• Sam Decker

Career Tip #7: Connect to a Visible Brand

Sometimes it’s helpful to have something recognizable on your resume.

My first interview with Dell in early ‘99 was for managing Dell’s Small Business site. I was a finalist with someone who had no online experience. But, she had worked at Coca Cola and Deloitte. So, the small business division ended up choosing her. Fortunately, they liked me enough to refer me to the Consumer division for a peer position. I was hired and enjoyed a prosperous career at Dell. What happened to her? Well, long story short, she didn’t receive her two year appreciation certificate.

Did you go to a well-known school, work for a well known company, work on a visible project, or work for a well-respected person? If so, you have an advantage.

This is a tip that goes under the “do as I say, not as I do” category. Prior to Dell I helped launch and grow three startups you probably never heard of (User Group Connection, ThirdAge.com, Telepost). I appreciate what I learned from these companies, but the names didn’t help open doors. I’ve seen less talented people get through the door because of the brands listed on their resume. As unfortunate as that is, it’s an obvious advantage considered for a job or promotion.

Later I was founding CMO for Bazaarvoice, which was backed by Austin Ventures and went public in 2012. The visibility of that successful brand helped me tremendously get funding for Mass Relevance in 2010.