The value of building your own authentic brand was highlighted in a competition run by a leading job portal in March. Four winners of the Careers24 #FashionYourCareer competition were taken for makeover days in Sandton City and Tyger Valley Centre. They also worked with a CV writer to help them find their unique professional styles and language.
“South Africa is incredibly diverse and this concept came about as we’ve noticed that many professionals find the urge to transition between who they are as an individual and who they are at work,” said Shaun Clarke, brand manager of Careers24.
“We wanted to highlight the fact that people don’t have to sacrifice their individuality in their respective workplaces, but can embrace and build on their unique brands in a professional manner. We asked people to send us an email giving us reasons why they should get a professional makeover.
“We chose four people, nationally, to assist them to build a character-reflecting wardrobe, as well as verbalise and document who they are, what value they bring, and what experience they have – to a CV, interview or career advancement opportunity.”
Each winner received a session with professional CV writer and job search coach, Gerard le Roux and a makeover with professional stylist Leigh Sussman of My Dream Wardrobe.
“People often require assistance in portraying their own personal style when it comes to their work wear,” said Sussman. “While there are many stores with extensive corporate wear sections, it can often be daunting for someone to put on an outfit without knowing how to put their own stamp on it to showcase their personalities.
“We managed to achieve our goal of taking four individuals, all different in many ways, and ensure that each of them walked away with a wardrobe they felt unique and empowered in.” The two Gauteng winners were Hamilton Zabane and Boniswa Zuma.
“I feel like I’m dressed for success. I feel like I can be anything I want to be now,” Hamilton Zabane, finance intern from Daveyton, said after his makeover.
“I feel very happy. I’m speechless! I feel like a CEO. I feel like a boss,” was Zuma, a jobseeker from Soweto’s first reaction. Two winners from the Western Cape, Michelle Freudiger of Plumstead and Nazlie Dalwai from Belhar in Cape Town were treated to shopping and a style makeover at Tygervalley Shopping Centre.
“We hosted Michelle and Nazlie with huge support from our retail tenants,” said Laretha Blom, marketing manager of Tyger Valley Shopping Centre. “We had real buy-in from big-name brands who assisted with pre-shop selections and fitting spaces and provided the winners with professional advice and exceptional care at their make-up counters.
“We really enjoyed having the opportunity to support an initiative that directly communicates to us all how we can ‘be ourselves’ and be professionally valued.”
This competition came at just the right time for me,” Dalwai said. “I have been on a journey to rebrand myself and I really appreciate the help I have received from Gerard, Leigh and of course Careers24.”
“I feel amazing,” said Freudiger. “This is a big transformation for me, but the look is chic, elegant and I absolutely love that my wishes for a conscious wardrobe were considered in this process.”
Clarke concludes: “The entries were all so strong, it was difficult to choose. It’s inspiring to live in a country that has such talent, potential and drive.”
Watch the full videos of the various makeovers here: