By Jo Dalton, JD&Co
We have all been forced into a massive reset. The new world of work is very different, and it will remain that way. So, whether you’re beginning to feel your current role lacks the edge that once drove you, or your job is at risk and you need to find something new, now is the time to embrace the reset: be relevant and evolve.
There’s no denying that this a super challenging time for everyone: with the constant pressure to be an amazing remote worker, Zoom Ninja, support your family and loved ones, stay healthy, become an expert banana bread baker or fitness devotee – the pressure is real. So, I don’t want to put on extra pressure, but this is exactly when you should take a look at your ‘YOU’ brand. I talk to my team and the leaders I coach all the time about their ‘You Brand’. The starting point is always the same, simple few questions:
· What does your personal brand stand for and does it align with your values?
· What is your name and your USP synonymous with?
· Do you love the leadership role you are in and is it growing your potential?
· How relevant are you, and how current is your narrative?
I get asked all the time by business leaders how they can improve the chances of attracting great talent or ensure they are going to be headhunted for that great new opportunity. If you want to stand out from your peers, define yourself in a way that singles you out from the crowd in a concise and engaging style. You need to treat yourself like a startup, whether you are a founder or not. You need to put your best self out there now and ready yourself for the new ‘norm’.
If you are a senior exec, the challenge you face is that most opportunities aren’t advertised on a ‘job board’ or sent to you in a mail – they need to find you. So, the key is to get noticed and be memorable. No more excuses: YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE NEEDS TO STAND OUT!
Sounds simple but not a day goes by when someone doesn’t ask me to advise them on maximising or improving their LinkedIn profile. In today’s business ecosystem, LinkedIn is the starting point for making your mark and connecting with the people that you want to notice you.
1. Be relevant. Please can we delete any reference to outdated technology or processes that are not used anymore, it dates you faster than an admission to knowing what Web Surfer, VCR or a request to fax something means 😉 What is your function or industry talking about right now – well mention it then!!
Ask yourself: is your current career experience relevant now? It sounds simplistic, but you’ve got to have ‘Nowness’. Even in a traditional role you need to use now words and embrace changes to keep sharp and current.
Then think about your online conversations. What are the burning issues online today – what problem is everybody trying to solve? What are the questions in my industry that people are asking? Try and answer them – get active, be seen.
Personalisation, Big Data, Growth Hacking, Globalisation, Automation – there are many topics you can involve yourself in. Get involved, comment, and connect.
2. Nail your personal elevator pitch in the Summary. This is your chance to direct people to your talent and experience source. Use this as your online signpost to show who you are and what you’re all about. These are your own personal hashtags. Every role needs to summarise your successes and achievements, within that role; the things that you delivered while you were in that business.
3. Don’t give your strapline to your current employer. This should be where you sum up your experience, job title, sector expertise in one line. YOU are not a job title, plenty of time for that in the Experience section, your strap line under your name should be you in a sentence.
4. Get your photo in focus. It’s amazing to me how many senior executives still haven’t mastered this and haven’t got the right kind of profile pic, we don’t want to see a cropped group shot or a miserable looking dated photo from a recent wedding. To be clear, it doesn’t have to be a corporate shot but it does have to look authentic, head and shoulders shot, camera facing and modern in feel.
5. Leave your digital footprint. Be seen online – commenting, participating in groups, articles, and status updates, even looking at someone’s profile you want to chat to before you reach out. Engage and be seen regularly.
6. Get some feedback. Great recommendations of your work are really powerful to further endorse your profile. When written well, they go beyond simply saying that you did a great job or were a great boss, and instead highlight the things that made you stand out.
7. Personal pet hate. Well, all the above but starting a new role, and not updating your previous roles to the past tense sends my OCD into overdrive.
8. Available Right Now/Permanent or Consulting. In the fast-paced, high growth tech world I live in, everyone needs that new talent or fresh skill set – now. Your availability to head straight into your next project is key to highlight and might springboard you to the front of the queue (BUT) please don’t add it to your strapline as does nothing for your you brand, just let your network know subtly.
Clients might not be ready to hire their next Exec right now but could need a ‘short, sharp, shot’ of expertise, so don’t rule yourself out of consulting and interim options, you never know where they might lead.
….and finally remember ‘Whatever we go through, we grow through’ and now is the time to do that. Please do reach out if I can do anything to help you during these changing times and hope this helps. Good luck and see you online!