Put Feedback into a Personal Brand during Your Job Search
When you begin collecting the results of your 360-degree feedback, which is important to do when you embark on your job search, you may notice that who you think you are isn’t exactly lining up with who other people think you are. For example, you may think you’re confident or shy, but others may see you as arrogant or aloof.
These dissonances, as they’re often called by psychologists, are painful. And not getting defensive is difficult. So keep a level head and show appreciation for this feedback. After all, you’re going to use it to get better at what you do. The following sections help you figure out how to improve negative perceptions and build on positive perceptions.
How to correct negative perceptions
Negative perceptions can really get in the way of advancing your career, so you need to be on the lookout for them. Sometimes you can’t do much to change innate parts of your personality, but as long as you’re aware of them, you can manage them effectively. Consider the following strategies when faced with negative perceptions that may be a detriment to your personal brand:
Behave in the opposite way. If you received feedback for being too cocky, then perhaps you don’t have to show your confidence quite so much. Avoid self-aggrandizing language and tone down the confidence. If your feedback was that you’re passive or indecisive, then maybe you should speak more loudly or be the first one to speak at a meeting or networking event.
Anticipate dissonance and admit it upfront. If you know what the top three misperceptions about you are and how you generally rub people the wrong way, you can anticipate situations where these dissonances may occur.
The best way to dissolve any potential bad feelings is to admit your weakness upfront: I tend to get very excited about this topic, so if I come across as impulsive or hyper, just let me know and I’ll check myself. I certainly don’t mean to offend anyone.
Or I’m generally a quiet person, but that doesn’t mean I’m passive. If I don’t say much during this meeting, it’s because I’m the type of person who likes to think through the whole problem. I’m actually very engaged and will chime in when I can.
How to enhance positive perceptions
Not all the feedback you receive will be negative. In fact, you may feel flattered at what some people say. If more than two people mention values, passions, or personality traits in their feedback, perhaps you have some brand perceptions you can simply augment rather than re-create. Or ride the wave, so to speak.
Ask yourself what perceptions people already have about you and what you can do to play those up.