When I train career advisors and job seekers on the strategic approach to online job search, I make sure to mention that a résumé is an obituary.
Résumés do a great job telling people what you did. Where you worked. What things you’ve done in your past that made a difference.
And résumés have a place in the job search as well. They are requirements in many HR departments’ intake process. They help hiring managers to remember you after an interview and pass you along the chain.
But to really stand out from the rest requires that you demonstrate the value you can bring in the future, not the past. Remember that you are being hired to solve someone’s problems.
Here are three easy ways to help you demonstrate your value to a potential employer.
1. Have Something to Say
Even if people don’t agree with you, they will respect you for being brave enough to voice an opinion. No one likes to hire a “yes” man.
No matter what industry you go into, there is always an opportunity to indulge in some controversy. For example, if you are in marketing, you might have an opinion about Gillette’s Old Spice campaign.
If you are in finance, you might have some insights into why the banking industry is doomed to yet another failure. If you are a project manager, you might have some issues with Agile.
Having something to say shows that you are motivated. And having motivation for your job means you are a low-risk candidate.
2. Have a Place to Say It
Today there are thousands of bloggers, and many of these bloggers are job seekers. In fact, I have several clients who have been able to find work based on their blogs.
A blog is a wonderful platform to show the world that you have something to say. It shows that you can write. It shows you are tech-savvy. It shows that you are not afraid to take a stand.
You might document your job search.
You might follow a topic.
Here are some examples of some great job seekers who found work from their blogs:
Karen Bolipata (Writer)
Danny Cox (PR)
Jenny Blake (HR)
Terry Shultz (Engineering Design)
Norm Elrod (Marketing)
3. Be a Leader, Start a Community
The majority of blogs are dead within three months. Most never get more than 50 people to read them. The comments section develops cobwebs.
When you pass two restaurants, and one is full with a line, and the other is empty, which one are you going to assume is the better place to eat?
When an employer is checking you out online, if you’ve linked to your blog from LinkedIn and from your email signature, and the employer sees you ranting and raving online with nobody giving a crap, you might not get the result you hoped for.
A blog is a community. Having comments shows that you, as a thought leader, are provoking discussion and that people care about what you have to say.
Apart from begging your friends to comment, this can be one of the most disappointing parts of starting a blog. And, I suspect, a major reason that they don’t last long. No one likes the feeling of talking to a wall.
Having comments also tells Google that you are special. And with your name on the blog, your smart articles will soon begin to dominate Google search results for your name.
To solve the comment problem, I’ve started a Comment Co-Op for career-minded bloggers.
A Comment Co-Op (noun): A Comment Co-Op is a group of people who support each other by commenting on each other’s blog posts in order to improve ranking and traffic.
Basically, members can ask other members for comments, tweets, and links at any time. In return, members can respond back with comments, tweets, and links to other members.
If you would like to learn more about this Blogger Co-Op, click here.
And of course, your comments are welcome. If you don’t comment, I’ll just be a total loser.