Finished writing my resume. Check. Sent it to some employers. Check. Searched the job boards and sent my resume to one or two. Check. Not that excited really, just want a job… any job. Hmmmm… don’t know what else I can do…
Sound familiar? If this is your job and career search strategy, it’s time for a reality check.
Finding a career that genuinely lights your fire, and a job that helps you move in your chosen direction, involves a lot of hard effort of exploring and positioning. Your actions are tell-tale signs for you – and employers – as to whether you are really serious.
Think of it like searching for Mister or Miss Right: getting the right partner for you involves warming up the relationship means being engaging, interesting, personable, memorable, likeable and recognizing what you are both looking for in a partner. Same is true for your next employer… and you must engage!
How do you get noticed by emloyers so you have a better chance of getting the job you want? Here are 8 helpful tips:
Love Your Profile
The game has changed. Don’t waste so much of your time searching job boards, let the job and career find you by creating a profile on LinkedIn, the Facebook for professionals and the number one site used by recruiters.
Also, get on Twitter. Learn how to use the social media tool to research job vacancies and build relationships with people in sectors that interest you. Start a conversation with people in your dream job. Challenge your pre-conceptions about ‘people who tweet’ and find out the benefits from those who use Twitter successfully.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Online Forum…
LinkedIn has hundreds of group forums on every business subject you can imagine. Companies, as well as individuals, have their own pages and forums. Job seekers and employers discuss topical and relevant issues relating to their worlds. Engage in debates. Ask questions. Respond to other people’s comments with your own views. Be tolerant. Be provocative (in a positive way). Get noticed. Don’t sell.
To Blog or Vlog, That Is the Question
‘I can’t write. I have nothing to say. I don’t have time.’
How do you know? You can set up a blog with a free WordPress site in 5 minutes. Think of the audience you want to target with your fabulous prose. Write 300-500 words on something that interests you and your audience. The discussions on LinkedIn will prompt you for what’s hot right now. Prefer to talk rather than write? Video yourself instead and create a vlog.
Learn from others what works by searching Google for popular bloggers in your field. Make it a priority to learn the basics of SEO (search engine optimization) and how to use keywords and phrases. I can usually find a topic to blog/vlog about in almost any discussion. Write about the things you talk about. Pose questions to stimulate discussion. Ask for feedback.
Connect Online and Face-to-face
Invite people you get to know in person and online to connect with you on LinkedIn. Start building up your own set of raving fans. Every time you have something to say, they will read it and often share it with their fans. If the geography fits, meet up in person with people you get on with or who can help. Use Skype.
Find a networking group or two that meets face-to-face and go regularly so you build up relationships (I go to both professional and business-related ones). Learn from the experts how to handle yourself in these places. Attend conferences, seminars, workshops, openings to meet with people from the employers or industry that interest you.
Be a Reporter; Get the Info Interview
Informational interviews are a targeted way of networking and getting on the radar of an employer before you apply for a job or go down a career path. Call the person whose job you would love to do. Go and see them; pick their brains. ‘What’s it like to work here? What helps to make you a success here? What advice would you give me about a career in your industry?’
Don’t take your resume, you’re not going for a job. Be like a reporter. Find out something topical about them before you go. Follow up with a thank you email. Be memorable, something quirky so they link your name easily. True stories: the person who showed a video of her dance troupe on her mobile; the person who took her own Coronation Street mug with her; the person who sent a Mars Bar with a covering letter. Too gimmicky? Maybe, but they stood out.
Find a Platform for Public Speaking
Ooh! I can sense the shivers running down your spine.
Find a relevant platform where you can speak so you get noticed. If you talk about what you know and love, your nerves will disappear as you get sucked into the zone. Connect, don’t perform. Practice. Get feedback from a raving fan. Practice. Do it again.
Do Something for Nothing
Throwing yourself into something bigger than yourself often provides people with meaning in their job or career. We all love a cause; we’re social animals. Make it personal. You won’t be doing it for the money.
Help others and you will help yourself: 7 out of 10 employers prefer someone who has volunteering experience.
Message in a Bottle
The most overused and overhyped phrase in job hunting, “personal branding”, has become an all encompassing concept about YOU. If you took points 1-7 above, described yourself as a result or weaved a story about yourself and what an employer will get, then you’ve pretty much nailed it. To help deliver your message, create a Google+ profile or about.me personal webpage.
Which of these 8 ways to get noticed work best for you? What will you try and when? Let me know how you get on.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Employability Coaching!
About the Author: David Shindler is the author of “Learning to Leap, a Guide to Being More Employable”. An experienced coach and people development expert, David specializes in developing and accelerating employability. He also runs the Employability Hub (a social learning community and resource center), the Learning to Leap group on LinkedIn and Facebook fan page. Tweet David, or contact him via his website.