I got a sneak peek of Joshua Waldman’s newest ebook, “Personal Branding for Job Search Success.”
Joshua is the founder of career consulting agency, Career Enlightenment. As an author, speaker, trainer and consultant, Joshua teaches technology skills that help businesses grow and job seekers get noticed.
Joshua writes, “The realities of the new job market have shifted the job seeker’s paradigm on its head. Now, most jobs never even see the light of a public posting. Many companies have laid off corporate recruiters leaving hiring up to the line manager, who doesn’t even get paid for that task. And candidates are not expected to stay in any one job for more than two years.
The only thing consistent from job to job in your career is You. Your brand is going to stay with you until you retire…If anything is important in your job search, then personal branding is the most critical and most overlooked step.”
I caught up with Joshua last week to ask him a few questions:
Wendy: What prompted you to create Career Enlightenment, and what are the biggest take-aways from the past four years of consulting?
Joshua: I started Career Enlightenment almost by accident. I was in the middle of my own job search, and was making some real progress; I had interviews lined up for weeks. Meanwhile, though, my friends and former co-workers were pulling their hair out. I began to teach them to get away from the usual job boards as their primary tool, and focus instead on networking and social media. Pretty soon I was teaching classes and writing a blog, and Career Enlightenment was born. I’m now syndicated on several top career websites and the Wall Street Journal calls me for content. I have a book coming out in a month or so. It’s been a great ride, and I get so much pleasure helping people find work.
Wendy: What, in particular, triggered you to write this book?
Joshua: There has been a lot of buzz about Personal Branding – and also a lot of confusion about what that actually means for someone’s job search. In recent years, because the average time at a job has decreased so significantly, professionals are looking at constant career management. In other words, it is more effective to run your career as if you were your own CEO, rather than constantly starting and stopping every two years. Personal branding is really the key to figuring out who you are professionally – and it provides you with a language or forum upon which to maintain your value throughout your career.
I saw many clients falling into the trap of inconsistency. Their business cards didn’t match their one-sentence “tell me who you are” and had no connection to their résumé or LinkedIn image and profile. I polled recruiters about this, and they confirmed that being inconsistent is about the fastest way to the “maybe” pile.
Therefore, even before I take clients into the world of social media job seeking, I’m making sure they’ve paid their dues to the Personal Branding gods.
Wendy: What’s the biggest mistake job-seekers are currently making?
Joshua: This is a fun question because our old job-seeking habits haven’t really caught up with the realities of today’s recruiting. Because many hiring managers are now performing the recruiting functions that HR is supposed to do, they are less likely to follow HR’s rules. They want to fill positions fast in the most inexpensive way possible. That’s why only 3 percent of jobs ever make it to job boards these days. Hiring managers are looking at their professional networks. Yet the first instinct of many job seekers is to check the boards. I think this is a huge error. In marketing, we say, “hang out where your customer hangs out.” In our case, the customer is the hiring manager, and they are on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter — and they’re asking around for talent. Some job seekers realize this and have LinkedIn accounts — but they look horrible. Career Builder says that 35 percent of candidates are actually rejected because of their online profiles. Yes, 35 percent! So that terrible photo of you on LinkedIn next to a half-filled-out profile is probably hurting you more than you know. My advice: Learn how to master your online presence, get professional advice on your profiles, and be consistent everywhere.