Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson was forced to step down last weekend due to a resume error; it seems that his resume claimed that he had a degree in computer science, when that was not the case. At GetHired.com, we’ve been following the story closely as a good example of the importance for job seekers of maintaining a clear picture of what information they are sharing with potential employers.
Seventy-five percent of people who are currently employed are actually passive job seekers who are open to being recruited by top employers and moving to positions with better pay and better benefits. This means that, whether you have a job right now, or not, the job market is competitive. So how can you differentiate yourself and continue to build a solid (and accurate) personal brand?
Here are some personal branding tips for today’s job seeker:
Be authentic. People relate to individuals who express who they are, not what they think that someone wants them to be. That said, if you are looking for a job online, make sure that the information that you portray in your social networks, on your blog, on your website, etc., is cohesive and authentic. Carry this into your personal interactions, including phone calls, video interviews, in-person interviews and more.
Take action! Job seekers tend to talk about what they think and what they believe during the hiring process. But, it shows strong character when these job seekers can actually provide examples of how they are in the real world doing those things. Having been there and done that makes you a more interesting candidate for any position, and it makes you an expert in ways that no online presence or resume bullet can do.
Get creative. Seek out platforms in your job search that help you to differentiate yourself. GetHired.com, for example, allows job seekers to create an online video introduction to their resume — and to respond to employer pre-screening questions by video or audio. This means that an employer not only sees the job seeker’s resume, but also sees who that job seeker is as a person beyond the 8.5” x 11” piece of paper.
Pay attention. Essentially, we build our personal brand by highlighting our personality and our skill set in every interaction that we have with others. Job seekers, especially, need to be aware that all of our interactions, no matter how small, are an extension of our personal brand. Whether it be a resume, a conversation, a video recording, a phone call or an update to a social networking site, it is important for all of us to embrace who we are and find a way to keep that version of ourselves accurate, professional and pro-active.
Above all else, look for ways to speak for yourselves in the job search. Had he been aware of what his resume was saying about him, Scott Thompson would not likely be in the situation he is in today. Do you agree?