4 TIPS – to Keep Your Personal Branding Sharp just in case you do get the “Itch” to MOVE…

April 5, 2013

Passive!!! Not looking for a New Job? Today anyway…“Wake up and Smell the Coffee”….Supply Chain & Purchasing Professionals

(4) Four Tips to Keep Your Personal Branding Sharp if you do get the “Itch” to MOVE…

SOMETIMES, the last thing on your mind…as you rush off the subway and sit at your desk and take your first sip of coffee IS LOOKING FOR A NEW CAREER OPPORTUNITY. You don’t realize you’re looking for a job change until just the right opportunity comes along and takes you by surprise.

But when it does (and trust us, it will if you’re really top of your game in SCM),  be ready.. because opportunities come at the most unexpected times and are gone in a flash. And here’s the best piece of advice we can give you because we are really seasoned Recruiters…NEVER, EVER say NO to an interview (even if you’re not looking). How many of us have been through this scenario: You’re toying with the idea of maybe stepping into the job market after four, five years in a great job. Out of the blue, you hear about a potentially interesting opportunity at a super company…rapidly growing, big career potential long term but you like your job still. What to do…it’s a no-brainer..get out there and find out more find out if it’s as exciting as it sounds – submitting a resume, taking a meeting/interview does not a commitment make. But like most, you realize that your resume has been collecting dust on your hard-drive. Your social networking profiles are completely non-existent and you need get it together. Your job skills are better than ever, but your ‘personal branding’ is stuck back in the stone-age.

Most important Rule. Stay on top of your networking, personal branding and your job search materials  before you find yourself having to use them. Know you can hit the ground running when the right opportunity comes along, you find yourself restructured unexpectedly, or when you get the itch to make a career change.

Here’s a quick reference list of some great basic habits to develop even if you’re in “passive” mode and are quite happy at your current job. Practice these tips starting TODAY and you’ll save yourself lots of time and stress if and when you switch into “active” mode and start looking for a new job, or if a great opportunity arrives and you have to act quickly.

1. Always Keep Your Resume Up to Date:

This is the most obvious habit to get into, but it’s trickier than it looks. Keep it simple and update often. Don’t use anything overly fancy, a  Microsoft Word document always works best (anyone you send it to can open it and make revisions with you online)  Updating a resume isn’t as easy as it seems though. Keeping your resume up to date means making sure your resume is modern, easy to read and accomplishment based. Too short and you have nothing – too long you will drown the reader in text – three pages is best. Something which will catch the readers eye quickly is critical. A quick facts sidebar works well to draw out important details for the reader. Figure out which formatting you want to use. What’s a good design template for your field? Ask around in your network, do some research, go to Google for examples and most of all DON’T assume that what worked a few years ago will still work today – it just doesn’t. Depending on your field, you should even consider getting creative with it BUT don’t go overboard. Last week, we posted some good resume tips. Have a look at those and see if you can punch up your resume beyond adding a few more lines of text. Too much text is death to a resume screener.

2. Get Some of Your Work Product into a Presentable State

An Accomplishment Page is a fantastic tool. Have it accompany a resume and take it to a meeting/interview. It’s a snapshot of what ROI you bring to a prospective employer and this is really way more important than a resume these days.  Employers stop to look at something different and this is still different enough from the usual resumes and cover letter and lends itself well in the Supply Chain Management field where attention to detail is key. Prospective employers often want to see analytics, case studies, snapshots of saving initiatives or other non confidential work product, to show them that you know what you’re doing. So often candidates have to scramble to get their accomplishments and work product into a presentable state before an interview, because hiring managers want the detail. If you keep your best work on file, and have it already stripped of proprietary information so that you can send it to a new employer, you won’t have this problem, and you’ll be ready to put your best foot forward and have an advantage over other candidates.

3. THE PHONE – your best friend – Don’t forget to use it

Forget email pick up the phone first – them use email…This is something else we’ve been blogging a lot about recently. We read all kinds of stuff everyday that talks about how email and LinkedIn have replaced the telephone and personal engagement as a primary networking tool. It’s true the phone is extremely important and people just don’t engage enough on the phone these days! Have you ever heard the phrase “time kills deals”? If you email or message someone on a social network, it’s so easy for them to “get to it later.” Your communication must be a low priority, otherwise why didn’t you pick up the phone and call?

The phone is still the best tool for getting things done fastest. Engagement works. What does this mean if you’re still “passive” and not in job search mode?  It means you need to keep your phone skills sharp so practice makes perfect. Pick up the phone as much as you can and use it to reach out. And try this, sitting at your desk? – don’t be so fast to let that voice mail pick up your call….That person trying to reach you will be at the very least surprised to have reached you live and the interaction will be more efficient because you won’t get into the telephone tag game and who knows, it might just be something really intriguing….. Lots of people (Gen Xers and Gen Yers for example) have gotten too comfortable with email, and the phone is something that is perhaps too raw, too confrontational – who knows. Don’t be one of these people, and you’ll have a smoother time if and when you activate a job search with these re-polished skills.

4. Stay Visible on LinkedIn and other ‘professional’ Social Media forums

With that in mind, it’s also extremely important to buff up your social networking presence. The Internet is never a replacement for personal engagement and the phone because it doesn’t have the same urgency, but LinkedIn is by far one of the most valuable new networking tool. Think about your LinkedIn profile the same way you think about a new form of your resume. To use Industry specific keywords will certainly enhance your exposure to many more fellow networkers, peers, and industry leaders in Supply Chain who could open up opportunities which you would have never even contemplated. AND please upload a business appropriate picture! Did you know that it’s been proven that a profile with a picture gets way more attention than someone without one. The reality is that everyone checks out everyone on LinkedIn these day so be sure to have a robust and intriguing profile that just makes you more professional. Beyond that, it’s more likely to get noticed by people in your network, and by recruiters (like us!) who might approach you with an opportunity you can’t resist.

Hope this information has been helpful today. For other interesting blogs regarding branding, resume enhancements as well as the new world of Contract employment in SCM, please do check out our others blogs at www.argentus.com and be sure to see us on our new corporate video

Over and out




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