Whether you are about to graduate from college or a veteran to the workforce, you have one- it may be a personal reputation or professional reputation or both. The question is, how do you market your reputation in a way that resonates with future employers?
Is Your Reputation the Chicken or the Egg
The answer SHOULD be, what people think of you. Perception is reality.
Your actions, behavior, attitude and personal characteristics are all parts of your reputation. They become intertwined.
All too often, we obsess over the skills we’ve acquired, and while skills are absolutely a part of your reputation for solving specific types of problems, how you go about solving those problems is really the differentiator. The job market is competitive. There are a ton of people with the exact same skills you have (and maybe more). But, no one approaches the problems quite like you. This is a really important component of your reputation.
“Flawsome” Is Memorable
Consumers don’t expect brands to be flawless. In fact, consumers will embrace brands that are FLAWSOME*: brands that are still brilliant despite having flaws; even being flawed (and being open about it) can be awesome. Brands that show some empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity, humor, and (dare we say it) some character and humanity.
In short, “flawsome” is the combination of flawed and awesome! Humans are both! How can you use empathy, humility, humor, character and humanity to showcase you? Does it feel risky? What if someone doesn’t like your imperfections or quirks? Like it or not, we all have them. Why hide them?
Ask Everyone How They Perceive You
You have friends, family, professors, colleagues, etc. They all know you. They all know you and see both the good and the bad.
Reach Personal Branding has a no-cost (15 day) assessment which can be emailed to your friends, family and colleagues, to help you get this feedback. It is called 360°Reach – Personal Brand Assessment but if you prefer to assess yourself in a vacuum, you can use this tool by Reach instead. Perhaps the best solution is to use both!
How and Where Will You Use Your Personal Reputation
Your unique or “flawsome” characteristics can and should be part of your LinkedIn headline and summary. They can also be incorporated into your pitch. Yes, they can even be part of your Twitter and Google+ bios.
As you can see, you’ll get a lot of mileage from this exercise.
Yes. Identifying your personal reputation can be difficult and maybe even a little uncomfortable. Will communicating your strengths and imperfections make you more memorable??? What do you think?