Just as the competent sailor must select their destination in order to have a successful voyage, so must the productive and efficient job seeker know what is a right work opportunity to identify, proceed toward…and secure! While this seems like an incredible over-simplification, mere ‘common sense,’ it is knowledge that eludes most unemployed people. You see, when you’re employed you tend to assume that your employer will help you to navigate those ‘next steps’ in your career.
Ah, but when you’ve lost your job, your fellow employees, and your employer… WHOA… the rules seem to have changed!
This Week’s session: Your LinkedIn Primer, TASK#1 and TASK#2…Creating your Profile and extending your network.
Just what IS a right work opportunity for YOU?
While a sailor’s journey could be defined by its destination, his success is determined by the course he selects, and, most significantly, having an appropriate ship to make the passage as smooth as possible.
In Steps #1 and #2 of our 12-step process we learn to assess (know the features of our ship) and set our objective (select our destination and course) so that we can develop a GREAT Resume, one that allows our future employer to help navigate our journey, thus we embrace the OTHER job market!
What YOU Do Best, and are motivated to do for a future employer…
What do you do best? What are your strongest transferable skills? Think broadly in terms of managerial and technical/ functional strengths involved in what you have to offer. Discovering your “pattern of success and satisfaction” is your goal, here. Your ability to express the collection of your functional strengths will measure your marketability.
This collection of keywords and their supportive evidence creates your communication strategy, the basis of your value proposition.
The old “round peg in a round role” theory of career planning is dysfunctional. In the typical professional environment today, job descriptions are changing faster than ever before to keep up with the challenges of an economy in transition.
In the traditional job market, job seekers are the sellers and their potential employers are the buyers. The commodity is JOBs and the competition is fierce.
In The OTHER Job Market, buyers and sellers hold equal responsibility for the recruitment process. The commodity is available, productive WORK… When employers have a need for someone to fulfill a specific role, often the most desired candidates are employed individuals with the credentials they seek.
Thus the employer must sell their Company to potential employees in the marketplace in order to attract the best of the lot. Once identified, they simply select their choice and buy their services.
Seize control of such challenges. Understand the nature of FIT.
Your personal brand cannot be desperate, or your brand will not help you. It will hurt you, in fact. What hiring manager would have confidence in your ability to walk into their department and make a difference when your branding says you aren’t sure what you do professionally?
When your LinkedIn profile says “Multi-skilled Business Professional” you have already eliminated most of your potential audience.
They’re not looking for a Multi-Skilled Business Professional.
Who in history ever was?
Hiring managers have pain in specific areas. When you have pain in your body, it’s specific, too. Nobody says “I have pain!”
They have a back ache, a tooth ache or a pain in their knee. You can’t brand yourself to appeal to everybody — that’s not how branding works! Good personal branding is more specific than any of these overly general self-descriptors:
Diverse background in aerospace, consumer products and legal services (who cares what you did already, unless you want to do it again? Tell us what you intend to do, and why you’re qualified for it!)
Skilled at Marketing, Sales, Operations and Customer Support (what does this even mean? No one who has dug into any of these functions in depth would continue to describe themselves as skilled at all four!)
Trainer/Instructor/Instructional Designer/Training Specialist (tell us what you are dying to do most of all. Commit! The world will reward your belief in yourself)
What’s a better branding approach? Choose the sweet spot at the place where your experience, your talents and employers’ pain intersect. You’ll find that sweet spot by thinking about and writing down your favorite activities and favorite past roles, as well as things you love to do and are good at outside of work. Then, you’ll check out job ads to learn which positions companies are looking for.
Many people are confused about their career direction. That’s okay. You can leave your overly-broad branding on LinkedIn until you figure out what you want to be when you grow up — at least for this job search!
Read LinkedIn profiles to spot job titles, job descriptions and specific responsibilities that sound like a fit for you. Now, brand yourself for the jobs you really want — not every job you’re qualified for:
- Freelance Travel Writer and Editor
- Sales Manager for Pharma/Neutraceuticals
- Office Manager/Bookkeeper Seeking Overbooked CEO to Support
- Startup Marketing Manager with Press Contacts
Your LinkedIn branding is important because it tells the world how you see yourself.