When I graduated from college, the world was a very different place. Yahoo and Excite (dating myself here) were dominating the Internet. Social media had yet to be born and cell phones had just started to become popular.
Since then everything’s changed. Amazon has reshaped the business world. Skype and Zoom have made once expensive international calls free. Google maps has made navigating new areas a breeze. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn have made most people just 3 degrees away. And to top it off, we have access to all of that in our pockets thanks to smartphones. In just over 20 short years has changed faster than at any time in human history. The world today is looking more and more like the one in the Jetsons.
However, not everything’s changed. After all, we’re still just us. Our hopes and dreams are still the same. Better health, better relationships, better jobs, and more money are still the main drivers of our lives. And as far as I can tell, most people are still using the old blueprint of going to college, writing a resume, and then sending it off to potential companies in hopes of landing a job.
As a productivity consultant, I just don’t get it.
The job market is brutal today because we’re no longer competing with people in our area, but with those from around the world. A client of mine who works for Panasonic told me that last year they intended to open a plant in China and were looking for two or three local managers. They hired 15 because the candidates were so strong. Jobs that would have originally gone to Japanese people, ended up going to China.
Thankfully, some people do think outside of the box. Take Renata Chunderbalsingh from Sydney, Australia, who created a chocolate bar resume. When I saw that I thought, “Wow. Now that’ll make her stand out.”
Gone are the days where your college diploma helped set you apart from other candidates. Today, further education such as an MBA or a doctorate achiever that, but again, the pool of candidates is increasing year by year.
Some companies have started to accept your LinkedIn page in lieu of a resume. Personally, having hired a number of people in the past, today I would want to see their social media pages. I’d be able to get a better sense of who they are and, more importantly, to look for any red flags.
I like to tell all my clients to “Become Googleable.”
I used to be way back on page eight (which is comparable to no man’s land). But I went to work on becoming Googleable. Adrian Shepherd from the uber-popular game Half-Life still occupies the top spot. However, I’ve managed to secure four out of the top eight entries on the first page, and another four entries on page two.
The secret – a strong foundation.
Step 1: Work your social media
This is where it all begins. If you dream of becoming a film director, then you need to be posting and commenting on everything movie related. Connect to people who love movies as well as famous people in the industry. Post reviews of movies, talk about new trailers, ask questions, etc. Your goal to let as many people as possible know that you live and breathe movies.
Step 2: Contribute to online publications
Regardless of what field you’re interested in, there are numerous online (and offline) publications you could contribute to. Chances are you won’t land a job at Forbes right off the bat, but you might be able to land a weekly column at a smaller site. Forget about making money from it. Instead, focus on honing your talent. The key word here though is: consistent. It won’t happen overnight, but in time, it’ll pay off.
Step 3: Create your own website
There are two ways to go about this. You can make your name the URL (it’s easier for some people), or you can create a “company” with you as the CEO. I did both. At first, just keep it very basic. Consider it a resume so you want your site to tell a story. At a minimum it should answer these three questions:
– Who are you?
– What do you do?
– What makes you different?
Best of all, a website today is much cheaper than you might realize. A search on Fiverr will give you a ton of people to choose from that will eliminate all the heavy lifting. If you need any recommendations, feel free to reach out to me on FB or LinkedIn.
Most people think you need to be famous (or infamous) to be Googleable. Nope. Follow the three easy steps above and I think you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll find yourself moving up the page rankings.
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