Job Search – Keeping a Low Profile While You Actively Search

You Are Employed; but You Know You Can Do Better

Social Media and Networking can be a great way to search for a new job or career; but there are definitely drawbacks when you are currently employed. It is a fact, there are many, many people that have taken positions below their skill levels, abilities, and interests during the current recession. The problem is how do they get back to where they were OR MORE?

You Are Connected and You Cannot Hide

The ubiquitous nature of the Internet knows you. You are no longer able to hide. You have an Internet presence and people can see what you are doing. If they are one of your contacts, connections, friends, followers, viewers, or whatever they have an even greater insight into your activities. Does this mean that you have no hope? Absolutely not; it just means that you must be more creative.

The Advantage of Being Employed

The truth is that being employed is an advantage during these lean employment times. Being employed means that you have survived the cuts, the layoffs, and the failed firms meaning that your value continues to be recognized and desired. This does not mean that those currently unemployed do not have value or are not desired. It just means that those that are employed have been more fortunate and right, wrong, or indifferent; it is an advantage.

It also means that coming from a position of employed to employed has an advantage over coming from unemployed to employed. Again, this is just a fact and not meant to demean anyone.

The second advantage to being employed is that you have the opportunity to create a situation where you are being sought, rather than you doing the seeking. The benefit is that it puts you in the driver’s seat for negotiations and gives you a better opportunity to say “no” when the opportunity is not to your liking. It is great when you are not desperate!

Keeping a Low Profile

How do you keep a low profile while carrying out an effective job search? The first way to keep a low profile is to avoid announcing that you are searching. Strange as that may sound, there are people that profess to want a low profile, but blatantly announce their intention to change jobs. This is not a wise tactic if you want to keep your job until you find the new opportunity.

I will use LinkedIn for the second example, but this would apply to any Social Networking site with similar capabilities. In your LinkedIn profile you have the ability to identify your reason for networking. Your answers should be networking, connecting, collaborating, answer questions, research, etc. None of your answers should have anything to do with looking for opportunities.

Next you must have a complete profile. You cannot expect success when your profile simply lists the places you have worked. What did you do there; what were your accomplishments? As Caesar said Veni, Vidi, Vici; I came, I saw, I conquered. What did you see, what action did you take, and what were the results of those actions? Let the reader know what you have done and what they can expect?

Your next focus should be getting the word out about your expertise. Join and participate in relevant groups. Ask and answer questions, offer advice and information, share your knowledge so people get to know you. Do not hide what you have to offer. Successful networking starts with you giving of yourself, your knowledge, and your expertise. Build your credibility and trust; so people will seek you out.

Join the answer boards and respond to posted questions. Give excellent, thoughtful answers; on LinkedIn people vote on your answers; work to get recognized for the quality of your answers. You are building your presence, reputation, and your brand. This must be a focus of yours.

Following these steps can help you create a presence without necessarily exposing your intentions. If you have not been very active on the Social Networks; make this a somewhat gradual process so you do not attract too much attention immediately. Let your presence grow so that you demonstrate reliability and consistency. You cannot jump out there one day with a flurry of activity and then disappear. You must create a consistent presence for the best success.

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Job Seekers – To Pursue or Be Pursued

Some Job Seekers Pursue, While Other Job Seekers Are Pursued

There are many different ways to seek new opportunities but all of them will fall into one of two categories: to pursue or to be pursued. A job seeker that is pursuing is the person that is out beating the bushes looking for the next opportunity.

The pursuers are targeting employers, sending resumes, filling out applications, searching job boards, networking and making contacts, responding to want ads, etc. They are working to find that next opportunity.

The Pursued

The second category are the pursued. Those are people like Lee Iaccoca in the 1980s, when Chrysler was looking for someone to save the company. Iaccoca’s performance record with Ford made him not only a logical, but a great choice. Iaccoca was the father of the Mustang and that innovative mind was just what Chrysler needed; a person with talent and vision. Iaccoca was pursued by Chrysler.

