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Building Your Brand at Work?


Building Your Brand at Work?

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Building Your Brand at Work?

Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest
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blandry
blandry
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One of my pet peeves with technologies today is that the generations that came after mine will buy anything if its "cool", even if in fact its almost totally useless. For example, one of my staff recently bubbled over showing the gang how he had just gotten a new app for his iPhone. Its a compass. As the guys gathered around his cubicle to see a demonstration, I walked by and then asked "Do you actually need a compass?"... Silent pause... "I mean are you planning to trek into the wilderness?"... Longer pause... And sure enough, it became pretty clear that this group of guys was excited about something they had no particular use for. Sure, its cool to see a compass on a phone - but whats the point? Coolness? Pretty silly if you ask me.

Now I dont know how every other company in the world screens applicants, but I know in our case I have about 30 seconds with each resume that comes across my desk. Yes, digitally, but in our last two hiring incidents we got a vast amount of responses and I just dont have time to visit web sites and blogs. I look at a resume, keying on skills we need, checking how well (or not) the resume is written and assembled, and from there I am narrowing down who we will move to the second phase.

When we have a few candidates we want to see, I DO NOT want to read web pages - I want to meet the person, IN PERSON. I dont hire web pages, blogs, or for that matter resumes - I hire people. And I dont know one single collegue who has ever hired a web page or blog, or for that matter resume.

Your editorial seems to suggest that people have vast amounts of time to wade through web pages and blogs. It further suggests that somehow, someone is going to build a "brand" and some hiring person like me is going to go "Oh WOW!!! I must hire this person!!!" - Nope, nada, zilch - has NEVER happened. And with respect, I dont know and have never heard a single time anything close has happened either from collegues or simply hearing about such a thing.

Again with respect, if you want to get hired here and most places I have worked and know of in my career, you have ONE goal - get a face to face interview and then in that, do all your dazzle and impress-me stuff. THAT is where I would be happy to see your web page, or hear about your blog. But I dont have the time to wade through that stuff when doing intial screening.

Like it or not, with all the wonderful and sometimes totally useless technology - one thing has not changed....

People hire people. They dont hire web pages. They dont hire resumes. Get the face to face interview - thats where your "brand" matters and will make or break you.

There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
jcrawf02
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Respectfully disagree with blandry. Sort-of.:-P

Except for the 'useless tech toys' part, that I agree 100%. And yet I still want one every time.

Agree that first look isn't to the web page/blog, but if linked from a resume that I'm even slightly interested in, would copy/paste into a browser to see what I get.

Quick glance should be enough to see whether this person is trying to build upon their online experience or not. Mention of associations, seminars, speaking engagements, etc.

Wouldn't bother to read it in depth probably until maybe the last couple candidates were up for the choice.

Jon

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Andy Lennon
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I don't think Steve meant to suggest that blogging or forum posting will get you a job on it's own; merely that it can help.

for instance: a new dba position has opened up in your company and you've received 30+ plus applications. Clearly you are first going to be giving the resumes at least a quick check to narrow the candidate pool down. Say you manage to narrow it down to 3-5 candidates. you notice that two of them have blogs/webpages/what-have-you. prior to an in-person interview (or even after, if those turn out to be a close call) you decide to check these out. One of them is a personal blog; there's entries about sports events, home improvement projects, funny stories about the neighbors, etc.
The other blog is all about SQL: theory, best practices, thoughts on new technologies/features, maybe even a horror story or two from a previous job ("attack of the semi-informed users!"). at this point the second person has a serious advantage. their personally produced material online demonstrates a great interest in their field. that can make all the difference.

with forum postings, there's a good chance you can help other people, too. philanthropy looks really good. :-)

Editor's Note: i used "their" rather than "his/her" in a couple places because, despite it being grammatically incorrect, "his/her" is just ugly to read or write IMO.
GSquared
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Mentioning my SSC participation on my resume got me an interview a while back. Definitely helped. (My asking price was more than they could afford, so I didn't get the job, but the reference on the resume did help get the face-to-face to happen.)

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GilaMonster
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Meaning that can you answer questions in a forum at work? That's building your brand, and arguably your employers as well. Can you edit a presentation at work that you'll be giving at a user group or some other event? Often we disclose our employer and position, arguably giving them stature and exposure to other technical professionals. Can you blog at work? That's something I think happens more and more.


Depends greatly on the company and the culture.

As an example, my last company (a bank) I was permitted (and in fact encouraged by my boss) to spend some time on the forums each day but I was not permitted to blog from work at all and working on presentations was not allowed at all unless they were to be delivered in-house only.

Now that I'm consulting, my blog, forum postings, usergroup and conference presentations are considered an asset to the company and are encouraged. If I want to take a couple days off a project to work on presentations or articles there's no problems. My MD proudly tells clients and potential clients that I present at overseas conferences. One of my colleagues promotes the local usergroup when he does training. It's been the deciding factor to secure clients a couple of times. In fact, recently someone went from reluctant to enthusiastic about my involvement in a project after reading my blog. So total different attitude to the bank.

Gail Shaw
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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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People hire people. Interviews are where a candidate makes an impression. But when narrowing down who to bring to an interview, or in who a recruiter can help sell to a manager as someone to interview, the brand helps. It makes someone stand out.

It's a way of checking a reference, of seeing what a person does or is involved in. It allows you a chance to pre-interview and pre-screen candidates. If you're not using it, blandry, I think you're missing out. It can help you to make a decision about which 3-5 people are worth your time to bring in.

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Andy Leonard
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I've seen Steve's presentation in total recently and heard snippets before that. He uses "some guy from Virginia" in some of his examples - other than that, it's great! ;-)

Seriously, I've heard the objections to social media from enough folks in technology to recognize it isn't for everyone. Detractors are finding themselves in a decreasing minority.

We're in the technology field. If change bugs you, you're in the wrong business (in my opinion).

I've seen enough social media detractors of the past embrace the technology to validate social media as good and useful - at least for them. Everything can be abused and misused, and not all facets of anything appeal to everyone.

:{> Andy

Andy Leonard
Data Philosopher, Enterprise Data & Analytics
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