Too Late for Personal Branding?

Q: If you are already being considered by an employer for a new position, what can you do at that point for Branding?

This is a tough one. I would say that once you are in the interview process, there’s probably not a lot you can do to change their first impression of you. They have already seen your resume and application, and probably already Googled you. If you think they haven’t done an online search of you yet, you might consider updating your Linkedin profile and setting your privacy settings in Facebook so they don’t see things you don’t want them to. Otherwise, you should craft your brand for future opportunities.

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Andrew Krzmarzick

Great tip generally…folks need to have peripheral awareness of their online caricature. I have a Google Alert set up on “Krzmarzick” so that I can see where I pop up…also let’s me know what’s being said about my family, too


Jeff Ribeira

Pardon the cliche, but I’m a big believer in “there are no second chances to make a first impression.” I also wonder how well we as communities and educators are teaching the younger generation (specifically teenagers) how important and potentially damaging this is when it comes to landing a job once the carefree days of high school are over…

Rick Alcantara

Social media presents unique challenges to both job seekers and employers. Job seekers can use their social media profiles to reinforce their position as a specialist or expert in the field. Conversely, some misguided posts can tank their job prospects in seconds.

For employers, the use of social media for screening potential hires presents ethical and legal questions. For example, what happens if they make an unfavorable hiring decision based on unsavory but legally-protected information they see on your social media profile. Could their actions result in an EEO claim?

If you have the luxury of time before your interview, you can improve your online presence in the following ways:

  • On Facebook, limit access to “friends”. If you insist on keeping your page open to everyone, then create a group for employers/recruiters, assign industry contacts to the group and limit their access to certain areas of your page
  • On LinkedIn, update your profile to reflect current and relevant job-related experiences. Participate in industry forums to further position yourself as an expert.
  • On Twitter, simply pray that no one goes back months to read your rants about politics, sports, former employer, etc.
  • On Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon, share links to industry-related articles with your peers
  • On Scribd, post a library of original material that exemplifies your industry knowledge

Just remember, once you post something on social media it’s there forever. I suggest living by this golden rule: never post anything you’d be afraid to share with your grandmother.

Stephanie Slade

I try to drive traffic to the sites I have control over. There are a lot of other people with my name in the world (sadly), and not all of them are presenting the face I would like to show a potential employer. So I created an about.me profile, which I include in my email signature and on pretty much all my social media platforms. This (I hope) at least increases the chances that people wanting to learn more about me will see the info I’ve uploaded rather than the Stephanie Slades who are bikini models in Utah or high school juniors with MySpace profiles. I also try to stay active on Twitter, Tumblr, etc., in the hope that eventually those will become the links that turn up first when you search for me. Is there a risk involved in pointing people toward my personal information? Sure. But if someone doesn’t like my obsession with college football, there’s not much I can do about that. Plus, it makes me human, and do you really want to work at a place that expects you to be an automaton?