Whether you’re starting a new job board or you’re giving yours a fresh coat of paint, it’s important to think about your branding.
For some people “branding” just means a logo and a name, but it can encompass a lot more than that. Visual graphics and their placement, as well as messaging and content all contribute to the brand of your job board or recruiting platform.
The following list may cover more (or less) than what you really need, but it should help guide your process. If you already have everything you need, let this list help you to organize it all into a cohesive branding package that makes it easy to use your branding as you create new content and promotions.
- Brand Name: This is the most basic element, but it’s important to be consistent with it. If your job board’s brand name is “My Cool Job Board”, but you sometimes refer to it as MyCoolJobBoard or MyCoolJobBoard.com, pick one and use it consistently.
- Tagline: A few catch words that describe and reflect your job board’s brand.
- 140 Character Blurb: It may be the standard for Twitter, but it’s also another version of the “elevator pitch”. Sum up your brand and what it offers in 140 characters or less.
- Value Proposition: A value proposition identifies what exactly makes your product or service different, valuable, and useful. For job boards, you’ll need to create more than one. Come up with a valuable proposition for employers, another for job seekers, and a condensed version that combines both your users – your total package.
- Calls to Action: “Calls to Action” refers to anything that prompts and encourages your visitors to perform an action. For employers, one call to action might direct them to post a job or search for candidates. For job seekers, you may want to encourage them to sign up for job alerts or to upload their resume. Think of all the things you want your users to do, and come up with phrases, questions, or directions that will ask and/or tell them to accomplish them.
- Your Story: For many businesses, this takes the form of an “About Us” page, containing a short paragraph or two about the job board, maybe working in your value proposition and taglines. But it’s also an opportunity to tell a compelling story about why your job board exists, what you bring to it as its owner or manager, as well as a background on you, your business or organization. Don’t stay anonymous – be visible and be interesting.
- Services & Pricing: List the services and products you offer, their prices, why they’re worth buying, and any other relevant details. If you provide special or customized deals for employers, let them know that it’s an option and how to approach you about it.
- Logo Source Files (vector): Whether you’re hiring a graphic designer to craft something new or if you’ve had your logo for years, it’s important to keep track of the source files, usually in a vector format. The way I like to describe vector images is that they’re put together with math, rather than pixels, so you can resize them and still have a high-quality image without it turning fuzzy or pixelated.
- Multiple Sizes and Formats of Logos: If you know your website works best with a certain size image, save a version like that. Then, you should also save a larger, high-resolution version for other purposes. Save one that’s formatted for print, one that’s on a white background, another on a black background, and another on a transparent background. Have different sizes and formats of your logo available to you to save yourself some effort resizing or reformatting every single time you want to use it.
- Banners, Backgrounds, and Icons: This category belongs to those extra graphics that help enhance your visual branding. You might have a handful of images that you’ll use as banners, background images/patterns, illustrations, or icons that you can use to create advertisements, calls to action, or improve the look and feel of your job board.
- Colour Schemes: Your colour schemes will probably draw heavily on your logo, but should also be featured prominently on your website, icons, banners, and other images. Keep track of your colours in the form of a visual – an image or PDF of what they look like, along with HTML hex codes. If you plan to make use of print or put your logo on merchandise, also consider recording your colour scheme and what it looks like in Pantone, RGB (web), and CMYK (print).
Putting It All Together
- Social Media Profile Content: Social media profiles come in all shapes and sizes – some profiles may call for square images, others may let you use rectangular banners, etc. You might have cause to combine your logo with some of your banner images, icons, or other illustrations to help complete and embellish your profiles. (There are lots of cheat sheets out there to help you with this.)
- Calls to Action: A Call to Action doesn’t always just mean words, you can combine your text with your logo, images, or icons to create compelling and dynamic visuals that drive the behaviour you want.
- Banners & Ads: Have a few of these handy if you spend money on advertising, or even if you don’t! Use spaces on your website where someone else might place a third-party advertisement to promote your own products and services.
- Business Cards: Depending on how much you network in person, this may not be a necessity, but having a business card template ready for when you need one is a good idea.
- Letterhead: It may sound old-fashioned to some of you young, digital natives, but setting up your company letterhead should still be a no-brainer. Even if you only send documents as PDFs, have your branding and contact information on letters and files you send out. It will make the paperwork for both you and any other people or businesses you work with more professional and organized.