Career Management – Getting Visible In The Job Market.

Many candidates are facing uncertainty over the coming months but even if your job is safe and your career is still on track why not take the time to get out there and promote yourself – who knows what the next few years will bring?

A few hours spent investing in a little self-promotion can go a long way.

There are three things you need to do –

1 – Be visible on the web.

The first thing that most potential employers and recruiters do when receiving your CV or when you have been flagged up by a researcher as a “viable candidate” is to search about you on the internet.

Create or update your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn has some excellent resources on how to create a compelling profile summary and listing – get a current photograph preferably a headshot of you wearing business attire, your CV and a pot of coffee and set aside an hour a day for the coming week to get your best virtual self out there. Don’t be shy or humble if you are the top sales person in your region or you have led a team through significant positive change then make sure the world knows about it.

You want the world to be aware of your progress. Just completed an advanced management training course? Been promoted? Broadened your responsibility? Who’s going to know if you don’t tell them?

Start amassing LinkedIn contacts.

These should be relevant either others within your industry or recruiters who work your niche or local Managing Directors who run mid size businesses – just because you sell widgets in one industry now doesn’t mean that you cannot switch industries later.

Start writing industry specific pieces on a blog, LinkedIn or trade press.

Maybe you’re not at a level where you have given a major speech or written an article for your industry or firm, but you should look for opportunities to develop your online presence.

Start small but be frequent – weekly musings about the widget industry will always strike a chord.

Alternatively you could write something for a volunteer community organisation or for your church or charity, anything which shows you in a favourable light.

2 – Be visible within your industry.

Attend trade shows or conventions.

Even of you are not in sales or purchasing it pays dividends to attend trade shows and conventions just to see what others are doing in your industry. Don’t be shy or think you are a James Bond type undertaking industrial espionage if you are a design engineer for widget maker X and widget maker Y is exhibiting go over and introduce yourself it’s likely that you will get on fine with all the other engineers there. Keep in touch with them via LinkedIn afterwards when there is an opening at their company the first question that most HR people ask is does anyone know anyone who would fit our team?

Use the career-change columns in your industry’s trade journals.

If someone has jumped ship from one company to another in order to fill an important position don’t be shy in reaching out and congratulating them.

A quick note in the post –

Congratulations! I noticed in the XXXX recently your promotion to XXXX with XXXX OR I noticed in the ……..your recent appointment as XXXX with XXXX

And thought I’d write to you personally to wish you every success – it’s always great to hear positive news within our industry.

If you are the start of your career you can always ask if there’s any advice they can give out to someone looking to succeed as they have.

If they are at the same level offer to meet up over coffee or a beer to exchange war stories.

3 – Be visible to recruiters.

If you reached out to others who changed jobs (see above) then chances are a recruiter was involved. When you meet them say”a friend of mine is considering a career change”, and if he or she opens up, find out if there was a headhunter and who the headhunter was.

Congratulate headhunters on their own career advances. Give them a call. Drop them a note. No one ever got angry at a well-earned compliment. They have egos, too. And they’re likely to remember someone who took the trouble to reach out and touch them.

As well as updating your LinkedIn profile when you do something worthwhile at work don’t be afraid to drop an email to recruiters you know like and trust, when I get something through from a candidate along the lines of “I’m happy where I am at the moment but thought I’d let you know I’ve just finished my MBA / been given sales for EMEA / been given full GM responsibility keeps you front of mind.

Now’s the time to get out there – take control of your future and stay visible !