Learning to network

October 11, 2007

8 simple steps to find the right job for you

Filed under: career — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 12:17 am

I’d be pleased to offer tips, from amongst what I have learned in the past year – about how to make sure that you are always doing the kind of work that really suits you

These steps are the main points I want to get across, from all the categories of my blog entries:
— Decide on your direction
1. Choose what you really want
2. Believe in yourself
—Don’t sell yourself short
3. writing your CV or resume
4. marketing your skills
—Increase your number of opportunities
5. business networking (online and off)
6. Publicise your profile
—Continual career management
7. developing your personal brand
8. understanding your strengths

If I had to give a bonus tip, I guess it would be, but I guess that would be biased towards me. Still, I don’t mind if you have a bias towards me…

9. Never stop learning


September 10, 2007

Networking through journalism – interview your targets

Filed under: career, Publishing, Self-marketing, think positive — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 8:31 am

If you have a good idea for a paper or a publication then you can use this as an opportunity for networking

In order to complete your research, it often helps to conduct some interviews with subject matter experts – people in the field who have concrete experience. As you interview people, you are beginning to understand their needs, and this is often an important aspect of building a networking relationship. This means that as a networker, you can benefit from the implicit relationship that comes from interviewing.

Of course it helps if your research topic is close to your career path, but in an ideal world it should be anyway.

A potential issue with this is that, as a relatively unknown writer you might not be able to attract prestigious interviewees – but then this is all part of your self-development as a writer and/or networker. You need to start with people who are close enough to you, and where possible develop further relationships through them. As you continue your reputation will spread, and so will your ability to draw interest from a wider group of professionals.

In all cases, a crucial factor will be the topic you choose – the more exciting or relevant it is, the more people you will attract to be involved. And naturally if you are enthusiastic about the topic, more people will be drawn by your passion in the subject – both contributors to the writing stage, and later your readers too!

Does that sound like a win-win strategy to you?

May 29, 2007

Realising the value – THE END of the beginning

On the 19th February my online business networking paid off.

Well, by the time the invoice got sorted it was much later than that, but the point is that an ex-colleague of an ex-colleague to asked meet me, then offered me a busy role that kind of didn’t allow time for learning to network.

Well, I have still carried on networking when feasible, but I have not had time for the luxury of researching and reporting on the topic. However I have learned so much by sharing this experience that I am determined to apply many of the publishing and marketing skills on something that is close enough to my day job to make it compatible and feasible


Look me up on




February 8, 2007

Make yourself easy prey for any “sourcers”

Filed under: career, Self-marketing — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 5:26 pm

Sourcers are more like traditional headhunters than regular recruiters, they go out to try and find the ideal person for a role, rather than searching their existing database of CVs. Shally Stekerl and (six degrees from) Dave Mendoza have recently started a business called JobMachine, sharing their sourcing secrets with recruiters. In the post StlRecruiting: JobMachine Interview: Sourcers Extraordinaire we find some usefuls suggestion for people who are hoping to be “sourced” at some point in the future.

Whereas recruiters publicised their requirements and extracts from job descriptions, in the hope of attracting potential candidates, sourcers are far more pro-active. Therefore there is not point in contacting sourcers, because you cannot know what they are interested in. Instead Shally offers the following advice

7) How can I, as a candidate, improve my chances of getting “found” online by a sourcer?

Create an online presence that clearly details your expertise, aspirations
and how to contact you. Make sure that online presence is listed or linked
to places relevant to your industry.

This follows on very well from the sound advice many career consultants offer. They say we should define our ideal role, to help us take specific specific actions to find where such opportunities exist. Now the sourcers are adding the advice to disclose that information about our ideal role. If we share it publicly, then sourcers can find it, and of course prospetive employers can know when they have found someone who could well be just that person they were looking for. Maybe this is a case where your wish is more likely to come true if you tell other people what you wished for.

February 5, 2007

Standard CVs part 2 – the jobseeker’s holy grail?

Filed under: career, Self-marketing, Technologies — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 3:28 pm

Following on from my last post on standardised CVs, I managed to dig out the link for resume standards I saw in a post from Bill Vick. He mentioned the HR-XML Consortium.

I discovered that I was not the only person musing about how much better the jobseeker’s world would be if only there were a simple, unified way of marking up the content in CVs – Sara Moss recently wrote Staffing Technology: Portable resumes. However, the reality of the situation might be slightly less rosy. For a more pragmatic view on the obstacles holding us back from curriculum nirvana, see Chuck Allen’s reply HR-XML blog ยป Portable Resumes.

