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Not Everyone Wants To Hire An Expert. Is Your Personal Brand Getting In The Way?

I have been sitting on this blog post for some time but a Tweet from my friend Steve Levy has me wanting to hit the publish button.

From @levyrecruits:

People were getting jobs before experts were yapping about brands

Yes they were. They still are and they will in the future too.

All of the gurus and experts at conferences, top selling business books and webinars say that “personal branding” is the key to ones career path.

While I get that finding a job or next consulting gig is decided to a large extent on who you know (knows) and what they know about you this has gone too far.

Too damn far.

Let the mini rant begin...

Ask yourself this, of the people getting hired are they all (most) online? Of course not.

So many profiles and resumes have guru, expert, thought leader, pro, speaker, top ________, jedi, ninja, etc that the coolness has been watered down or worse, cannot be backed up with real experience and results.

Yes, I teach people it is important to have a (to borrow and old school term) reputation it is possible and in some cases likely your personal brand is costing you opportunities.

Let me repeat this, your personal brand may be costing you a job.

What I am about to say focuses on those looking for full time, W2 jobs. Not (wannabe) Consultants.

Not every job needs to be filled by an expert. Very few do.

You and I need to swap seats for a moment and you need to be a recruiter or an employer.

Do you really need every employee to have super brand power? Do you need everyone to be an expert in their field? Do you need everyone to be a speaker, blogger or podcaster? Do you want your staff to all be accessible online by your competition?

Of course not.

Now be a manager.

Sure you want to have “top talent” but you also need someone to actually do the work. You need someone who can fit well in the group and sometimes (frequently) egos are involved. You may not want someone who is more “known” than you are after all, you have an ego too.

The next time you are writing your blog, showing how smart you are with links on your Facebook profile, writing that over the top ego filled speaker bio and creating the presentation that is all about you and your logo think for a moment...

Is this helping or hurting me?

Can I actually do what I say I can?

Do I sound like an arrogant jerk?

And finally... objectively, would I want to call me?

Having a personal brand (I still like reputation) is an asset but be sure it turns people on to you, not off.


Sarah Gasparini

Those of us who have "subtle" branding thank you for your rant.

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