ultimate networking book, “Rock Your Network®.”

Interview Wardrobing on a Budget

Normally I’m all about recommending my favorite personal shopper at Macy’s to clients for interview attire. (Picture Stacy London & Clinton Kelly of TLC’s “What Not to Wear.”)

Not everyone has that kind of budget.

Here’s what to look for at resale shops, second-hand stores, and places like The Bottomless Closet, Goodwill, and St. Vincent DePaul:

1. Name brands. Yes, people donate real name brand clothing like Brooks’ Brothers, Chaus, Eileen Fisher, Ralph Lauren, etc. Look for good quality brands. They tend to be more classic in style as well.

2. Current style. Some resale and consignment shops require donors and consignment clients to provide CURRENT styles — one or two years’ old tops. (Note: Anything that looks like the REAL ’80’s forget it!)

3. Good fabric. Say goodbye to polyester and hello to cashmere, wool, and cotton. Real fabrics like these demonstrate quality.

4. NO shoulder pads. Shoulder pads are always a risk. They’re usually way too big! And that screams DATED.

5. Lapels – watch out. Check out current magazines, fashion websites, etc. BEFORE you shop. This way you are on track and in style when you choose your blazer.

6. Skirt length – check it. It must be current. Not too short, not too long. Preferably one inch above the knee at the highest, at the knee at the lowest.

7. Wear and tear are NO-NOs. Many people donate good quality items – and sometimes new items. Check for original tags. Check sleeves, cuffs, and necklines for wear. Don’t forget to check the pits. Yes, I said it.

8. Shoes. Sometimes you can get quality shoes for cheap. Be sure the style is CURRENT. The fit is solid on your foot. The wear and tear are minimal to ZERO. And that they are good quality leather, so you can polish them up.

9. FIT. Try it on at the store. Yes, you must. Fit is mission critical in selecting potential interview and work clothing. If it’s close and you have to have it, get it tailored.

Good luck hunting!

Here’s a cool event happening that benefits YOU and the community:

Spring Cleaning Sale at The Bottomless Closet!

Items priced from $2 to $10

  • Suits
  • Jackets/Blazers
  • Dresses
  • Slacks
  • Tops
  • Shoes and Accessories


5/6; 10AM – 3PM

5/7; 10AM – 3PM

5/8; 10AM – 3PM (bag sale; $5.00 per bag)

All sales are final, credit card accepted for purchases.


6040 West Lisbon Avenue, Suite 101 • Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53210

P: 414.875.9290 • E:

Bottomless Closet also accepts donations. Their clothing benefits low-income women looking for work. Please bring work attire, should you wish to donate.