Monday Motivation

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.  If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.

– Warren Buffet

Sprucing up your personal brand with social media…

In my previous blog entry titled “What does your Online Reputation say about you?,” we covered some of the things hiring managers look for when screening an applicant online. There is absolutely no question that your online presence is extremely important in today’s society. The amount of data that can be picked up by simply Googling your name is extensive! Not only is the internet an information highway, it also gives us the ability to connect with thousands of people you wouldn’t be able to connect with otherwise.

With that in mind, personal branding with social media is a step in the right direction in ensuring that the online message your are delivering is one of integrity. If you are active on Facebook or on Twitter, even Instagram, you have started building an online reputation. How many of you have heard of the celebrity who tweeted something inappropriate? Well, that one tweet may have negatively affected the perception of the celebrity to a number of their fans. Guess what? The same goes for you with a potential employer!

The below infographic by titled “Personal Branding with Social Media” lists different social media outlets and how they can be utilized to get you connected with thousands of people! Take a moment to look at the social media outlets listed on the infographic and see if you are and if not, how you can utilize the sites to improve your personal brand. Your online reputation depends on it!

Personal Branding

What “Million Dollar Listing NY” can teach you about professional development…

One of my favorite shows on TV is Million Dollar Listing NY. Some may see this show simply as reality hogwash. Just a bunch of realtors, with the egos the size of a mammoth competing against each other for listings, however, from a personal development and professional development standpoint, one can learn invaluable lessons from this show.

For those readers that do not know what the Million Dollar Listing franchise is, it is a series that chronicles the professional and personal lives of real estate agents in NY and LA. It also gives viewers an inside look at the world of high-priced real estate in NY and LA.


In Million Dollar Listing NY, they follow three real estate agents, (left to right) Fredrik Eklund, Luis D. Ortiz and Ryan Serhant.

Fredrik Eklund (37) has closed over two billion dollars in residential real estate over the last 11 years. He works for Douglas Elliman, the largest real estate brokerage on the East Coast, alongside his business Partner John Gomes, together they run The Eklund Gomes Team at Douglas Elliman. Eklund is also the Founder of the most high-end residential real estate brokerage in Scandinavia, Eklund Stockholm New York with three offices and 50 employees.

Ryan Serhant (30) in less than 5 years has sold nearly one billion dollars in real estate. He works for NestSeekers International. Serhant’s motto “Expansion. Always, in all ways.” is fitting in that his real estate team has grown to include eight seasoned agents, allowing him to service clients all over the world. Ryan leads a team in NY and is currently expanding with a team in Los Angeles.

Luis D. Ortiz (27), the youngest of the bunch, has seven years experience in real estate. Luis has sold more than $100 million in residential real estate over the past three years. In August of 2013, Ortiz joined forces with Douglas Elliman and founded his own real estate Team – Ortiz & Co.

Now to why I find this show so fascinating…

With every sell, with every showing, even when these gentleman are simply walking down the street (or riding their bike) they walk with an air of confidence. They are an example of a walking brand. They are not just real estate agents in New York City, they are Fredrik Eklund, Ryan Serhant, Luis Ortiz. They don’t need your business, but you want their business! You want to create a brand that sells itself. These gentleman have created a pristine brand reflective of their passion, charisma, drive, integrity and hard work.

You may not be at the Eklund, Serhant, Ortiz level but as a professional you should always be considering YOUR professional brand. There really isn’t much of a difference between your personal and professional brand but for the sake of keeping this professional let’s focus on what matters to a potential employer, networking contact, or anyone who can help you find a job or grow your career. In today’s world we have two brand representations, our walking brand being how we carry ourselves and handle our business daily as well as our online presence. (Yep… that online presence thing again…) When a colleague, potential employer, or a networking friend researches you online, your professional brand is the culmination of information easily attained.

Next is passion… passion… PASSION! These three love what they do and it shows in their interaction with their clients and colleagues. Passion SELLS! You want to get the person you are interacting with as excited and as passionate with your vision as you are. Passion is one of the core sales competencies. Have you ever tried selling a product you don’t like, or maybe a product you don’t have complete faith in? Do you realize in interviews, in relationships, in networking, you are selling yourself? Now is a good time to ask yourself, do you know what it is you are trying to sell? What does your walking brand and online presence represent? Does it match your vision? Confidence comes into play here as well. Passion and confidence go hand-in-hand when selling your product. Not only do you have to be exciting but you have to be believable. You have to believe in yourself and the product to effectively convey your message to the receiver.

In Season 3, Luis has to take under his wing a client’s son, Todd,  to help sell the family home. Todd had very little, if NO, real estate experience. To get the sale, and for the sake of reality show entertainment, Luis agreed to work with Todd on the listing. Rather than seeing it as an inconvenience, Luis approached it as an opportunity. He wanted to help Todd work towards his goal of becoming a good real estate agent.

