It’s no coincidence that the most successful companies have strong brand equity and an abundance of great people.
Almost always the result of long-term planning, careful and consistent reputation management, and excellent communication, if you flip this on its head, there is a lot that people climbing the career ladder can learn from the way top brands gain trust and stand out from the crowd.

If you are career ambitious, creating a personal brand that supports your work goals should be part of your development.

Social media offers the best platform to raise your profile and, if you are committed and consistent in your approach, communities like LinkedIn can amplify your voice, build your network, and have a big impact on the way people perceive you.

In a candidate-led job market, it is too easy to lose sight of the importance of this. Skilled people looking for a new challenge are in the driving seat right now. In certain sectors, they have the pick of jobs and can almost be forgiven for getting carried away, but the status quo won’t remain this way forever.

When it comes to looking for your next challenge, if you want to stay respected in your industry, then the key is to remember your long-term goals throughout the recruitment process. To help you navigate this with your reputation intact, here are some things to keep in mind:

Constantly communicate

There is nothing more unsettling than not knowing what is happening during the recruitment process. Even after receiving an offer, if you need time to decide, make sure you keep people updated with your thinking. Silence is deafening. It never leaves a positive impression, regardless of the outcome.

Be decisive

A couple of days to reflect on a job offer is perfectly acceptable but, whatever you do, make a decision. You would be surprised at how many people struggle with this but, if the job is right, you should know fairly quickly whether you want it or not.

Plan for success

You don’t have to take the first job you are offered but, if you are exploring several options, try to organise interviews as close together as possible so, if you get multiple offers, you can manage the decision-making process promptly.

Don’t play games

Avoid playing companies off against each other at all costs. In recruitment, honesty is always the best policy, even if you have two offers or want to attend another interview before committing to a new role. People will understand and respect that, but not if you treat recruitment like a game.

Be responsive

The speed you react with shows a prospective employer how interested you are and also how you are likely to act with their clients and the tasks they set.

Don’t be greedy

Negotiation is part of the process but there is a limit before it turns an employer off. If you want a job but are uncomfortable with the terms, discuss them at the earliest opportunity and be clear about why. I’ve seen many offers withdrawn when an employer doesn’t appreciate the way a negotiation was handled and you risk appearing like money is your only motivation.

In all of this, the important thing to remember is that, whilst good people are in demand, employers want them to be the right people, so you still need to impress from start to finish.

It also helps to remember that the market you are working in is probably smaller than you think, especially in the North East, where people often talk.

How you behave and engage with a prospective employer during the recruitment process and, perhaps more critically, during an offer, is crucial to maintaining your reputation. It reveals a lot about your integrity and character and will leave a lasting impression, so make sure it’s a good one.