Having trouble finding your next job? In addition to going through the usual channels, you may want to consider the following ways to promote yourself. In my practice, I find that those who come up with focused, relevant ways to promote their strengths get the right job in the least amount of time. Here are some ideas to consider.
1. Get to Know the Recruiters in Your Sector
If you don’t already, you should know recruiters in your sector. The reasons are two-fold: first, it is their bread and butter to know your sector and they can be excellent sources of information, and secondly, if they know and respect you they may call you when they have a position.
2. Get Yourself Some Speaking Gigs
One of the best ways to establish yourself in your field (and I mean current or future field) is to speak at industry conferences.The goal is to get yourself out there, sharing your ideas and opinions and building a network of colleagues.
Typically professional associations host at least one conference per year, and they are always looking for good speakers. The trick is to generate a compelling topic and contact (and follow up with) the right person.
Other venues are typically for-profit groups, which should be easily found through Google, in your area of interest.
3. Join Your Industry Professional Association
I am a firm believer in the power of industry involvement. There is nothing as humbling or as useful as being evaluated by your peers, and the internal networking opportunities within your industry (current or prospective) are peerless.
So I strongly encourage you to not only join, but sign up to be on a committee. Or join the council or the board. You will make good friends, you will learn a lot and you will have your ear to the ground. So when that new opportunity—the one you’ve been gunning for— comes up, you’ll have experts in your field to help you.
If you don’t know the professional association(s) for your industry, try http://www.asaecenter.org/
4. Write a Column for a Trade Publication
Every sector and function has a trade magazine or newspaper devoted to it, and yours is no exception. The trick is to provide good content as a resident expert in your field. These publications are always looking for substantive material and would like to see yours, if you are a decent and informed writer.
The reason to do so? Visibiilty. You should always look for opportunities to solidify your brand in the marketplace and the trades are a good way to do that. After all, your future boss is a regular reader!
Once you figure out the name and website of your trade publication, check out the guidelines for contributing.
If you do succeed in having your submission accepted, see if you can write a regular column—making you even more visible.
5. Use LinkedIn Effectively
There has been a tremendous amount written about the benefits of using LinkedIn for job search, and I won’t belabor the point.
Particularly because Judy Lindenberger wrote an excellent guest blog post for my blog this week. http://www.allisoncheston.com/networking/linkedin-lessons-how-to-stand-out-and-level-the-playing-field/
6. Blog About Your Industry
One of the best ways to establish your expertise within your industry is to blog about it. It’s a great way to provide your personal spin while attracting the attention of potential hiring managers.
The easiest way to blog is to write for an established institution such as Fast Company or The Huffington Post. It’s easy to set up your blog on their sites and you will benefit from their existing traffic.
Attended an industry conference or event lately? Talk about it. Up on some controversial piece of news in your sector? Share your opinions. Just make sure you keep it professional and be as original as you can.
7. Create an Industry Networking Group
In today’s market there are many people out of work who could use each other’s help and not enough easy ways for them to interact.
A career advisor offers individualized help on your career, tailored to your very specific needs. But if you are having trouble making the case for hiring a private advisor, it behooves you to create your own networking group of likeminded job-seekers.
The best way to do that is to gather a group, ideally 6-8 people, who are at similar points in their career. Meetings should be regular and in-person. The camaraderie will benefit you in many ways, and so will the structure of regular meetings.
About the Author: Allison Cheston is a New York City-based career advisor who works with mid-career executives and young adults to help them identify their unique value in the marketplace and explore alternative careers. Allison is the author of an upcoming book In the Driver’s Seat: Work-Life Navigation Skills for Young Adults, to help young adults from late high school through college develop strengths and interests and match them to internships, coursework and, ultimately, the right job.
Cheston blogs frequently on career issues for young adults at her own blog, In the Driver’s Seat as well as at Forbes. She also blogs for mid-career professionals at The Examiner. You can reach Allison on Twitter.