This is what today’s job seeker should be looking to accomplish with their career.

  • What have you done in your past that you can do in your future to make people seek you?
  • How are you presenting your skills and abilities?

The pursued have a brand and a reputation that is known by some or even many. The more that know your brand the greater your appeal and the greater your opportunities.

Develop Your Brand

Success requires that you develop, build, and promote your brand. Do you have a brand? What is your brand? How can you promote your brand?

These are important questions that you must be able to answer and then act upon. What can you do to establish your expertise and gain the visibility necessary to promote your brand?

Developing your brand requires that you have visibility. In the past this was often difficult to accomplish. There were limited places where you could promote and there was tremendous competition to get your information placed. Today that has all changed.

With the advent of Social Networking. Blogs, and other Internet capabilities; you can get your word out. There are numerous outlets (magazines, ezines, blogs, websites, etc.) where you can gain tremendous visibility and credibility. These outlets suffer constantly from the lack of quality information and ideas. They are experiencing increasing competition for materials and therefore they are always looking for new material and differing perspectives. If you want to get the recognition; the possibilities are unlimited.

Are you pursuing or being pursued? Most job seekers fall into the category of pursuing; what can you do to change yourself from pursuing to being pursued?

Using LinkedIn to Get a Job

LinkedIn is an essential tool for all job seekers. See the full article – Use LinkedIn to Get a Job

There are a few important tips that must be clarified on this list.

  1. A complete profile is important as stated, but you should keep your job titles consistent whenever possible. If you led a marketing group and one position was the director of marketing and the other vp of marketing this will look different in the search results. What can you do to make these similar for a search? This is as important to optimizing the search as having many contacts. You also want to use the phraseology consistently within your job descriptions and summary areas.
  2. Inviting people into your network is important, but they should be quality people. What I mean is they should be connected. Inviting someone with only a handful of connections does little for extending your sphere of influence. Compare inviting someone with 5 connections to someone with over 500 or even a few thousand. It makes a world of difference in your connectivity and exposure.
  3. LinkedIn can have a lot of information on your target company in addition to people. Glean the information on dollar sales, number of employees, etc. Be especially watchful of the comings and goings of individuals. You can see who has joined recently, who has been promoted recently, who has left, executives, etc. Is there upheaval happening, LinkedIn could tip you off.
  4. Join groups wisely. You are limited to 50. If you have target companies find out which groups the people working for that company have joined and join them yourself and become a participant. When they see your name coming from multiple directions it adds to your credibility. Join active groups. Look at the number of members, the number of discussions, the number of jobs posted; if the group has no activity it will not be effective. That is a group of joiners, not participants.
  5. When you participate, really participate. Don’t think that an off-hand great post, means you are participating. You need to be sharing information that will resonate with the group.
  6. Remember there are two types of job postings on LinkedIn. Those posted by recruiters, HR departments, etc that are paid and found under the jobs search and those that are posted by group members. From my experience these are separate and distinct lists.
  7. Participating in the questions and answers is great. One caution, however, post based upon your expertise, don’t hang yourself out there as the expert. There is always someone that will want to prove that you are not the “expert”. I have seen some very long and boring conversations as someone tries to push someone else off their perch.
  8. The LinkedIn search has awesome power and most people barely scratch the surface. Get daring and experiment with your searches; I guarantee that you will be amazed at what you find.
  9. Great point on promoting your blog and website. You must change the name to something that is more descriptive. Remember there is a search process that goes on and anything on your profile page is fair game for the Search Engine.
  10. My tidbits – contribute, contribute, contribute, and be consistent! When you add value to your network and groups you build your credibility, reliability, and trust. Consistency shows that you are not just someone that jumps in because you have nothing better to do.
  11. Comment on promotions of others in your network. Those comments get displayed to everyone on the recipients list.