Tag Archives: reputation

Reputation matters, and finding it can find you a job

I was told, “I want to work in a Fortune 100 company.  That’s where the action is at.  Then I will really be going places.”  It could be true.  Just remember, Enron was in the Fortune 100 club too.

Size isn’t everything.  It seems that in every Fortune 100 company there will be whole divisions laid off or sold every year.  The CEO may call it pruning. The people in the division have more explicit names for it.

For you, the job seeker, company reputation is important.  It will make a difference in how other people view your career.  The reputation of the local division is even more important.  Your success will be tied directly to the local division’s performance.  The reputation of your new manager is critical.  He’s the one that will make your job paradise or purgatory.

If you go to the newspaper and internet you can find the official company news releases.  That’s what they want their reputation to be. For the people outside of their industry, it will really be their reputation.

Their reputation in the industry and in the community will not be too hard to find. Try calling some independent recruiters that work with the company.  If they submitted you there then they ought to already know the company reputation.  If they didn’t submit you, ask them about the company as you talk to them about your job search.  Independent recruiters talk to everyone going into a company and everyone leaving that company.  They know where all the skeletons are buried and which managers or departments are the best to work with.

Quiz anyone who has close contact with the company. Look up their competitors. It can be particularly interesting to talk to people who worked at competitors. How do you find these people?  Go to LinkedIn.com and search for company names in the “Person” search.

Suppliers and accountants are great sources. Expand your online search if it is a company you are very interested in.

Your search for their reputation can help you find other job openings too.  As you expand your circle of inquiry, more people find out that you are available.  Don’t forget to ask everyone who else you ought to talk to.  You may be surprised how important the comment of the friend of a friend can be.

Also call people doing the job you want in nearby unrelated companies. In many cases there are associations for your job.  Talk to the people running the association and those at the meetings. Ask them about reputation.  You want people from the same level you will be at because reputation can vary at different levels.  If you want to be a salesman, programmer or COO, the reputation of the company will have spread outside of their industry.

Make it a habit to do your “due diligence” as you start interviewing for a job.  Find out their reputation.  Contact people about the company.  It will help you select the right company with the right boss.  Your inquiries may also lead you to a different, better job.

Something To Do Today

Find out if there are any associations for your job or the job you are working towards.  Online search engines work well. Reference librarians are especially good at finding them. Go to your local library and ask for help.

Hiding real problems

If you’re afraid to let someone else see your weakness, take heart: Nobody’s perfect.  Besides, your attempts to hide your flaws don’t work as well as you think they do. (Morgenstern)

Does this make my butt look big?  No. Your butt looks big anyway.  Let me find something that makes people look at your smile.  It is ravishing.  They will never care about what you are sitting on.

More than one starlet has played an irresistible vixen on TV while 8 months pregnant.  How?  They focused on the everything above and below the swollen pregnant belly, and the actress stayed out of the tabloids until fully recovered. No one ever saw the belly.

If you have problems, even severe problems, you have to make sure the camera focuses somewhere else.

Common problems people want to hide are frequent job changes, being fired, bad references, a several year sabbatical from your field, not accomplishing much, working for a disreputable employer, an ogre boss, etc.

One way to hide problems is to point out what you did well.  If you switched jobs too much, create a resume format that draws the reader’s eyes away from your employment dates and to your accomplishments.   If you have bad references, you may want to emphasize how long you worked for a company so that those bad references will sound like sour grapes. If you left your desired field for a few years and want to get back, make those few years a one line entry, not a detailed account.  You may want to put your jobs in order at the top of your resume, but put the dates at the bottom of the resume in another section on the third page.

If your problem might get your hiring manager in trouble later, make sure he knows about it before you receive an offer.  If you are using a recruiter, tell him up front before he submits you anywhere.  If you hurt someone who is trying to help you, your bad reputation will be spread very quickly.

Accentuate the positive.  Make people’s eyes slide past the negative to get to the ravishing.  It’s a game you see every day on TV.

Leveraging Your Assets

Leveraging Your Assets

Yesterday I talked to a network technician who is supervising a few others.  He is earning just over $100,000 in salary.   The techs under him are stuck at $50,000 to $65,000 in salary.

So what’s the difference?  He knows what is valuable to his company.  Every week his job reviews always include a list of the ways he made money, saved money or speeded things up.  His resume is a list of the same things—his value to his company.  He knows how much money the guys on his team make for, or save, the company.  He knows how fast things used to get done and how fast they get done now.  He knows the retail price of every piece of software and hardware he buys and he shows how much his negotiations saved off that price.  He proves to his boss and puts on his resume exactly how often the network used to be down compared to today.  He also gives how much more it used to cost when 200 unionized assembly line workers stood around for half an hour each week waiting for the network to get fixed.

His current and past jobs are his most valuable assets.  Each year he gets $50,000 more than his coworkers.  Why?  Because he proves he is worth it every week.  He keeps his eye on what will make the biggest financial difference and tackles that problem.  The funny thing is that he definitely is not the best person technically on his team.  He’s the one who tackles and gets credit for the most valuable accomplishments.

Yesterday I asked you to make a list of things you did in each job that PROVE your will to succeed, your positive attitude and your desire to constantly improve.  Now that you have that list, here’s the next step.


Something To Do Today

You need to prove how valuable you are.  How do you compare to others doing the same job?  Prove it with solid numbers.  Have you improved a process? How much time does it save every day for how many people?  Do you do something faster than someone else? What does that translate into saved time and money over a month or year?  Have you brought in more work or new customers?  How much is that business worth in a year? Put down solid numbers.  Make good guesses if you aren’t sure.  Remember that 200 people saving ten minutes a day is worth a lot of money.  Estimate how much it is.

Next I’ll show you how to make this list of successes bring you a lot more money.

Your most valuable assets

Your Most Valuable Assets

This true story directly applies to your job search.

The heir apparent of a large family company was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Africa by his brothers. As a slave he rose to be the president of a large privately owned company. Then, falsely accused of a crime he was imprisoned. In prison he soon became the deputy warden, running the whole place. Eventually his hard work was recognized and Joseph became second only to the pharaoh of Egypt. Finally, his brothers who originally sold him into slavery came and went to work for him.

Tumultuous? Yes. Fun? Not really. Slave and prison were terrible jobs.

Two assets were used in every situation to create a third asset.

1. His will to succeed. His attitude. His desire to constantly improve.

2. His current job, no matter how bad it was.

Those two assets were used to create a third asset.

3. A great reputation.

If you are still employed and want to find a new job, your current job is a valuable asset. If you are unemployed your previous job, part-time job and your job search (your current job) are valuable assets.

Over the next few days we’ll talk about leveraging your assets. We’ll talk about how to REALLY get a GREAT JOB.


Something To Do Today

Take your resume and make a list of things you did in each job that PROVE your will to succeed, your positive attitude and your desire to constantly improve. Tomorrow I’ll give you a way to leverage that information.