Are You The Invisible Man ?

Invisible ManAre you looking for a job and getting sick reading about personal branding, getting advises on “how to stand out of the crowd” or people talking about how to engage your target audience ? Worst do you get irritated by stupid buzzwords like “niche” or “influence” ?  Well if this is the case you are not alone:

According to the US Department of Labor, The number of unemployed persons in the United States is 12.8 million in February 2012. The unemployment rate held at 8.3 percent. In Europe,  France and Italy have 9.7 and 9.3 % respectively and Germany 6.3 % (data January 2012 from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

For sure the economy is tough but people who find a job nowadays are those who know they cannot be average, they know themselves very well, they are able to tap into  every single experience they have to identify how and why they can be competitive,  what skills they have or need to acquire that are in high demand.  But it is not enough, the reality is:

If you are not visible online you are essentially invisible when it comes to being found by anyone who might be looking for someone like you.

The paradox of the current jobs economy is if unemployment seems awfully high, more and more employers are complaining they can’t find the talent they need. In September 2011, The Economist published a special report on the future of jobs called “The Great Mismatch”.The paradox is that in some sectors it is hard to find good talent .

So I am sorry for job seekers who don’t get it, but you need to work hard to become highly visible in a positive way, use personal branding tools and inbound marketing techniques to “sell” your unique talent and value to a specific group of people who are willing to hire you and not your competitors.

Since I started using social media about 10 years ago via Linkedin, blogging then Twitter, Facebook or today via Pinterest,   I know successful professional people don’t wait to be laid off to build their personal brand and attract people to grow a solid network of connections both online or off-line. Executives have now realized they need a personal brand online too as they are not immune to being laid-off. Even presidents like Obama or Sarkozy use social media like Twitter for their election campaigns in the US and France this year.

If you choose to remain invisible, Linkedin made a search on 135 million profiles and listed the top 10 buzzwords used in United States in 2011 . Use them if you want to be boring, average” and ignored:

  1. Creative
  2. Organizational
  3. Effective
  4. Extensive Experience
  5. Track Record
  6. Motivated
  7. Innovative
  8. Problem Solving
  9. Communication Skills
  10. Dynamic

If you want more inspiration to avoid being identified by intelligent softwares used to scan online resumes, try to add the Top 10 overused buzzwords in LinkedIn Profiles in the USA – 2010

  1. Extensive Experience
  2. Innovative
  3. Motivated
  4. Results-oriented
  5. Dynamic
  6. Proven track record
  7. Team player
  8. Fast-paced
  9. Problem solver
  10. Entrepreneurial

“Personal branding is about building a credible online presence that reflects our unique style and values and carves a niche for us personally and professionally on the Internet. Inbound marketing is about generating quality content directed to your target audience. Oscar Del SantoPersonal Branding & Inbound Marketing: Why the Mix Works

You cannot build a personal brand overnight,. it takes time and it is hard work, much more harder than writing a perfectly boring resume. All you have to do for that  is to make an extensive list of all your diplomas, each experience, even when you were a scout, your skills and most importantly ignore what your potential employers need and what your competitors do. Then you will be sure to never get noticed and remain invisible.


Related article: Invent Your Future Job:  Be Unique, Be Social, Be Global

About Anne Egros

Zest and Zen is a blog about Expat Life Challenges, Global Leadership, Intercultural Communication, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Change Psychology, Life Transitions
This entry was posted in Career management, Executive Coaching, Linchpin, Linkedin, resume, Social Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Are You The Invisible Man ?

  1. Sandi Cornez says:

    Hi Anne,
    I like the neat picture. Very good article. I agree personal branding is essential for everyone online and offline. We all have unique talents and skills to share with the world. Promoting ourselves in the present is who we are today with the wisdom of the past in one amazing package.

  2. Excellent points and I would add personal branding is how do your behaviors align to the expectations of those who are seeking what you do. Seth Godin wrote that brand is all about expectations by the customer, the voter, etc. Expectations are directly connected to or aligned with value perception. For example, do I as the person looking for a candidate believe having a Harvard degree has greater value than a degree from Purdue (my alma mater)? What expectations do I have for people with college educations?

    LinkedIn with its recent changes as to what constitutes a complete profile is critical element in branding (meeting expectations) along with other online social media sites. What I have observed is far too many young people and even established professionals still view LinkedIn as a way to list their resumes and fail to understand this is a marketing vehicle allowing them to potentially attract positive attention.

    Leanne Hoagland-Smith

    • You Are right Leanne, understanding the expectations of your target audience, either existing ones or those that are uncovered, are clearly at the heart of personal branding. Linkedin is a true interactive platform. I often “meet” people there who share common interests and ready to help by sharing information. A wonderful tool to be combined with other social media tools. Great points Leanne.

  3. Hi, Anne, cool picture and completely agree with you: foresight is better than hindsight!

  4. ResumeSmith says:

    Great post, Anne. Thanks for sharing it with me. You’re right, personal branding or career marketing should not be reserved for when you need a job. It should be a constant conscious effort, even when happily employed and truly not looking. No one has a crystal ball and the perfect job can shift on a dime. Everyone should be prepared.

    Since I’ve started writing resumes, I’ve found that many of my clients have no online presence beyond a basic shell of a LinkedIn profile. This has driven me to train them in effective online branding as well.

    • Thanks Karleen, I think you are doing exactly what your clients need even if initially they just want you to “fix” their resume, I guess based on you online activity and reputation you are able to exceed their expectations. I would recommend you to clients who need a professional resume writer.

  5. Totally agree Anne. Everybody shall start to do Personal Branding Now because it takes time. If you can list what you’re doing now beyond of what you have done or what you can do.

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