Today, I spoke to Jacob Share. Jacob is the job search expert who created JobMob in 2006, growing it to become one of the Top 3 blogs in the world about finding jobs, having attracted well over 2 million page views last year alone. Going back to 2009, Jacob is the longest-appearing blogger on The Personal Branding Blog other than its creator, Dan Schawbel. Jacob is also the founder and SVP of Share Select Media. He has been recognized as one of the world’s leading 60 Personal Branding experts on Twitter.
Mohammed: How can we keep our offline character authentic with the online presence? Do you think we need to mask some brand attributes such as humorist, honesty, shyness, etc. when we connect to the Internet?
Jacob: I don’t like telling people to hide things. We all have flaws and make mistakes (which is ok!). Rather, emphasize your strengths and let everything else fade into the background. This is definitely easier to do online, where you can pause to think before publishing anything, than in real life where your gut reaction might not always be what you hope it is. How to keep both synchronized?
1) By not trying to hide anything.
2) By choosing a personal brand that fits you like a glove. In other words, the less your personal brand is an act, the less conscious effort it will take for you to build it.
Mohammed: What are your favorite ways to monitor what’s being said about you? And how do you utilize the online conversation to brand yourself and your company?
Jacob: My branding focus is mainly on myself and the best way I do that online is through JobMob, the other places I publish such as The Personal Branding Blog, and my social media activity. I generate a lot of brand-building content, which is likely to drown out anything else about me. That said, you can never be too careful, so it is important to monitor your online reputation regularly. For that, I like to keep things as simple as possible:
1) Create Google Alerts on your full name and any other specific keyword phrases related to your personal brand
2) Do a Twitter search on your twitter id and full name, and subscribe to the RSS feed of the results so you can get updates whenever that search has newer results
3) Check your social network & email inboxes at least once a day
There are many tools you can use to monitor your brand and it’s very possible there’s one that could simplify this strategy for me even further, but I have yet to find such a tool that was as accurate.
Mohammed: Strong online reputation or strong offline resume? who will win in the upcoming years? and why?
Jacob: I don’t look at it that way. Your online reputation isn’t against your offline resume; everything needs to flow together as part of the same personal brand. The more important angle is the one that employers are more likely to see first. Before the Internet, the resume was the typical way job candidates were introduced to a company. Since background checks required extra work, many people were able to have their embarrassing work histories overlooked. That would be much harder to do today when employers can and will Google candidate names, searching for reasons to quickly reject candidates more often than not. The role of the resume is changing and it’s becoming more and more important for your Google search results to back up your resume’s message.
Brand word: Personal branding has always existed even if we didn’t call it that. The people who’ve met you all have an impression of you. The question is whether they have the same image, and if that image is a positive one. Using both online & offline tools, it’s easier than ever to continuously project and reinforce the desired impression of yourself so that people remember you the way you want them to.
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