Be your own career communications manager

It is certainly not news that competition for quality, career-building jobs in New Hampshire is relatively tight.Although the state’s employment statistics are brighter than the national ones, it’s still a tough time for employees wanting to move forward in their careers, given that companies are being very cautious about adding personnel back to their payrolls. For many of today’s job-seekers, knowing the basics of networking, contemporary job search techniques, and the importance of refining one’s job interview performance may not be enough. To be an optimized job-seeker in these competitive times means that you either need to acquire a career communications manager who can help position you for targeted employment openings or learn the tactics of becoming your own. Let me explain.Presenting yourself professionally in order to advance career transitions or even to practice and maintain career fitness involves constructing a comprehensive and cohesive communications campaign. Crafting and disseminating a strongly branded self-promotional message about yourself places you in a situation that is more open to career-enhancing opportunities and gives you added competitive cache when compared to the legions of overworked or discouraged pros who don’t take the time to make and manage such information.Recruiters, hiring managers, background-checkers, former and current colleagues, competitors, prospective customers or clients, industry pros and executives are all among the eyeballs who at some time may or will be checking you out. What will they find? A shallow outline loosely held up by an old-fashioned white bread resume or a dynamic and rich presentation that communicates experience, significance, and value across multiple platforms?Useful toolsI know full well that the last thing you want to hear is that there is more to do in order to keep up when you, like most professionals, are already struggling with achieving career development and work/life balance simultaneously. But to those for whom it’s important to be in the leader pack, here is what I suggest for you cover to be an effective career communications manager. Develop your resume as a value proposition and branding anchor. In general, include: • A compact positioning statement or self-marketing tagline and a supporting career profile summary ending with an objective. Be sure that enough descriptors are included, so that a reader can mentally merge your personality, work style characteristics and expertise. • A list of significant accomplishments (your greatest hits) written in the CAR style (the Challenge with which you were faced, followed by the Action you took, and ending with the positive Results that were realized). Quantifying these accomplishments will strengthen them. • A work history that is more focused on tasks and responsibilities performed along with the requisite titles, dates, employers and locations. • Education, certifications, professional association memberships and quotes from satisfied supervisors and customers can round out a great resume.Having undergone this resume exercise you are ready to now promote yourself online. Begin with LinkedIn. Build a LinkedIn profile to reflect your resume. Amplify your brand by joining industry discussion groups and establishing networking connections. Consider taking this a step further by using Twitter to join in on conversations pertaining to industry matters with the pros you want to follow and be heard from. Continue by building a career communications portfolio in paper and online formats, the parts of which can be retrieved as you need them. The parts of a complete career portfolio include such items as brand or “unique selling proposition” statements, CAR stories, testimonials one-paragraph and two-page biographies and even 30-second to two-minute video elevator pitches that you can post on your Web site or YouTube. All are useful tools for the pro who takes professional projection and reputation relay seriously.Strategically communicating what your value has and can enable for employers is an effort worth the time in building career development ROI. Don’t think of this as just a recessionary quick fix, rather as a way of shaping long-term professional growth.
Bill Ryan, founder of Ryan Career Services LLC, Concord, also is a regular blogger on NHBR Network. He can be reached at 603-724-2289 or