Sometimes a spoonful of sugar really CAN help the medicine go down. This post will be short and (ahem) sweet. In this time, when recruiters and HR Pros that I know, respect and love are finding themselves out of work, I am heartened by recruiters, HR Pros and Social Media peeps who are going out of their way to give a little back. Maybe it’s hosting a free webinar, providing practical tips on how to help, giving your friend a shout out or doing some good in the community, I am seeing a lot of people go the extra mile.
For my part, I am now officially on the market as a contractor. After a decade of marketing everything from non-profits to investment firms, I am opening myself up fairly exclusively to marketing projects in the HR and Recruiting space. In my quest for the perfect “gig” I have asked a lot of friends what tools I should use, how to separate my personal brand from my professional brand and how to go about such a dynamic shift (you may remember that I recently went from consulting part time to a full blown corporate gig in financial services, turns out not the best decision in today’s current economic times). I have thanked many of them publicly. Here are some of the ideas, posts and tools they suggested. Maybe they can help you (or a friend in need) out.
VisualCV.com- Someone told me to get my butt on here and quick. Okay, okay, I’m going. This is a comprehensive tool that, in my view, allows you to collect all your “lookit what a pro I am” information in one place. Then you get to paste your pretty mug on it.
Be your product- A wise fellow told me to decide what I wanted to offer and then package it, get out there and offer just THAT. Another way of saying it is, Don’t try to be all things to all people. Scary but courageous words in these freaky times. But still sage advice. Oh yes, he also mentioned that he started his teensy little firm, perhaps you’ve heard of it, in a recession.
Toot your horn. This is SOOOO hard to do authentically. I see so many people name dropping and retweeting their own tweets and in general irritating me and I just don’t want to be that person. That being said, when everyone is talking (and everyone IS right now at this moment in history) you must make sure people know who you are, what you stand for and promote yourself. But don’t be obnoxious about it. Or I will @unfollow you. You know who rules at this? Miss Katie Tierney, last seen here.
LinkedIn- Sure it’s gone through some changes and yes, a lot of people on there are looking now but if you’re not on it and you’re not letting people know that you are out there and ready for the next opportunity, then you look a little behind the times. No, a lot behind the times.
Don’t be a wimp- This is a piece of advice I have gotten over and over again. Are you sure you want to go out on your own? Do you know what you want to provide? Do you have a business plan in place? Then move your keister already and go for it! Don’t waste company time planning your new business. A friend of mine told me a long time ago that “God can’t place anything in your hands when you are clinging tightly to what has gone before”.
Have your answer ready. I learned this one that hard way. When you are feeling out potential clients who also happen to be friends, have your plan of work outlined ahead of time. You don’t want to miss out on business do you?
Scribd.com and other media sites- Get your resume out there. Make sure that people see what kind of work you can do and what you’ve done before. The best example I have ever seen of great personal marketing is here. Another great way to outline what you are doing is seen here by Michael Marlatt.
Bust your hiney- Some people work like ‘bots. At least that is how fellow FOT’er describes the esteemed Kris Dunn. Author of the HR Capitalist, Fistful of Talent Boss-Man and Workforce Featured Blog go-to guy, this man will NEVER have to look for work should he become available. What you say? Easy? Not if you have a slew of kids and a wife, a full time gig as a practitioner and an apparently crippling addiction to ESPN. THAT’S how you do it folks.
Be great to people. I know some folks who go out of their way to introduce their “people” to folks that can help, sort of career waypoints, if you will. When you start connecting the folks in your space that make sense, you become infinitely more valuable. My friend Joe Gerstandt does this in spades and people love him for it (PLUG: He will be leading TTC tomorrow at recruitingblogs.com, in case you didn’t know). Help with resumes, call back when you say you will, don’t be a dill hole.
Spread the wealth- Remember not everyone is on social media all the time, so talking about these tools like they are part of everyday life doesn’t work. This article breaks down a service many people love and even more people are unaware of while still providing tips and tricks for intermediate users. While the writer is gaining serious cred for her company, she’s also building her personal brand as a person in the know. Plus, she’s helping people at the same time.
Okay, so maybe this post wasn’t ALL that short. But there are people out there who need your help. There are people out there waiting to help you. There are tools that people have invented to help you. If that ain’t sweet. . .