One of the most powerful ways to stand out with recruiters, influential contacts, and hiring executives is to make yourself useful. By that I mean sharing useful content that relates directly to your areas of expertise.
You can share such content in LinkedIn status updates or in LI Groups discussion areas, of course, but you can also leverage these types of resources when building relationships one-on-one with specific individuals. Content sharing is a great way to forge a relationship with someone you don’t know, take that relationship to the next level, and remind folks of your candidacy without sending “me, me, me” emails or LinkedIn messages.
Assuming you are or are planning to build relationships with more than one recruiter, influential contact, or hiring executive, you will need ongoing access to relevant content such as blog posts, articles, media, white papers, events, or industry news. Of course you can Google such information, but is there a more proactive option?
Yes there is – digital marketers refer to this as content curation. That is, finding relevant content that matches your target market’s needs and curating or validating it for sharing purposes. This may sound complex but it can be quite simple once you know how. Here are 5 steps to get you started:
- First identify the key words you are most expert in. For the purposes of this exercise it will work best to limit your focus areas to 3 to 5. Too many key words will quickly overwhelm you. You can always add more later once you have the content curation process down.
- If you want to keep things really simple and low-tech, use a paper and file folder solution. This works especially well if you already read a lot of business newspapers, journals, or industry magazines. Clip out articles you’d like to share and file them in a Shareable Content folder. If you’re sourcing material for multiple key words, you may need multiple sub-folders to organize your print content. You can also add content printed from web sources to your folders if you like.
- An easy way to source online content to be shared is to set up a Google Alert (available at Google.com/alerts). This is a saved search based on one or more key words that Google emails you results for automatically at the frequency you dictate. Alerts can include news, web content, videos, books, or discussions. Keep your key words specific and limit each alert to one key word phrase. Monitor a new alert in the first few weeks to see if it is sourcing the type of content you want; if not adjust your alert accordingly.
- You can also use fee or free online software to find content while you sleep. While there are tons of these services available, here are just a few to consider:
- Pinterest and Juxtapost are visual content aggregators that allow you to find and pin content in different categories. While you can make these boards public, you don’t have to.
- Services like ScoopIt and ContentGems search hundreds of thousands of sources for you to cultivate content that meets your requirements.
- Feedly is still out there and can aggregate the RSS feeds of your favorite news and blog sites. Google Reader can do the same thing, by the way.
- PearlTrees enables you to collect web-based content in digital “binders”.
- Leveraging content to keep your candidacy uppermost in mind is a great job search strategy, but it doesn’t work if you only do it once. Ideally you should try to share content multiple times weekly throughout the duration of your executive job search. Make yours a mix of LinkedIn status updates, LinkedIn Groups discussion posts, and one-on-one messages to recruiters, influential contacts, and hiring executives in target companies.
A side benefit of leveraging this kind of thought leadership job search strategy is that you’ll automatically keep expertise fresh and up-to-date. When interviewers ask you what you’ve been doing, you’ll have an impressive list of things to share.