How to position yourself so others can recommend you with confidence

How to position yourself so others can recommend you with confidence

It may be due to the topics I chose for my Firebrand Talent blog posts in the last year, but I have seen an increase in the number of people approaching me to help find them a job (or wanting to work with me).

I always try to be as helpful as I can, connecting those people with people I know, knowing full well that this puts my own reputation at risk – I connect people I don’t know, with people I do know. If the newly-formed relationship works out, that’s great, and I’m the hero. However, if it doesn’t — I have a problem — with both parties!

When I make a connection between a job seeker and a potential employer (please note – I’m NOT a recruiter! I don’t get anything out of this connection), I make sure there’s context and a reason for this connection.

I would always ask for a copy of the jobseeker’s résumé, Linkedin profile, and any other (marketing) material which can help substantiate this new connection before I make the initial introduction.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people still have a crap résumé, a worse LinkedIn profile, no blog (!), or a portfolio which hasn’t been updated in years…! It’s not very different to companies who fail to update and refresh their case studies, websites and other marketing materials, and send their sales people to “wing it”…

As you can probably tell, I’m very passionate about this “congruence” thing

A few months back, I suggested that people apply marketing principles to their job search. Today, I’ll provide some examples of what you should do and how to position yourself, so people can recommend you to others, with confidence.

How to position yourself, depending on your expertise

I’m a creative type

This one is my favourite – sending a Word document résumé, just like everyone else, isn’t gonna win you any points.

If you’re creative – show it! Find a creative approach to get my attention. Show me your photography (Instagram much?), short movies (home-made clips are the best!), slogans you’ve come up with, the clever t-shirt you’ve designed for yourself. Bottom line – surprise and delight me!

I’m a copywriter

Writing copy should come naturally to you, right? How long have you been blogging for? Where did you publish your own work*? Did your copy win awards? Did you make a demonstrable difference with your words? We know that the word is mightier than the sword. Prove it!

* i.e. published your own thoughts, methods, musings and inspirations? It’s not enough just to write what you’re asked to – show a bit of personality too.

 I’m a graphic designer

Obviously, I’m expecting a portfolio of previous work. Stuff you’ve designed for others (employer, clients), and some of your own ideas too – tattoos, graffiti, paintings, drawings, whatever!

Show me your artistic side, as well as your commercial work, pus Photoshop/Illustrator skills. That includes your LinkedIn header, your well designed résumé, your Loop portfolio – you get the idea.

Im an App developer

My favourite job application of all time was that of Schanelle, applying for a business development role with an app development company. She used the free app that the company developed to create her résumé. SMS’d the link to the Managing Director. She was hired immediately.

Im a Social/Digital Marketing expert

Guys (and gals) – If you present yourself as digital marketers, or social media experts, and don’t tweet, blog, design and build websites, have a profile on About.Me, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, and whatever else is going on right now, I’d find it hard to believe you are really passionate about your job.

It’s hard to demonstrate programmatic/email marketing/BI tools/CRM/HubSpot — but it’s not impossible.

For example, if you’re an inbound marketing expert, show me you understand my persona. Send me targeted emails, provide value, enter me into a funnel, and follow up until I “buy” from you. However, if this is “just a job” for you, please try next door. I won’t be offended.

Just like you wouldn’t hire an overweight, chain-smoking personal trainer, a poor financial advisor or a dentist with missing teeth, make sure you practise what you preach. It will make my job (and any recruiter’s job) a lot easier, when recommending you to a potential employer.

When it’s time to make a move to another employer, take a long look in the mirror, and ask yourself – what’s the best way for me to demonstrate my skills? Don’t just tell ‘em – show them.


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