The Value of Letting Your Reputation Precede You

With the rigors of professional competition forcing employers to make quick decisions on who to hire and a long history of individuals losing out on positions that they were otherwise qualified for, it is little wonder why many stress preparing for the interview as one of the most important aspects of the job searching process. Based on personal experience, however, I would argue that there is also a certain value to letting your reputation precede you and having something available that can speak for you, so you won’t have to.

If I could get a little academic with you for a moment: in the world of organizational communication, there is a concept known as ventriloquism, which despite its name is only tangentially related to the age-old art of talking puppets.

When one ventriloquizes for say, an organization, they act on behalf of it, serving as its voice when, in reality, it cannot speak for itself. Though this is a role usually filled by corporate communicators and public relations professionals in the workplace, it is possible for a text to serve as an object of ventriloquism: speaking for something or someone when they cannot. Think of mission statements or monthly newsletters. Despite being corporately developed texts, they manage to take a life of their own and “speak” for the body that they represent.

This same practice can be applied in the interview process.

Perhaps an example might help. Some summers ago, when I was a young, fresh-faced undergraduate student of 20—as opposed to the grizzled graduate student of 22 that I am today—I applied for an internship experience at Cincinnati Educational Television, a local PBS station. As the day of my interview arrived, I had made extensive preparations, dressing to the nines in my best—and only— suit, and developing a series of stock answers for the more obvious interview questions. The only thing that I had not prepared was the transportation.

Due to the concerning lack of a car on my part and an even more concerning lack of friends with cars, I turned to public transportation and scheduled a taxi cab to pick me up beforehand. As luck would have it, the taxi never arrived. In all honesty, some part of me believes that this cab is still on its way to pick me up, all these years later. The bus became my only option, a choice which ultimately ensured that I would arrive egregiously late for my interview, barely before the station’s closing time.

Disheveled, disgruntled and disastrously unfocused, I promptly mangled the interview experience, rendering all of my preparation for the face-to-face meeting moot. To my surprise, in spite of my poor interview, I would leave the station with the internship.

Why, you might ask? It would seem that before my tardy arrival at the station, my then future supervisor had looked up my profile on the social media website LinkedIn, and was convinced enough by what was available there, that she had elected to provide me the position before she had even met me that day. In essence, the profile had done my interview for me, convincing her to hire me when, I most certainly could not.

While my experience was considerably more on the extreme side of things, there is certainly a value to be found in keeping in mind the importance of having some material to speak for you. When you let your reputation precede you, letting your experience and online presence magnify your capabilities, you become an impressive force capable of what may at the time seem impossible.

 

 

Author

Boluwatife Oriowo

Graduate Consultant

 

 

11 comments

  • I believe, WordPress is to blogging is like Google is to web search… Your list of top wordpress powered websites is surely a motivation for more bloggers to switch to it!

  • Thank you for this! – Flatbed Truck Services California 655 East Luchessa Ave, Suite B Gilroy, CA 95020 (408) 843-4290

  • Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Cheers|

  • Hi this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!
    http://financehints.eu

  • Good We are proud to see thing

  • I have been wanting to start an online business for a while and have done a lot of research about the various types of opportunities. You are absolutely right about the number of scams out there! I’ve finally come to an honest website just when I was about to give up. I realize that nothing worth having comes easy and I am prepared to work hard to develop a business I can be proud of:)

  • After going over a handful of the blog articles on your web site, I truly like your way of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my website as well and let me know your opinion.

  • I constantly spent my half an hour to read this webpage’s posts everyday along with a mug of coffee.

  • Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I am inspired! Very useful info specifically the remaining phase 🙂 I maintain such information much. I used to be looking for this particular information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  • This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Thanks a lot!

  • I was curious if you ever considered changing the page layout of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *