In today’s job market, it’s no longer who you know but who knows you. Don’t be the Invisible Man

Nick-Kossovan: How to boost your job search visibilityShiny objects catch our attention. When job searching, you want to be the shiny object that catches the attention of employers; exposure is the key. There’s no “shiny” without exposure.

Some people – perhaps you know one or two – are constantly sought after by employers, while most chase employers. Sought after people understand it’s not their knowledge or experience that will make them attractive to employers, but what they show (read: expose). Consequently, the adage “It’s who you know, not what you know” has been replaced with “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.”

In today’s job market, finding a job boils down to making yourself as attractive to employers as possible. When you appear on an employer’s radar, you want them to say, “I must meet this person!” The more attractive you are as a “must-meet,” the more opportunities will present themselves.

Whether or not you successfully attract opportunities depends on what you strategically show the world. Fundamentally, when searching for a job, your skills and experience matter less than what you show. (Of course, you must show employers what they want to see.) Showing requires visibility; visibility requires exposure, which can be achieved in several ways.

  • Utilize social media to build a strong presence
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Employers and recruiters pay attention to online “goings-on,” hence the obvious: Use social media to promote yourself.

When done correctly and consistently, your digital footprint will showcase your expertise and connect you with influencers in your field and industry, along with:

  1. Positioning you as an expert in your industry and/or profession.
  2. Demonstrating your communication skills, a skill employers highly value.

The key is to be active, ideally daily, and not just passively observe. Don’t just create profiles and let them sit there. Participate in LinkedIn groups, write posts and guest blogs, share insightful content, and ask questions.

Social media’s reach is unfathomable. You never know who might read your profile or content and contact you. Years ago, I got a call from Crocs’s VP of Human Resources. The head of marketing had seen my Pinterest board, ‘Brands That Have My Heart,’ which included Crocs – it’s common for employers to Google themselves to see what’s being said about their productsand after reviewing my LinkedIn profile, felt I might be a good fit for an open position they had. I ended up working for Crocs for several years.

My social media posts often lead to recruiters and employers contacting me. When used to build a visible personal brand, the Internet and social media are job seekers’ best friends.

  • Become an active member of a professional association

Professional associations are the perfect place to increase your visibility with like-minded individuals who share a passion for a particular profession or industry. Employers often look for candidates among association members. Understandably, employers prefer players in their industry, people who exhibit an affinity for their profession and industry by staying current with news, trends, and market changes, information that can come in handy during interviews.

As with not leaving your social media idle, don’t join an association solely to list it on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Being visible in an organization requires active participation. Volunteer to recruit conference speakers, or, even better, be a speaker/panellist yourself. Write for the association’s newsletter, offer to manage their social media, or sit on a committee.

Becoming a member of an association opens you up to a smorgasbord of networking opportunities with people who are most likely attached to opportunities in some way. But to be top-of-mind for the opportunities they’re connected to, they first need to know you.

  • Volunteer “strategically”

You probably know someone whom everyone knows because of their volunteer work.

Strategic volunteering means volunteering for a position (e.g., fundraiser, social media manager, event planner) within a cause that’ll leverage and enhance your core skills while making a tangible contribution to the cause, which is where creating your visibility happens – difference-makers are noticed – and provides an opportunity to expand your network.

Volunteerism brings together people from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds for a common goal, thereby creating uncommon connection opportunities that often lead to rare opportunities. All networking, no matter with whom, has potential benefits. Additionally, many employers gravitate to charitable candidates.

  • Make your LinkedIn profile stand out with numbers

According to Hootsuite, 1.6 billion people visit LinkedIn every month. You don’t need statistical evidence to know LinkedIn profiles receive many more views than resumes, so give your LinkedIn profile lots of love!

Your LinkedIn profile and resume should follow the cardinal rule of emphasizing your results rather than your responsibilities. An employer’s success largely depends on its employees’ results; therefore, understandably, your past results are all they care about.

Use quantifying numbers that illustrate your achievements to make your LinkedIn profile and resume stand out. For instance, mentioned that you managed a $4 million annual budget or that you sourced a new Internet service provider that reduced costs by 15 percent. Numbers that show that you improved your employer’s bottom line or increased revenue are eye-catching, making you a shiny object.

Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job.

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