Career Development Your Brand

Why the Job Market is like Amazon.com

The Importance of Personal Brand Reputation

I have always said that the job search process is a marketing process.  Employers are the shoppers and job seekers are the products.  Which product an employer chooses is influenced by the marketing collateral (resumes, cover letters, portfolio), the sales pitch (interview), product testing (personaity tests, skills assessments) and product reputation (Letters of recommendation, references, referal).  Given that most empoyers fill open positions internally or through candidate referals, it is safe to say that one’s reputation is perhaps the biggest influencer of an employer’s decision.  Consider all the trouble employers go through just to evaluate your reputation.  Employers do background checks, credit checks, reference checks, drug screens, and even do social media background checks.

The Similarity Between Hiring and Purchasing

When consumers make purchasing decisions, they make educated guesses on what they think the best product will be because there is no way to be absolutely sure a product will live up to one’s expectations.  However, consumers make educated guesses based on all the data they have available, including other consumers’ opinions.  Employers face the same dillema when hiring.  Employers aren’t absolutely sure the candidate they select is going to work out which is why they go through a rigorous hiring process  Thus, if a candidate comes recommended from a trusted source, it is more likely an employer will choose that candidate just as consumers trust the opinion of a friend when purchasing an expensive item.

What’s Your Product Review Rating?

If the job market is like Amazon.com where employers are the shoppers and job seekers are the products, what do your product reviews look like?  If an employer were to look at your product reviews, would they see a five star rating or would they see a single star rating?  Would you be a reliable, well-trusted brand known for quality and high performance or would you be a lemon with lots of customer complaints?  A job seeker’s reputation has always been important, but in the age of social media, reputations are public.  Think of yourself as a brand vs. a job seeker and see how it changes your behaviors and your performance at work and in school.  If you realized you were a brand, perhaps you would leverage that awareness to build a better brand.  I think most people don’t think of themselves as brands which is why some people don’t fully understand the repercussions of poor etiquette and poor performance in the workplace and in college.  Now that you are aware, what type of pride will you take in building your brand?

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