Have you considered what you can do to help build a positive brand reputation for yourself and your organization?

We have previously talked about many aspects of how to advance your security career. This includes having a thorough understanding of both soft and operational skills sought after by organizations. The ability to execute on these attributes is valued when companies look for top talent for senior level security roles.

While these are important, there are other ways you can favorably build your personal brand as well as that of your employer. Your HR department’s recruitment and applicant management strategy may offer some insight.

Several recent studies suggest a correlation between a candidate’s view of a company’s brand reputation and desirability as an employer based on their experience having applied for a job with the employer. There is a growing belief these interactions also have an impact on the organization’s product sales.

If a candidate feels they have been treated poorly either through electronic or personal contact with a company in which they were interested in working for, they are less likely to purchase products and services from that company. This perceived negative interaction may also be shared with friends, family, professional colleagues and social media networks.

To understand the extent of this impact, consider the number of positions and applicants a company manages during a year. Now consider the potential extent and frequency of the negative experience being expressed both in conversation and online. Some reports suggest that over half of candidates will share a negative experience online with a similar percentage saying that they will not pursue a company with negative reviews online.

Security leaders often receive solicitated and unsolicited resumes and phone calls from job seekers. How you handle and manage the interactions will have an impact on both your organization and potentially your personal brand reputation.

Time is often a major factor in your ability to respond. However, any courtesy you extend will be positively remembered, even many years later. Personal, handwritten letters are almost obsolete, but you can utilize email and online communication to acknowledge someone who has reached out to you.

As part of your personal brand reputation and career strategy, we recommend you take advantage of any opportunity to be remembered in a positive light. You can develop several versions of well-written responses and send the appropriate version in response to a career inquiry. This will create a positive impression of professionalism for both you and your organization.

If someone sent a letter by post, it would be nice if your response is via the same method. A job search is a difficult and frustrating experience. It is emotionally draining. Receiving an acknowledgement perhaps with a few words of encouragement will be long remembered.

You will cross paths with many of the same security practitioners multiple times during your career. The one consistency in the security industry is change. While you may be secure in your role today, you may be the one making the inquiries next month. Courtesy and kindness always deliver positive returns.