Simple to understand.
Simple to like.
Simple to find.
The principle of simplicity is never more in play than in personal branding, especially when it comes to landing your next great job. You have so many ways to be visible to people who do not yet know you, so access isn’t the real problem.
Opportunity isn’t the real problem, either. There are millions of jobs open, in-flux or about to be created, and hundreds of thousands of recruiters, HR people, business owners and department heads looking for the few dozen people that ideally fit any of the openings.
The problem is that there are one billion people online. That’s a huge problem for the people trying to hire you.
Here are three simple tips to get you noticed, and more importantly recognized as the right candidate. Let’s use LinkedIn as our model for this, because it’s the most obvious gateway to everyone who could recruit and hire you. However, in some way these same tips apply to other social networks as well as industry forums, events, publications and more places where you are visible.
Make it simple for us to know why people like working with you – or having you as a student. Ask for recommendations that use SPECIFIC qualities. You might email a referral source: “Would you mind mentioning my leadership skills and attention to detail? I led the winning team on the Aquarium of the SouthWest project. I managed eight team members from five countries. I created the index of the 263 sources for our presentation.” For example, here is a former student of mine who is now a Senior Strategic Alliance Manager at HP: http://www.linkedin.com/in/waltkasha
LI endorsements are the keyword building blocks of your profile. Ask people to endorse you for exactly what you want to be hired to do. For example, if you are in communications, your block might look something like mine – http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancerosen. If you’re a creative type, it might look something like my business partner’s endorsements: www.linkedin.com/in/famousalice. Note: it’s not the size of the array – it’s the accuracy of the reflection of your skill set that matters
When we scoot down to your LI section of badges, they should tell a simple story about you. Join the groups that match the skills, industry and even geographical locations that apply to your interests and aspirations. You are known by the badges you have – and earn, so participate in the discussions! Limit your groups to reflect your expertise and interest. For example, Jon Torerk, CSCS is a strength coach and CEO of BioMechanix. See how clear that is: www.linkedin.com/pub/jon-torerk-cscs/27/37a/110
Simple is not the same as easy. It’s a big job to edit, curate and parse your profile. So difficult for you but easy for us: when it comes to finding and hiring you for your next great job.