After all, we are all individuals, and every person’s resume should convey their own personality, capabilities, and even brand. All of this becomes rather difficult to quantify in standardised terms. Yes you can measure quantities in an XML schema, but will it allow a candidate’s qualities to truly shine through.

Still, dreaming about informatic ideals is obviously a part of my individuality, and is a quality that helps me add some measure of positive change into the activities I carry out, so I’m not going to stop just yet.

February 1, 2007

Cornering the UK skills market by standardising CVs

Filed under: career, Self-marketing, Technologies — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 2:51 pm

I’ve come across a few tools that suck in my resume, and try and populate it into a standard format, with varying degrees of accuracy. I don’t know if any operator intervention was involved in creating my iProfile, but its at least a 90% true reflection of the CV it was based upon. In fact, if I was almost tempted to just leave it as it was – I’ve been to interviews in the past and seen the version of my CV the agency has sent to the client was a complete desecration of my original proud document.

Still, a number of agencies I have recently contacted about roles seem to use the iProfile, so I decided to find out a little more. Since 2002 SkillsMarket have been offering UK agencies services based around the iProfile. The value proposition for agencies is clear – how much time did it used to take their staff to “normalise” information on candidates skills into their own databases (and as I saw at those interviews, how low could the quality get during the copy-transfer) Now a computer does the grunt work, the job-seeker does their own polishing, and all the recruiter need do is keyword search. OK, I’m not saying that’s easy, but its a darn sight better than preceding it with an hour or two of tedious copy an paste per every single candidate, multiplied by every single agency that job-hunter contacts.

Ok, its YET another profile to add to my burgeoning collection, but given a year or three this kind of thing will hopefully become widespread. With any luck the markets could drive some consolidation, and maybe we’ll eventually see an open source standard (just one, not ten different ones ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) that defines markup for resumes and skill/experience-based profiles. Then it’ll be up to candidates to focus on brand development and recruiters to become project and business development consultants. You can tell I’m an optimist, but its nice to have happy thoughts when your looking for work.

January 31, 2007

Let’s be honest – I am looking for work!

Filed under: career, Manage my network — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 3:14 pm

Well, I’m not sure if its obvious, but a major reason for me starting on my current drive into the world of Networking was to increase my chances of finding work in the future. Career Management is becoming a more common focus of my reading at the moment, because I am increasingly interested in finding a new contract (yep, you’ve guess it, my current contract is up for renewal fairly soon). I guess its remiss of me not to have tagged more posts in this blog as “career” releated, but better late than never.

I rate the advice that David Perry gives in his Guerrilla Job Hunting blog, and so I was pleased to see his review of online social networking tools from a jobseekers point of view (Guerrilla Job Hunting: the Key to Networking).

Nestling towards the end of his article is a link to Liz Ryan’s article The Social Networking Weblog: For Job-Hunters: How to Find a Contact Name Inside a Target Company. So now all you need to do is work out what job you want, which company you want to do it for, and you know how to do the rest. ๐Ÿ˜€

January 24, 2007

You can be too busy to learn, but should never be too busy to network

Filed under: career, Manage my network, Self-marketing, Social Media — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 9:19 pm

This channel has been quiet recently, as I have spent more time executing than learning. Executing work for clients, executing the enrichment of my network, and executing steps towards my next career move. All very sensible things to do, and they allow one learning curve to flatten out, consolidating into experience, before the next curve launches upwards.

I have actually been doing some family networking, which is quite enjoyable, as I rarely get the opportunity to spend time with my myriad cousins, aunts and uncles. This is how come the family forums we set up have been most refreshing.

The subject for this post, however, is one of those jolts that periodically remind us what are the more important things to focus on. Its all well and good to perform well, keeping our current managers and customers happy with the services we give them, but it critical to keep an eye on that future supply line. Jason Alba talks about how few of the 60 layoffs were actively promoting their own career which might not have been surprising, were they not at at the career management social networking service Jobster.

Virtually all of us – every person employed by, partnered with or serving almost any company – are actually in very similar positions. Any of us could have see our contract to serve withdrawn, or even an entire client company disolve, in the blink of an eye. We would be most likely to have no prior warning at all, and would be powerless to prevent it. However the one thing we can all be doing, even whilst faithfully serving our current masters to best of our ability, is making sure that we are always ready to make our next career move, whether its of our own choosing or not.

  • Know where you most want your career to take you
  • Keep your resume and online career profiles up to date
  • Nurture your network, by being there when your friends need you, so they can be there the day you need them

Some of us are lucky, and major career jolts can turn into great opportunities. Just in case, though, its best to ensure you create your own luck, rather than leaving things too much to chance.

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