In the episode, Luis takes Todd for a run around Central Park. This run was not for the sake of fitness, rather it was a run to teach a lesson. The lesson: do not take rejection personally. Luis had Todd run around and stop random people to give them his, what I call the 30 Second Elevator Pitch. Some people looked at him like he was insane, others ran faster and away from him and there was even a few that actually stopped and listened graciously. Luis’ goal was to get Todd out of his comfort zone. He wanted Todd to understand that it is okay to be rejected, it is not personal. One situation drops, you pick up and move on to the next. In life you have to keep it moving. In the real estate game, rejection is not personal, and it’s quite the norm.

Like every reality show, the formula is to throw in the drama and this show has no shortage of drama. If you look past that and observe the work ethic each of these gentleman have you can see a formula for success. It’s all about perspective. When I watch this show I focus on the formula, the drama just adds some extra fun to the tale. One cannot deny the success of these 3 men, take a look at their online presence if there is any doubt. You can learn a lot about them just from that!

What does your online reputation say about you?

Did you know it’s not only companies that have an online reputation? With social media so prevalent in today’s society who knows who is “Googling” your name!

Employers have started using social media in the hiring process and according to a 2013 CareerBuilder survey, 43% of hiring managers now use social media to screen candidates. These hiring managers also said they have found information that has caused them NOT to hire a candidate.

Thanks to social media, recruiters can easily (and anonymously) collect information that they would not be permitted to ask in an interview. Any questions that reveal your age, race, national origin, gender, religion, marital status and sexual orientation are off-limits however, take note, these are common profile questions on certain social media sites that some users have on public view!

So what are some of the things hiring managers look for when screening an applicant online?

Your professional image
The first thing most employers look for is what sort of image your online profiles portray. It’s important to keep in mind that prospective employers can see not only things you’ve posted, but also posts that you’re tagged in and things others have posted to your profile. In Facebook, if you would like to see what a potential employer would see on your profile, do the following:

  1. Go to your Facebook Profile
  2. Click on the 3 dots next to “Activity Log”
  3. Select “View As”
  4. Above your Cover Photo you will see the following statement: “This is what your timeline looks to: Public”

When you are searched for on Facebook, this screenshot is what people will see when they click on your name. Take some time to think about how your public Facebook profile would look to a potential employer. Are your photos professional? Is the information accurate? What sort of links are you sharing?

Also, remember when I mentioned that employers can also see posts that you’re tagged in and things others have posted to your profile? Well, they can also see the News Feed items you “Liked” if those feeds are PUBLIC. All they have to do is to go to the search bar on the top next to the Facebook Logo and type “Photos [Name of Individual] likes” and POOF… there goes those “pesky, maybe you don’t want people to see”, photos that YOU liked.

The key here is to always have in the back of your mind that your actions on social media are NEVER private (even if your settings are on private).

Your professional qualifications
Make sure that your online profiles match the information in your current resume because employers may use social media to verify your credentials or experience. The information you post on LinkedIn should match your resume in addition to the education you may have posted on Facebook and any other social media site. All these items should mirror each other!

Reasons NOT to hire you
On occasion, employers also use social networks to see if there are any reasons they shouldn’t hire you. The top reasons employers gave according to LifeHacker for pulling a candidate out of the job running after researching them online included:

  • Provocative or inappropriate images
  • Information about drinking or using drugs
  • A candidate bad-mouthing a previous employer
  • Poor communication skills
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion
  • A candidate who lied about qualifications

Clearly, it’s extremely important to THINK before you put anything online, be it a comment, photo or any other type of content. LifeHacker made the following suggestion to get a good idea of what employers might find when they research you online. Try doing a simple Google search on your name. Do this from a public computer or clear your browsing data first to make sure that you’re getting the same results that others would.

I HIGHLY recommend you Google your name and review your Facebook profile to get a better idea of the image you are portraying, the message you are delivering, and where your online reputation stands.

The following infographic, created by, summarizes data from a Microsoft study and other sited research. Follow the flowchart closely to successfully manage your online reputation.

-Giang, V. (2013, July 5). 11 Common Interview Questions That Are Actually Illegal.Business Insider. Retrieved May 17, 2014, from
-Stenger, M. (2014, March 25). The Top 5 Things Hiring Managers Look For On Social Media. . Retrieved May 17, 2014, from
-Cautious Hiring to Continue in the New Year, According to CareerBuilder’s Annual Job Forecast – CareerBuilder. (2013, June 27). Cautious Hiring to Continue in the New Year, According to CareerBuilder’s Annual Job Forecast – CareerBuilder. Retrieved May 17, 2014, from
-Berkman, F. (2012, September 14). To Share or Not to Share? That Is the Social Media Question. Mashable. Retrieved May 17, 2014, from