I am updating my personal profile and CV, and part of this is my list of Specialities. Naturally I want to create the best possible impression, but perhaps I should actually consider compromising some of my principles.
Because I see my list of specialities as about “doing things”, I think that Verbs make the point most clearly, and I always prefer to use plain language when I can
– implementing systems
– defining requirements
However most people seem to write resumes and job specifications using nouns
– systems implementation
– requirement definition
These are not plain language, nor do they have the feeling of action – they are static and staid. Also they are slighty longer and and actually more difficult to get your mouth around if your read them out loud. I just feel that the verb versions are simpler and better.
However, the modern dynamics of curriculum vitae, resumes and profiles is driven by a new imperative, “findability”. It is becoming increasingly rare for a resourcing manager or recruitment consultant to discuss key roles with their contacts or thumb through their rolodex or file of quality personnel. Nowadays it is far more likely that they will search through a series of online resources looking for good keyword matches.
In other words, your online career profile must have good SEO.
You may be able to rely on some of the recruiters’ search portals having sensible thesauruses, but at the end of the day you are more likely to score hits if you include the same precise terms in your profile as the ones that recruiters are looking for.
One of the issues I’ve always struggled with in the past is the fact that I am my own product, as a consultant I only have a certain number of hours in any given day that I can spend with clients and bill to them. Although there is often room to negotiate rates up, depending on the circumstances you move yourself into, this still a major limiting factor on ones income.
Well, if you are well-versed in how to identify, develop and project your own Personal brand, then the next logical step would be to grow this into a fledgling Corporate brand. All you need to do is to find a way to remove yourself from the critical path, or if you have already learnt to think big, remove your foot from the hosepipe. Whether you encourage trusted ex-colleagues to take on parts of your role, put yourself out of a job by developing a tool that does some of the wonderful things clients want without you needing to be there, sell some of your experience in the form of courses or books, the choice is yours. At the end of the day, you can find ways to accept more clients who will value the extra special something that is behind your USP.
It all comes down the the notion that we are the people who set our own limitations – if you can just encourage yourself to think that little bit bigger, then the sky becomes your limit!
Executives Online have carried out a recent survey of the UK interim sector. They have included their findings in their New Interim Report, which draws together “Research and Analysis on the UK Market for Interim Management and Other Fast-Track Executive Resourcing”. It supplies an interesting range of facts, figures and evaluations that may be relevant to clients, but which are most definitely very pertinent to people who are looking to place themselves into interim roles.
Benefits of interims
For me, one of the most valuable findings concerned the reasons why clients chose to hire Interim Managers. Executives Online found that over two thirds of clients cited one of the following amongst the most important qualities of interim managers:
- Skills/experience for job
- Strategic but also implement (sic)
- Results focused
- Quickly get people on side
The report suggests that clients like to reduce risk by employing someone who’s “done it before” – obviously no great surprise there. However, once you understand the other key qualities clients appreciate, then it makes it easier to emphasise to them that you are capable of delivering.
Technorati Tags: interim, deliver, quality, skill, client
Its great when someone publishes a list of “X important things you must do in order to…” , because it provides a fantastic way of metering your own progress towards your goals. Personal Branding guest blogger Jason Jacobsohn gives a classic example at with 13 Important Drivers to Developing Your Personal Brand. What could be more reassuring than counting the achievements you have already ticked off? If you already have plans to accomplish the others, it only encourages you further.
In fact, I find it highly satisfying that Jason lists only one important driver that I do not esteem – personal note cards. But anyone who has tried to decipher a scrawled personal message from me in the past decade will appreciate that no amount of gold-emblazoned bonded card stock could ever make my handwriting appear professional.
Dan Shawbel has developed a model of eight prime areas of activity within the realm of personal branding:
- Social media – your brand’s communication channel with the world
- Entrepreneurship – your career is your business, who else will manage it for you?
- Human resources – as potential consumers of your services this is your target market
- Public relations – you can get your message across using new and old media
- Self-marketing – primes you with the raw material for any conversations
- Forming relationships – networking allows you to transact with people who may be interested in your brand
- Search engine optimization – improving your page rank through publishing techniques that can often complement your content
Not only does <a href=http://personalbrandingblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/10/personal-branding-octopus-model-of-relevancy/>Dan’s article</a> explain this more clearly than my clumsy paraphrasing, but it also comes with a free Octopus.
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?
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.