If you’ve read this blog for long, you’ll know I originally posted this at the beginning of the year. But I think it’s worth a revisit – especially since the job market seems to have gotten worse. Plus, even in good times, it’s a smart move to keep your options open. For anyone looking for a new job in this challenging economy, let me toss out a few ideas you might not have thought much about:
1) Clean up your profile on Facebook and Myspace. Believe me, prospective employers are checking you out. Also delete any inappropriate photos and comments. Acting silly at Club Med might have been fun at the time, but it won’t score any points with a new employer.
2) Think about your reputation. The future is about “findability.” In a digital age, if you’re not searchable on Google, then you don’t exist. First, check to see if bad stuff comes up about you in a Google search, and second, make sure good stuff is being said about you on the web. Get your friends, former co-workers, family – whoever, writing good stuff about you online. If you have a blog – crank it up, and use it to show that you’re an expert in your field.
3) Consider profiles on career-related sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo, and ExecuNet. Lot’s of employers use those resources.
4) Don’t forget networking. Studies reveal that the vast majority of jobs are filled through referrals – not cold calling. Get to know people, and ask them to pass your name around. People just naturally like to work with other people they know. So expand your network of friends and professional relationships.
5) Find the most influential conferences, seminars, and workshops that focus on your business and start attending. This is the time to invest in yourself. Get to where the people who can make a difference for you spend their time. Develop relationships. It can make a huge difference in your perception.
6) Finally, speaking of perception – everyday, people are making judgments about you. How you dress, how you conduct yourself, your attitude, your outlook, and more. Few people realize how much they can control their perception, which can have an incredible impact on potential employers. Get a copy of my book “Branding Faith” – and instead of reading it thinking about religious organizations and non-profits, read it thinking about you. All the principles of branding that are used for companies, products, and organizations, can also be used on people. You have a brand – it’s the story that surrounds you. In other words, “What do people think of when they think of you?” Work on it. It will transform the way people think about you.