Guarding Your Professional Brand

It goes without saying that companies need to be very careful about their brand, something Conquent takes very seriously. And I always counsel candidates and career services clients to portray themselves and their personal brand carefully especially online.

But it’s just as important for the individuals in a business/organization to guard their own brand; in this case, it is twofold. As both a representative of the organization, but also as a professional in their own right.

This whole thought is forming from a LinkedIn Question that was posted under "recruiting and staffing". A Director of Recruiting Services asked the question "Is it legal to check a candidate’s employment history without their permission?"

OK, first of all if you are a *director* in any profession, you should be an expert on the basic legal compliance issues of your industry. This particular individual has just destroyed all credibility as a knowledgable professional.

Second, putting this sort of a question out on a forum such as LinkedIn smacks of laziness. There are numerous free resources on the internet to consult with, especially in the US with the Department of Labor. I have a few pet peeves with the use of community sites for "quick fix" questions, so I admit a bias in that regard. I moderate a 3700+ member global Yahoo Group and I regularly post reminders to search the archives before posting a common question.

Finally, putting all these impressions together creates a picture of a minor-league "professional" with very little business sense, no idea how to utilize the plentiful resources out there, and a time drain on colleagues and other professionals in our industry.

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