All hiring managers want to hire experts and while it’s relatively easy to become an expert, it does require time (the experience variable). So, now’s as good a time as any to start the process. Your career strategy should embrace the idea of becoming an expert.
Briefly, here are 10 things you can do to build that associative model with hiring managers (linking your expertise/brand with the hiring manager’s awareness of it – and your name):
- Write articles for peer-reviewed journals. Nothing says “expert” better than being published in a respected journal in your profession. I’ll say it again: if you’re a professional with at least 7 years experience and you haven’t been published in a peer-reviewed journal in your profession, you are doing your brand a disservice and hampering your journey to becoming an expert.
- Give presentations/workshops at meetings and conferences. If you’ve had an abstract accepted for a conference, you get double points because you’ll be presenting to an audience of your peers and your paper will likely be published in the Proceedings.
- Use professional networks and media (LinkedIn, Twitter) to expand your circle of influence in your industry. Post often and regularly. Stick to your domain of expertise. I made the mistake early on of only posting on occasion to LinkedIn and Twitter. Wish I had a do-over for that as I’m trying to make up for lost time.
- Write a book on an issue, problem, or areas of opportunity in your profession/field. With low-cost publishing through CreateSpace (the publishing arm of Amazon.com) and Lightning Source, your books can be available in weeks. Smashwords lets you publish in all the popular ebook formats from one source file in a matter of hours once you have the basic formatting done.
- Teach a class at a community college or university. I taught “Fundamentals of Petroleum Exploration and Production” as a part-time adjunct faculty lecturer for several semesters at the University of Houston Downtown College. Having “Adjunct Faculty, Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Houston Downtown College” on my résumé was a nice touch. I initially took the part-time teaching job just for the résumé polish, but quickly found I truly enjoyed teaching.
- Create an attention-getting blog name/catch phrase. My catch phrase or tag line is “The One Hire Authority for Strategic Career Engagement” and I’ve been told that “the one hire authority” is a funny play on words – which makes it memorable.
- Create a unique sign-off statement for blog entries. I’ve been market testing a blog sign-off statement with some in my target audience, and you’ll soon see it at the end of my blog posts.
- Write a bio that promotes your brand rather than typical obituary format. If you have a great Professional Summary on your résumé, that can serve as the seed for building a strong branded bio.
- Assign quantitative value to your accomplishments wherever possible. Always try to ferret out financial numbers for any project you worked on that turned out to be a notable achievement. Hiring managers like numbers, such as revenues generated, costs avoided, percent improvement, etc. Highlight those numbers in boldface type on your résumé to draw the hiring manager’s eye when he or she scans it.
- Join an association or organization in your field or profession and get active in the local chapter. Volunteer for the board, edit the newsletter, manage the job bank. I volunteered to be a parliamentarian for my local homeowners association when I saw that every HOA meeting ran well over the time allotted and didn’t get halfway through the agenda (when there was one). I had a lot of on-the-job experience running tight meetings (and a reputation for results and follow through). Homeowners appreciated meetings starting and ending on time, following an agenda, and keeping the discussions “open to the floor” from going into the weeds.
Former Fortune 500 hiring manager Donn LeVie Jr. is the author of Strategic Career Engagement (September 2015), and the book that reset the rules for successful job and career strategies: Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev. 2.0 (June 2012, Winner of the 2012 Global eBook Award and Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Jobs/Careers).