Tips to help maintain a solid reputation | Hawaii Jobs

Tips to help maintain a solid reputation

With Stevette Santiago

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Hawaii Chapter — Co-State Director; Y. Hata Co. Ltd — Director and Chief Administrator

Among the many variables a person is unable to control in life, one’s personal brand and reputation is something that can be managed. And in a time when companies are tightening their recruiting standards and buckling down on background checks, professionals in Hawaii also need to be mindful of the “coconut wireless” (or word of mouth) research. Good recruiters who understand social networking know how easy it is to find common connections through social media, and in the Islands, it’s common to ask friends of friends to disclose the truth about a potential job candidate — “off the record.”

Q. Isn’t it an old adage to not care about what other people think of you?

A. Indeed, but pay attention to the part of the question that says it’s an “old” adage. With all of the economic turmoil going on in corporate America today and with the vigilance in managing a company’s reputation, risk is at an all-time high. Customers want to do business with someone they can trust. Employees, whether they take on this type of accountability in their own personal lives or not, play a huge role in reflecting the brand of their company.

Q. How important is a person’s reputation when it comes to his/her career?

A. Reputation is everything. It is your personal signature of who you are and what you will offer to potential employers. Every single employee of a company serves as that organization’s brand ambassador, so, naturally, businesses will hire someone that will best represent them.

Q. How do I cultivate my reputation to help, protect or enhance my career?

A. Choose wisely in managing your persona at work, as well as outside of it. Sure, you’re free to do as you please during your personal time, but if you aspire to play a higher role, take on more responsibility and change your earning potential, how you conduct yourself in public — even outside of work — greatly matters.

If you’re on social media, so are corporate headhunters and recruiters, as part of their screening processes. It’s a false sense of security to think that just because your social media accounts are private that whatever you post cannot be publicly circulated. If you find yourself on a social media post or video that you regret, consider this your wake-up call, and re-evaluate your decisions so they reflect how you would like to be perceived.