Ed Note: This post initially appeared on the Careers in Government – GovTalk blog. You can read the original post here.
Getting a job these days is about so much more than your resume. That’s not to say the resume is dead or not viable anymore, but it’s one of many tools in your job-seeking arsenal than your only tool. Employers, and recruiters specifically, are using a variety of tools to gather data on candidates, and they synthesize this data to pull together a picture of the candidates they are searching for. In addition to your resume, they are looking at your other work attributes, such as industry expertise and the like.
So what can you do to make yourself stand out from the sea of resumes, to enhance your personal brand and chances of being the “chosen one”?
Contribute To Your Community
Get involved. Be part of the community in your area of expertise by participating in discussions. Recruiters are starting to get the sense that inMails and the like are paying fewer dividends. (and I’m sure the data supporting this is not far away) This is especially true in high-demand industries or skill sets. Being able to lend your expertise helps you stand out as someone who understands the nuances of your field and makes you more attractive. You’ll also have the opportunity to pay it forward and help the growth of less experienced people in your field. There are a number of sites to do this on including LinkedIn and Quora.
For example, you might be perusing the Security Clearance category on Quora, and you might see the following question in the picture. If you’ve had experience with obtaining a clearance as a consultant, you could contribute an answer to this. Quora allows you to track certain topics that you want to follow regularly, and is a great way to enhance your visibility.
Go On Out And Mingle
Get familiar with Meetup.com. It’s a wonderful way to keep track of the events in your city that are relevant to you and/or/ your career. Being able to talk to other professionals in your field can lead to your own education and the ability to make great new contacts. Also, as you meet other people and share ideas, there is potential for you to be asked to sit on a panel or give a presentation. Take the opportunities available to you, both wide and small and you could be in high demand before you know it.
Where are the MVPs in my field?
Who are the top people writing on topics in your field? Are you reading their posts regularly to keep up on trends? Much like with LinkedIn or Quora, you have a platform to share your opinions and expertise with the readership community of the blog. Think about starting (and promoting!) your own blog if you find yourself noodling on certain topics. Chances are, if you’re thinking about it, so are others in your field.
Be You, Everywhere
Make sure all the social platforms that you use for business networking have an aligned profile. SEO and ensuring that your content and profiles show up at the top of your search results. The more often that your profile is congruent across sites like LinkedIn, Quora, and Twitter, the more likely that search engines will pick it up, making your easier to find. So think about using the same picture and experience summary across each site.
Unlike athletes, most of us are not afforded the luxury of having an agent who can do all of our career promotion for us. That role falls on each of us. Fortunately, with the current landscape of sites available to do this, each of us are in direct control of our personal brand and enhancement of career opportunities.
What are some ways that you’ve been able to increase the opportunities available to you and help you stand out?