Use these strategies to set yourself apart
Finding a job today is not what it used to be. It’s been 20 years since Hotjobs.com launched in 1998, while Monster.com launched in 1999 (remember them?) Before that, you attended career fairs, scanned the classified ads of newspapers, magazines and trade publications or heard about an opening through someone you knew.
Today everything takes place online. In many cases, even the interview process.
I’ve worked as a marketer in the software and services industry for the better part of my career. It’s an industry where mergers, acquisitions and IPOs can change your career trajectory in the blink of an eye. Remember Delrina? Compaq? DST? Actuate? Yes, I’ve been bounced around. A lot. I’ve learned that, as with business, competition is fierce. You need to set yourself apart to capture and engage your audience.
When you’re in the job market, you are the product. And your audience includes all the people who will help you find—and land—your next job. So, before you post your resumé, before you begin networking, and before you sign up on any employment sites, optimize your personal brand with these marketing strategies.
Become a LinkedIn all-star When it comes to networking and job finding there’s a reason that LinkedIn tops the list. According to OmniCore stats from January 2018, LinkedIn has 3 million active job listings on the platform. Forty per cent of its 500 million users are on it daily. LinkedIn is critical to your success.
While you edit and fine-tune your profile, turn Sharing Profile Edits off – or risk annoying your network with constant notification updates. You’ll find this in your profile settings under the Privacy tab. Don’t worry, we’ll turn this feature back on later. Monitor your dashboard for tips to improve your visibility, and to see where you rank. The more complete, the higher you’ll rank, and the more likely recruiters and hiring managers will find you.
Invest in some new headshots Not everyone can afford a professional photographer to get their pictures taken. Head over to Costco—or anywhere passport-picture taking is offered—for a digital head-and-shoulders shot. Be true to your brand. Dress the part. Wear your glasses. Be confident. Smile.
Create an impact statement The answer to the question ‘what do you do’ is your impact statement. Use it on your resumé, your social media profiles, your email signature and voicemail greeting. You’ll want a few versions, including a short one—about 10 words—and a longer one—about 25 to 30 words—using keywords that differentiate you. For example, my personal impact statement is: I’m a B2B marketer who’s passionate about print.
Make your name a part of your email address It takes less than a minute to set up a gmail, or similar, account. Unless it’s part of your brand, now’s not the time to be cutesy; if your name is taken, incorporate a keyword from your impact statement. For example: JoanneGoreMarketer@xxx.com. Remember to incorporate your impact statement into your new email signature on all your devices.
Inspect your social media presence Do you live your life from one selfie to the next? While it’s true that what you post lives on the internet forever, you can certainly minimize any negative impact by removing or limiting access to images and posts that could shed a bad light. Do a full review of your privacy and notification settings. Update profiles with your new headshot, impact statement and email address or contact info and make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to find and learn more about you.
Craft your resumé It takes more than a resumé to land a job. But you won’t land a job without it. A quick Google search for the term: resumé tips 2018, served up nearly 28 million results. No matter where you are in your career path, or how long it’s been since you last dusted off your CV, take advantage of the templates, tools and best-practices at your disposal to tell your story… starting with your impact statement.
Go forth and network With your new headshot, impact statement, personalized email, experience and social media profiles all polished up, it’s time to re-activate your LinkedIn profile update visibility setting. Then, create a post that lets your network know that you’re available. Restate your short version impact statement. Invite your network to recommend and share opportunities. Say thank you when they do. Pay it forward.