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Entries in ABCs (1)

Monday
Feb272012

Getting Recognized

In this post, guest author Matt Ferm shares his thoughts on recognition.

I recently found myself talking to a group of High School seniors who were on college tours.  They were focused on what their major will be, and what the prospective college does to support them in their major.  They weren’t thinking about what job they will have when they graduate, but the parents in the room certainly were.

As hiring managers what do we really want to see in a candidate.

  • A smart person who wants to keep learning
  • A person who can “think out of the box”
  • Self-starters who are not afraid to “get dirty”
  • Confidence without arrogance
  • Energy, passion, dedication (“fire in the belly”)
  • Someone we want to work with

How can entry-level job seekers demonstrate these attributes and, more importantly, how can they make it their brand.  Early in my career, a CEO said I was a “cowboy.”  I would passionately and aggressively start a lot of thing, but never get all of them done.  I listened and decided I wanted to be a cowboy that got things done.  Not realizing it, I created a brand for myself.

Entry-level candidates get depressed when searching for a job.  They don’t have much of a resume nor do they have a network of connections.  Those things normally take place after you get your first job.  So, how can you get recognized?

  1. Get published – publishing used to be about print.  Today, anyone can get published simply by posting on blogs, LinkedIn groups, tweets, etc.
  2. Get serious – we don’t want to see or hear about your adventures getting hammered at the local bar.  We don’t want to know you are smoking a Hookah.  We don’t want to know your score in beer pong.  Prospective employers will take you seriously if you take yourself seriously.
  3. Get engaged – comment, ask questions, and give responses on blogs or groups.  In the beginning you will be performing “information sharing,” but over time you will be performing “information processing” and taking positions and leadership
  4. Get noticed – Google yourself.  What is the first reference to you and where is it located?  Do some Search Engine Optimization and get yourself to the top of Google.  You will be googled by every prospective employer.  You need to be in control of what they see.
  5. Get connected – establish a presence on LinkedIn and start to make connections.  Resumes are now secondary to LinkedIn.  Connecting to real, working people is important.  Asking those people to help you connect to other people is equally important.
  6. Get a personality – besides interests in business-like things, you need to communicate what makes you interesting and unique.  The best project manager I ever hired had a degree in fashion design.  When she told me how she successfully put on a fashion show, I realized she was a project manager, even though she didn’t have a degree in project management.

One of my favorite movies is “Glengarry Glen Ross.”  (The following clip is R rated.)

In the movie, Alec Baldwin gives a speech to a group of real-estate salespeople where he uses the term “ABC.”  ABC stands for “Always Be Closing.”  You must always be thinking about what conclusions people will draw about you from your external image (i.e., web presence).  Remember, the web never forgets!