Sunday, March 11, 2012

Be careful ... Your Facebook page may be showing what you are wearing under your clothes ---your “privates” ...

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well”. – Jeff Bezos

It had to happen soon. With the rapid and rabid growth of Facebook, it is not a surprise that someday one’s Facebook page will be used to “rank” them. This brings up the subject of your own personal brand and the critical importance to you in managing your brand on all levels. More on this in a bit.

What you put out there may be used to “rate” you in your career …. and you might not know it!

A recent study conducted by three universities, Northern Illinois University, University of Evansville and Auburn university, concluded that one’s Facebook profile may be a predictor of job performance. Students and professors studied a number of Facebook profiles of college students with jobs. The profile, photos, wall posts, comments, education and hobbies were rated and the raters were asked to rate on certain personality questions related to:

Emotional stability
Intellectual curiosity

Six months later the researchers matched their ratings against employee evaluations submitted by each of the employees supervisors.

The results? Raters found a strong favorable correlation between job performance and the Facebook ratings they applied. Favorable ratings were given to those who traveled, had more Facebook friends and those who had wide and varied interests. And what about those were indicated they party? It was not held against them and to a degree was beneficial as they were viewed as extroverted and friendly, deemed to a favorable job performance characteristics.

The whole practice of using social media screen job applicants is, at best, murky but you can bet your bottom dollar that it is done … routinely! The truth be told — before I meet with any new client be certain I have scoured any and all I can find through social media and Google so I am not surprised.

So what does this mean to you?

Everything you put out to any form of social media defines who you are —your brand - Be very aware of what your digital footprint looks like. Vanity Google yourself (search your name) and watch what is posted on Facebook or other like sites.
Drive for consistency – What you reflect on your resume must be consistent with your digital footprint, especially your profile on – where employers routinely go to find job candidates and to ” check” the consistency of applicants.
Control is most important – Lock down the ability for others to post photos or other information you cannot control to your Facebook profile or any other social media site.

What is your brand management?

Simply defined:

Managing your brand is planning and controlling the perception others have of you, in the workplace, business market, community and to those around you. It is defining the perception and impression you leave — on your own terms — before someone else does it for you which you cannot control. The brand you project is powerful and extends in the manner you communicate, present yourself, dress, project through social media, your resume and your voice.

If you are unsure of what others think your brand is, just ask them and drill down for candor. Don’t just ask one person – ask many and see if there is consistency. Be open-minded and not defensive.

The new word: Paralyzed

Just a short addition. When I meet or just talk to someone in the midst of a job or career change I usually hear the words confused, unsure, uncertain used to describe their career situation.

As of late, I am hearing a new word so frequently — paralyzed. Paralyzed and unable to see a vision of where they can succeed. Unable to not just find direction or even see the road signs! As a result they do nothing but beat themselves up inside.

If this is you please heed this advice: if you do not have clarity in your career direction, stop looking for a job until you get it. Seek the assistance of a career professional or do your research on the Internet (be very careful with career tests on the Internet … In many cases they are not valid and a sham). Whatever it takes, get clarity and direction first and then you will succeed.

And thank you for reading this. – Dan

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