My advice to job seekers is always, “Instead of looking for jobs, be found by one!”. To stand out in the crowd, is not that difficult. All you need is a strong personal brand but, to possess a personal brand that commands attention is the challenge. It requires you to align all your professional activities with your personality, the personality you would like to showcase before the headhunters and talent finders.
Aligning professional activities with your personality
To raise your career to the next level, one needs to constantly plan and align their professional activities with their personality. What does that mean? It means that when you are involving yourself in a professional activity like participating in an event or leading a project or working with a team, it has speak about your traits that make you a better fit in the market for a given job.
While planning our career we work on multiple aspects but we fail to showcase them. On an informal note, we help many people and we get help from many of them. These interactions may seem mundane but when aligned with your career aspirations, they are the real things you are good at. It could be as simple as finding new talent for someone, helping in fundraising for a cause, networking with people or bringing in a sponsor. These need to be highlighted in your abilities and skills section because they truly are going to add value to the organization you choose to work with.
After choosing what to showcase and what not to, the next step would be to position them in the right channels. Are you someone still sitting down preparing lengthy resumes and expecting people to read through them completely. Then, you are expecting too much. People have very little time to make decisions and are getting social!
Here, is how we can leverage on little time and getting social.
Build a social brand
Resumes are being replaced by Linkedin profiles. Background checks are done on your Facebook profile. Your knowledge is scrutinized over your Twitter handles and followers. Your expert advice can be tracked on Quora discussions. Your next interview call would be over Skype or Facetime. What is this all about? You are living in an era where social recruiting has replaced traditional recruitment methods.
Social recruiters focus on how you are positioned across all these channels. Such positioning translates into your personal brand. Here branding can be subtly coined to messaging. What is the message being shared by your social profiles? Being social is not as easy as it sounds because it requires commitment and a genuine interest to network and know people.
It is a long journey to evolve from an entry level candidate to someone who has a brand of his own. Someone, whose brand represents his skills and whose skills are recognized by his brand. To build a personal brand, a person does not have to participate across all social media channels. Some of them are good enough to communicate about one’s persona. Someone who participates in tumblr may not feel comfortable to be in Pinterest and some others involved in flickr may not want to stumbleupon.
Your social brand is built across the channels you choose to stay active in. Each of the channels chosen communicate one quality about yourself after studying the activity you are involved in. This just explains why social recruiters are emerging and why they prefer people with social presence working towards creating a personal brand.
Today, these channels help as recruiting tools and tomorrow it could be something else. What remains as a critical criterion in the recruiter’s checklist is the effort made by a prospect to shine out with a personal brand.