Photo by marshmallow
Two campers come upon an angry bear. The first says, "I'm glad I wore my running shoes." The second says, "you can't outrun the bear." The first says, "I don't have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you."
Having coffee with a friend, we talked about a former co-worker who was a great co-worker, and a lousy employee. Funny, smart, always glad to give you a hand, and never motivated to take care of any of his own responsibilities. I've also worked with the flipside, the employee who always puts the company first, but always eats lunch at their desk, disapproves of other employees, and dampens any company event.
In this job market, you'd better be a good employee and a good co-worker. There are enough candidates for any job that you're not just trying to appear capable of the job, you need to look better than everyone else who is qualified for the job. Part of that is looking like a real person that would be fun to have around the office.
If you had a chance to follow the Apple Corporate Blog, or Steve Job's Blog, which would you follow? The challenge of being spokesperson for a company is that you don't want to offend anybody, but if you don't use your authentic voice, can you produce anything other than bland mush? The same is true of your resume. How are you going to stand out? Whenever I look at a resume I always scan straight to the bottom to look for the interests section. It gives me a way to start talking with them about a passion topic, and get them loosened up before we get into the work questions. Think about this when choosing how to present yourself professionally on the web--there's room for your interests and hobbies there too. Lead with the resume, sure, but you don't need to hide your photo stream.
It goes without saying, if you're into unusual sexual stuff, you can leave that off. But if you worked for the RNC, or raised money for Obama, and that was important to you, put it on there. If someone would reject you for a job because that's on there, would you really want to work there anyway? Companies have cultures, and I know you need a way to make a living, but don't subject yourself to misery every day for the sake of a job.
Personal Brand is human, despite that awful word "brand". Your professional skills and experiences make you a good employee. Your common humanity is what makes you a good coworker. One of my favorite Japanese artworks is a teacup that cracked when it was being fired in the kiln, and rather than throw it out, they filled the crack in with gold.
Get the interview, qualify for the job, and then look like you're more fun to have around than the others.