You’ve spent a lot of time building your personal brand. Don’t ruin all of your hard work by doing any of these things:
No one likes a liar. And those folks who have built a well-respected personal brand tend to be the ones that fall the hardest when they’re caught in a lie (Tiger Woods, anyone?). You probably haven’t built your personal brand around being dishonest, so even a small fib can hurt the brand you’ve built.
Posting something incriminating
Thinking about posting a picture from that recent bar night with your friends? What about a ranting letter to the editor online? These can affect your personal brand in a negative way—even if you don’t think anyone will see it. Privacy settings and usernames only protect you to a certain degree, so it’s important to think, “What if this content become associated with my professional brand?” before you post. This includes blog comments, social media posts, and shared videos.
Doing something stupid
With so many services keeping online public records, you can’t hide anything anymore. If you make a bad decision in your personal life (or even, at times, professionally) it will be posted almost instantly to an online news source or law enforcement agency’s website.
Hopefully, knowing how these bad decisions can affect your personal brand and career will help stop you from making them.
What else can destroy someone’s personal brand in one day? Are there ways you can redeem yourself after making a mistake that negatively reflects on your personal brand? How?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.