Reputation, Personal Branding, and Social Proof

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Your reputation is now called “Personal Branding” because you do have a degree of control over what other people think of you.

And you do have control over what you put on your “online real estate” (your profiles).  People who check out your profiles will form an opinion of you by what is on your profiles.

A job seeker or consultant’s job is to be visible online, to be known, liked and trusted.  Your reputation will affect the last three and you can manage it in your online visibility.

Branding is a marketing term that has crept into every day language.  Personal branding really means what our parents referred to as your reputation or “What will the neighbors say!  Make us proud!”  You can demonstrate your greatness online without bragging and then have your friends and connections endorse those things or even write recommendations (or you can help them do so by giving them a template).  Of course you will do it for them first!

As a recruiter, when I look at two potential candidates and one has 99+ endorsements for one of the skills I am looking for and the other has 2, I will be more interested in the one with 99+.  I know that the system can be “gamed”, but I will, at the very least, think that the first one actually knows how to use LinkedIn and is in the niche I need.

Now if  the first one is no longer interested in doing what 99+ people have endorsed them for, then they are using false advertising and we will both end up wasting our time.

Check your recommendations and endorsements to make sure that they are likely to encourage a recruiter to call you for the job you want, not the one you have not done for 10 years.

For a quick look at your Profile, Click Here

For something more in-depth, Click Here

 

What do you look like on social media?

social media is crucial

Social Media can make or break your chances of getting hired.  

Many people WILL look you up on social media like LinkedIn, G+, or even Facebook to see who you are, what you present, even what your politics are.

Hiring managers and recruiters will surely look at your social media presence.

I look up people I’m meeting in coffee shops so that I don’t have to bother people I’m NOT meeting.  Do you have your picture on your LinkedIn Profile or G+ Profile?  Can I tell it is you? Or is it you in the distance? Or do I need to figure out which of the 3 people in the picture is you? 

What will Hiring Managers and recruiters see?  

Do they have to dedicate hours to finding your last embarrassing picture from that party in high school? (which, of course, they won’t.)  Or is it right there, easy to find and perfect for trashing your chances of even getting a phone call for that professional job?  Of course you know to remove them, but what if someone else has it on their page and tags you?  What about Instagram or other, newer forms of social media?   

Or, if you graduated from high school before the internet preserved our mistakes for posterity, is your LinkedIn Profile skimpy?

Is it hard to read, making it impossible to imagine you doing what the hiring manager needs to have done? Or have you posted your grab-bag resume instead of choosing your words carefully? This is your personal “online real estate”.  It is your billboard and you want it to be at least presentable.  

Do you need help discovering “your” words?  Writing them in good “dragon-slaying” stories?  Knowing how to use the more interesting parts of the Profile? Did you know that you can put slides, pictures, documents, even videos on your LinkedIn Profile? How can use use this to be more easily found by the people who need your skills?

One of the tasks of the job seeker (or even consultant) is to be visible online, since that is where we go now to find people and solutions.  If you are afraid of identity theft or too many emails, there are certainly steps you can take.  If you never want another job or client, are now retired or being “kept” and are certain that life-as-you-know-it will not change in your lifetime, then don’t be visible!  But if you know that change is, protect your personal brand by keeping your social media serving your own best interests!   

Click here for some help!

Personal Branding = Your Reputation

 

Personal BrandingHere is an interesting post about Personal Branding

And here is another

Personal Branding is the early 21st century way to talk about your personal reputation.

How do others “see” you? That is your personal branding.  What have you caused them to expect from you?  Are you a giving person or a narcissist?  How do you demonstrate that?  Simply telling people that you are kind and competent will not work as well as telling some stories about the time you were astonished that no one stepped up to help someone, so you did.  Telling someone that you are a hard-worker is not nearly as good as talking about a time that you rose early for weeks on end to accomplish a goal that affected other people.

In the context of looking for your next job, your entire personal branding/reputation is your best tool.  

Why would someone want to work with you?  Why should a company hire you (from their point of view)?  What stories can you tell about what you have done, but even more importantly, what can you do now for them?  What can you give the person you are talking with right now that won’t cost you too much, but which they need, want and can appreciate?

Your personal brand is what will cause them to want to talk with you to begin with.

Think about how you pick someone new to get to know.  

First you have to be able to “see” them, either face-to-face or virtually.  If you don’t know that they exist, you won’t think to connect.

Then you need to get to know them better – not just a brief outline of their humanity, but a knowing of their personality.

You need to remember them.  We have all met people and then immediately forgotten them.  What do you want them to do so you can remember them?  Be kind?  Be useful?  Be interesting?  All of these?

You’ll need to like them.  If you don’t, you will avoid them, forget them, not spend any time thinking about them.  What can they do to help you like them?  Show interest in you?  Offer to help?  See you clearly?

Before you put your “baby” (be it your human child, your furbaby, your project or idea) into their hands, you need to trust them.  What do you need to be able to trust someone?  Information from other people who have already put a baby into their hands?  Social proof?  A recommendation?  Something that shows you that they are presenting themselves as they truly are?  That they can do what they said they would?

All of this adds up to their personal brand, whether they set out to provide you with it or not.  And it is the same with your brand, your reputation.  Where are you visible?  What do you do there?  Who do you meet and how do you stay in touch with them?  Is it about them or are you a narcissist and it is all about you and what you want?  You have to be especially careful about this when you have a “big need” like looking for your next job.  Vast neediness frightens people.  Even if they could fix it.  

So have you reviewed your personal brand lately?  LinkedIn is a great place to do this.  And I offer a LinkedIn Review service if you need some personal help.

Or Google yourself regularly – are you on the first page or are other people with the same name there first?

Reputation, Personal Branding, and Social Proof

Your Manners Produce Your Personal Brand

Did your mother teach you to “mind your manners”?

who taught you manners?

Today is Bring Your Manners to Work Day. While there are certain ways of behaving at work that are different from the casual manners of home, having and using your manners wherever you are is one of the ways to build your personal brand. Your personal brand used to be called your reputation. How do you want to be known?

 

Manners really are about respecting other people and demonstrating how you wish to be respected. If you treat the waiter, the receptionist or even the homeless person as “beneath contempt”, then how will you treat your employees or co-workers? Suddenly the respect you are showing for the hiring manager or the boss or the recruiter comes across as self-serving and even disrespectful.

 

When my children were young, I bought Miss Manners guide to etiquette. It’s a fun read, witty and strong. Someone said that manners are the way we choose not to kill each other. She has answers for all of your etiquette questions! And the lovely column in the Washington Post.

 

Do you find yourself annoyed by people who seem to have forgotten, if they ever learned, their manners?

Do you want to do business with the guy on the subway who takes up two seats because he spreads his legs so wide? Do you want to do business with the woman who, while supposed to be talking with you, is actually on her phone or her computer? Good manners are not limited to one gender or another, one class of people or another, one employment field or another. We can all speak from the place of strength that good manners give us.

Bring your manners to work day

Here’s some links to places where you can test your own business etiquette and check to see if perhaps you might be the one who is annoying those around you.

Bringing Manners Back: 4 Old-School Ways to Boost Your Business

Business Etiquette: 12 Tips to Improve Manners

Business etiquette for professionals

14 Tips on Business Etiquette: Setting a professional tone with co-workers, clients and customers

Guide to Business Etiquette & Workplace Manners

Business Etiquette: 5 Rules That Matter Now

8 Business Etiquette Tips Everyone Should Follow

What breach of etiquette annoys you the most? Please let me know in the comments below.

Please remember that both manners and kindness are strengths, not weaknesses.

Stop using the wrong words

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