How E-mail Damages Your Personal Brand

LaptopThe recent report of an executive recruiter in the UK being fired for e-mailing a job candidate to go away using colourful language – but accidentally copying everyone (all 4,000+ of them!) on the candidates blast list, highlights the dangers of damaging your personal brand and career by relying too much on technology. What is that recruiter going to say when the question comes up "Why did you leave your last job?"

The candidate also was obviously damaging their brand (and job search chances) by sending out such a generic application to so many people. I am seeing far too much of that at the moment. I get you that finding a job is tough, but use time wisely to be more targetted, not spray and pray job seeking that says I don't really care. 

Just last week, I was talking with both a colleague on the very subject of e-mail versus picking up this still very useful piece of technology called the telephone and also coaching a client on the dangers of mis-understood communication, when a quuick conversation would have eliminated all the angst that they ended up experiencing. 

All the 'gurus' are telling us that 2012 is going to be the year of mobile, but with that will come an even greater temptation to say it in text versus verbally. 

Some quick tips to keep your conversations live and real in 2012; 

1. Resist the temptation to respond to an e-mail straight away. A client once said to me there is rarely such a thing as an accounting emergency, and the same should apply to your situation. 

2. Before you pen an e-mail or a reply, consider if this form of communication is the best way to get your message across?  If it is, be sure to re-read it once and double check the to, cc and bcc box recipients.

3. When in doubt pick up the phone or arrange a face to face. So much can be mis-interpreted by the written word, if it's important let the other person know that by having a conversation. 

4. Make time for 15 minutes every day. We are all guilty (me included) of not connecting properly with people because we feel that we have no time. Stop the Facebook likes, Twitter re-tweets and Four Square check-in's and use that 15 minutes a day to pick up the phone to three people you know and say hello. 

As my colleague Dave Howlett said, "I am much more likely to remember you for that call than a tweet, like, poke or follow". 


6 thoughts on “How E-mail Damages Your Personal Brand”

  1. Good points, Paul. Notwithstanding in-person contact, it will be exciting to see how video-phone interaction (i.e. Skype, Google Nexus/Plus integration, etc.) carves a niche into our communication channels. Best, Mike.

  2. Well said, Paul and a timely reminder as we forge ahead to using more and more technology often leaving human contact behind. Seems like the holiday season might be a good time to start reaching out to others more personally and carry it into 2012.

  3. Paul, you always hit the nail on the head with your critiques of technology use. People need to remember how they evolved to connect with other humans. The more removed we get from the feedback that is inherent in a face to face conversation, the more care we need to take to ensure we are reading and writing what we understand and can be understood.
    Great post!

  4. Hey Paul, I absolutely loathe email. So much so that all of my new sites for the most part do not even use email follow up. As far as the customer service side of it, I like buddypress. Just create a buddypress site with FB login and let your questions be posted their. If a person needs to be contacted by you personally, you could easily do that as well. With a buddypress platform, you can communicate on the fly with a camtasia video or whatever else. Just food for thought, but I like the direction you are going with your article. Great points…

  5. Good point Mike re video chat. I still find some places in the world are limited by use of this because of slow and poor internet connections, but its use is only going to continue.
    Wayne, wouldn’t it be great to add to this time of year as the n technology greetings season??!!
    Good advice Daisy thanks.
    Face to face feedback cannot be beaten Byron, not all evolution is a good thing!
    Thanks GBG, another good technology alternative suggestion.

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