Your Online Presence and Success

Competence is one of the four keys to career and life success in my Common Sense Success System.  I also discuss it in some detail in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success; Your Success GPS; and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to succeed you need to develop four basic, but important competencies: 1) creating positive personal impact; 2) becoming a consistently high performer; 3) dynamic communication skills; and 4) becoming interpersonally competent. 

There are four key competencies that will help you become a career and life success:

  • You have to be able to create positive personal impact.
  • You have to be become an outstanding performer.
  • You have to be a dynamic communicator – in conversation, writing and presentations.
  • You have to build strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the important people in your life.

You create positive personal impact in three ways: 1) creating and building a unique and powerful personal brand; 2) being impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line; and 3) knowing and following the basic rules of etiquette.

I was reading an article in October 2009 issue of Laptop Magazine called “Manage Your Online Rep.” It ended with this piece of advice…

Staying offline is impossible.  So keep things classy, or you may be passed over for a job that you’re otherwise perfect for.  Actively manage your on line reputation.  Don’t just let it happen.

Now, that’s some common sense advice!

I used to think that it was important enough to look good – dress nicely and be well groomed.  In today’s world however, that’s only part of the presentation of self equation.  You have to pay attention to how you come across on line.

The article told an interesting story…

A PR executive was evaluating the resumes of two strong candidates.  Social media experience was a must for the job.  One candidate was a blogger, the other a big Twitter user.  However, when the executive read the first candidate’s blog, she found that it was filled with grammatical errors and awkward sentence structure.  She eliminated the candidate as a result.  Even though the blog wasn’t a professional blog, she felt that the candidate’s writing ability wasn’t strong enough for her agency.  The other candidate tweeted about being bored at work.  She didn’t get the job either.  The executive said, “Both candidates engaged in social media, a requirement for the job, but neither of them did it in a manner that positioned them well professionally.

“Whoa,” you might say, “that blog and those tweets were personal, they shouldn’t count against the applicants.  Maybe so, maybe not.  The important thing is that they did.  And they will continue to do so in the future.

Susan Heathfield, an HR expert puts it pretty bluntly…

“Every employer who is worth their salt Googles potential employees, and employers who say they don’t are not telling the truth.”

While I’m not going to call anyone a liar, I know a lot of HR people in a lot of companies all around the country – and they all Google anybody they think they might want to invite in for an interview , let alone offer a job.  It’s become the second step in the hiring process – right after reviewing a resume.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are competent.  Creating positive personal impact is one of the competencies that successful possess.  You create positive personal impact by building and nurturing your unique personal brand, being impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line, and knowing and following the basic rules of etiquette.  Your on line reputation is very important these days.  Employers will Google you before inviting you in for an interview.  Make sure that on line persona presents you in the best possible light.  Create a Google profile – it will be the first thing to appear when someone enters your name into Google.  In this way, you can better control what others see about you on line.

That’s my take on how your on line persona can help or hinder your career.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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