Personal Branding Interview: Matthew Rothenberg | Personal Branding Blog - Dan Schawbel

Today, I spoke to Matthew Rothenberg, who is the editor-in-chief for TheLadders. amd previously he worked at Ziff Davis Media, ZDNet, CNET, and Hachette Filipacchi. In this interview, Matthew talks about how executives get jobs, online branding in an executive job search, job search tips, and more.

How are executives getting jobs now, aside from

“One of the job market’s bigger ironies: The more successful you are, the harder it becomes to find reliable information about professional-level opportunities over $100K.”

Recruiters don’t typically like to post executive-level positions on mass job boards because they know they’re going to be bombarded with resumes from unqualified candidates. So, if a senior-caliber candidate is not using the TheLadders, they’re probably networking with colleagues, industry groups and recruiters to uncover potential opportunities. Networking should always be part of your career-management tool box, both online and offline. And remember, you look to find a job; don’t wait for the job to find you.

What is the likelihood that an executive will be google’d before an interview? How does their online brand play a role in hiring?

Rest assured, you will be Googled (and Binged) before a job interview. Like it or not, it’s important to maintain some kind of professional online profile and recognize the fact that people are forming opinions about you based on what they find there. So post and keep your profile up to date with relevant information that reinforces your personal brand. Also, regularly Google your own name so you know what rises to the top of the search results and are prepared to address any issues you encounter there.

What are your top three job search tips for executives looking to move to another company, without letting their employer know?

There are some obvious red flags you can avoid with a little forethought. First, use your own e-mail address and phone to network with employers and recruiters. You should only make calls related to a potential job opportunity when you’re on a break or at lunch. When you’re at work, it’s the company’s time and you should handle yourself accordingly. Which brings me to the next point: Don’t start slacking off at your current job and potentially tip someone off that you’ve got one foot out the door.

You should be careful who you tell about your career plans.

While you may be a likeable person, not everyone has your best interest in mind or will treat your confidence with the discretion you expect. Finally, be careful and discreet when sending out your resume. You should thoroughly research every company before you apply online. It might also be a good idea to keep personally identifiable information on your resume confidential.

Where do you see the future of job boards? What might they look like in five years?

In some way, shape or form, you will always have the mass job boards that have replaced the newspapers’ classified listings. What I’m really excited about is the personal support that job-search Web sites can and should be providing to job seekers. We have a Job Search Support Center here at TheLadders that works closely with job seekers every day to help them improve their search efforts. This is the channel where we can leverage our knowledge and insights about the professional-level job market to help job seekers land that next job.

How did you get started in your career?

I was bitten by the digital-publishing bug early and started my journalism career at MacWEEK magazine, which wrote about the cutting edge of publishing technology and was also one of the first magazines to use it. From there, it was a logical step to Internet publishing; I’ve run the content of Web sites for Ziff Davis, CNET and Hachette-Filipacchi Media, among other companies.

Matthew Rothenberg is editor-in-chief for TheLadders, the world’s leading online service catering exclusively to the $100K+ job market. In addition to traditional job search services, also provides a host of specialized career development resources. Previously he worked at Ziff Davis Media, ZDNet, CNET, and Hachette Filipacchi. For more than 20 years, he has been in the business of connecting motivated readers with world-class content. After earning my BA in Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, I moved to San Francisco and joined the digital-publishing revolution unfolding on the Mac. I was a tech reporter and editor at MacWEEK magazine in the early ’90s, then caught the next big publishing wave as director of Mac Publishing’s nascent Web sites, including and

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