By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter
Navigating the unpredictable economic winds and stormy job search seas, today’s executive and professional career explorer must don the appropriate foul weather gear, plot out a meticulous course, shore up his resources and set sail for what may be a longer-than-expected journey.
While charting a course and preparing with all of the necessary equipment are imperative, being flexible and adaptable to shifting winds and alternate ports of entry are equally important. This is why creating and implementing a multiplicity of career positioning messages (ports in the storm, if you will), articulating your value and compelling readers to want to know more about you, is vital.
A rigorous, often intellectually daunting exercise, strategizing your unique value drivers is an introspective process; you mustn’t downplay the importance of taking time, and thought, to do it right.
Now, with your value messages prepared, I suggest there are six key off- and online career positioning ports that you populate with the painstakingly prepared messages, as follows:
1. Presentation Resume: The heartbeat of your executive or professional story, this pithy, content- and design-driven document should be created initially in a Microsoft Word format. Focus first on melding together a congruent complexity of career anecdotes that zero in on the “why” and the “how” you do what you do in a way that tells your target reader (hiring decision maker) that you can create the same return-on-investment for them!
Then, use the career unearthing and clarification process to populate several online venues.
2. LinkedIn Profile: The LinkedIn profile is not a mini-me resume; however, the shiny gems you dug up to create your resume will serve the LinkedIn story well, beginning with the creation of a first-person narrative Summary. This chronicle is an opportunity to uniquely weave in colorful threads of your passion for skyrocketing business growth, driving technology improvements, directing customer service enhancement initiatives, steering cultural change … and more.
Punctuate the summary with solid, concrete and measurable results while also infusing it with personality. This is only the tip of the LinkedIn profile iceberg. The Experience section as well as the Skills, Education and other areas offer further opportunities to fuel a message through a well-known, 100-million+ member business-networking site.
3. Twitter: I cannot deny it: Twitter is my favorite social media venue. With a brief, 160-character profile opportunity, I’d suggest you whittle down your value message to the most optimal insights.
Then, start listening to your Tweet stream, following movers and shakers — not necessarily the most popular and Klout-ranked tweeters, but those who are active and influential in a way that interests YOU and your goals. Whom would you like to meet? … to get to know better? Watch what they say; show interest in their messages; retweet them and add sincere, complimentary and value-add comments to their messages. Engage.
4. Google+: So much has been written already about this new microblogging platform including its value in boosting your Google search results. While I’m still exploring its value, I immediately saw the benefit in developing a meaningful storyboard profile: https:/gplus.to/ValueIntoWords. I suggest the same for you. Then, start listening, and strategically posting valuable content and insights.
5. Facebook: The drumbeat of Facebook’s importance in the job search equation is getting louder. Most recently, an article in SmartBrief quoted one recruiter as saying that “… recruiters are increasingly using Facebook to find candidates. Potential candidates need to acknowledge this new branding of the self that social media generates and adapt their profiles to the new reality.”
6. about.me: Corral the above links into a central website repository by creating an about.me profile, as I did here: http://about.me/JacquiBarrettPoindexter. It also is crucial to include a tasteful, focused career value proposition, a summary that is consistent with your other profiles, mentioned above. Share the about.me link with networking contacts and perhaps even, as a link on your resume. This snapshot overview of your career links can ease the communication process.