By Jas Singh
Everyone in life needs a break.
That one opportunity that we are all craving for.
The chance to work for that big firm you’ve always admired. The chance to apply your skills in another industry. The chance to work abroad. Even the chance to be given your first CEO role.
Mine came nearly ten years ago – by total fluke. A twenty something pharmacist, there I was waiting to join the annual uptake scheme at GSK. My corporate career lay ahead of me. Out of nowhere, a recruiter called me up and asked if I’d ever considered a career in recruiting. With nothing better to do for a few weeks before I started my new job, I thought I’d meet him just out of curiosity. Immediately I was fascinated with the career as a hiring specialist. The rest, as they say, is history.
The business world right now is an exciting place to be. Never has opportunity been so great. New professions, companies and even industries are literally being created overnight. There is an abundance of opportunity for everyone.
Yet in the noisy world we live in, hiring managers have an endless degree of choice. To catch the attention of the best opportunities you need to stand out.
You need to be more visible.
Becoming more visible has several advantages. You will be contacted more regarding opportunities. You will be at the forefront of the minds of people in your industry and profession. Even your reputation can be enhanced.
So how do you do it? With all this big data flying everywhere how do you differentiate? How do you become more visible?
The following things can help.
1) Have a clear identity
By becoming more visible, essentially what all celebrities, leaders and professionals are trying to do is become more memorable. To become ingrained in the minds of others – so that when opportunities arise they are the first person others think of.
But strong memories are only formed if the message to the brain is consistent. Identity needs to be enforced over and over again so that the association becomes permanent.
Herein lies the major problem why many people spend hours blogging, networking and advertising yet fail to get results. They try to cover too much – their focus is too broad and as a result viewers may find the actual content interesting but fail to remember them after a short period of time.
Nelson Mandela equals peace. Richard Branson equals entrepreneur. Warren Buffet equals investor.
A clear identity is essential for permanent visibility.
2) Use social – but use it properly
There’s no doubt about it that nowadays social media and the internet is essential for increased visibility. It’s why leaders are clambering heavily to get to the front of LinkedIn views, Facebook likes and Twitter re-tweets.
You have to be on social to get noticed today. Especially on a large scale. In fact, celebrities such as Kim Kardashian only have the large scale exposure they have today in major part due to the fact that they were one of the first to embrace social media so heavily.
But simply being on social media is not enough. It’s a competitive place to be and so you have to use it properly.
You have to use it regularly. You need to be clear who you are trying to target and why. As mentioned above, your identity needs to be clear. You need to be engaging genuinely with your followers – replying to messages, staying current and all as swiftly as possible.
It’s more complicated than it looks. That’s why most high profile personalities actually employ professional experts in social media to manage their on-line profiles.
Get on social. But learn how to use it properly first.
3) Offer valuable content
Unless you are already famous or have a large scale following to start with, people are unlikely to be interested simply in you to start with. Telling your LinkedIn followers that you have just sold a five million dollar account or announcing on Facebook that you are now a qualified lawyer isn’t likely to be very interesting to most others.
After the odd “well done”, “congrats” and like, people move on. To focus on the thing they enjoy thinking about the most….themselves.
Until you are someone they look up to, people are only going to notice you – and more importantly – come back to you, if you offer them something they need. Something valuable.
The more valuable content you offer, the more visible you will become.
Share that industry link that may be useful. Make the annual report available for others to see. Blog about how the conference went and what opportunities you are currently seeing in the market.
Content for the sake of content is worthless. In fact, unless it offers value it can even be the worst type of content as all…..boring.
4) Do something DIFFERENT!!!
But perhaps most of all, the one principle that makes one more visible than anything is originality. Being different. Going against the crowd.
With infinite content bulging through every link and banner on our screens you have to stand out. Otherwise only the privileged (the rich, the first, the famous or the “influencers”..sorry LinkedIn!) will keep popping up. Being genuinely different often means becoming more noticeable.
Bizarrely, being different often means at times going backwards in time. For example, I came across an interesting post on LinkedIn from another user that showed that 68% of Fortune 500 CEO’s were NOT on social media! In other words, if becoming more visible to this group of leaders is part of your career objective then being different might be trying things outside social. Could be things like networking, attending more seminars – even writing to them.
Being different can be difficult and marketing companies are paid millions each year to try and achieve this. But it’s always possible. Who would have thought for instance that throwing a bucket of ice over someone could have gained so much publicity?
You know yourself, your career, your industry and your target audience better than anyone else. What can you do that is different but will interest them?
It’s worth spending time answering this question.
It’s a dog-eat-dog digital world out there. To get more and high quality opportunities you need to be visible.
Hiring managers themselves need to make sure they are more visible – so they can attract the best people and also further their own reputations.
How visible are you to opportunity?
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