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Watch Your Mouth

August 29, 2012

It’s one way to control what you say

I give a talk on branding and resumes that has been well received over the last few years. In it I cover the ways in which you can use networking, blogging, and other ways to improve the chances that employers will want to hire you. There are lots of jobs available, and lots of candidates, but finding a good fit is hard. I would argue that disclosing more about yourself, and your interests, is a good way to help find a good fit with an organization.

One of the cautions I raise in my presentation is that you should be aware of how you present yourself, and the impressions you make. There are no right or wrong ways to do this, but there are ways that reflect differently on you to different people. As such, I do urge you to think about the implications of your actions, your posts, and the way in which you communicate with others. If you are looking for a job, it doesn’t make sense to unnecessarily restrict your options because of the things you say or write.

I ran across this slide show on profanity and cursing at work. I’m not offended by off color language, but some people are, and they often won’t let you know that you’ve created a poor impression. If the data is accurate, the majority of people think regular cursing creates a negative impression. Whether you think it’s a lack of control, unprofessional, or anything else, it still is a negative impression. It’s also one of the things that caused some HR groups to eliminate candidates.

These days there is competition for jobs, and if you find the job you really like, do you want to diminish your chances because of a few colorful words? You have the freedom in the US to say what you want, and I support that, but you also get the responsibility of handling the consequences. I’d argue a few colorful words aren’t worth giving someone a reason to choose another equally qualified candidate over you?

Steve Jones


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