Job searches are often long and complicated. What we think we need to do is get our resume ready, check out stuff on LinkedIn, load our resume up on to a job board or two, and check out our social media sites to find out the latest jobs available.
Ten years ago, though, we only updated our resume and checked out the very few job boards available. Ten years ago, it was easy to stay focused on the job search because neither you nor the companies had that many resources to check.
Now, however, job searches are more diverse, both for you and the companies and recruiters doing the hiring. Jobs can be found everywhere from Twitter to Facebook to job boards to LinkedIn to career sites to social media gatherings to (gasp) business networking.
That diversity is an issue when it comes to marketing your job skills. Ten years ago, you got your resume ready and you were good to go no matter where you looked. But now, you can’t just take care of your resume, you have to take care of all the other places you look for a job as well.
Plus, companies now are not only looking for candidates across all these different mediums, but they are also laser-focused on one mantra: find the right candidate for the job. As in, one job. Not a candidate that would be great at two or three jobs — and all of us, especially Cubicle Warriors could do more than one job in a company. Nope, just ONE job.
As candidates for jobs, we need to follow that lead. We have to be laser-focused on getting that one job title right and focusing on that job title only.
I’ve been in the job market since dirt was invented. About half of my career has been in project management. It’s what I’m consulting on right now. But the other half of my career has been as a manager of people. I like managing people. I don’t mind the performance stuff, the goal setting, and the difficult times that comes with managing people. You know…Cube Rules stuff.
But since I’m doing project management consulting, do I have anything on the first page of my resume about managing people? No. Do I have anything on there that says I do great performance management? No. Do I have anything on there about what I accomplished as a manager? Only in the Work Experience section, not the first page.
What’s on the first page of my resume? All of my project management stuff. Not my management stuff.
Why? Because I’m working project management positions and companies only want to hire a project manager for a project manager position. Not a manager.
Once I start looking for a manager position, my whole resume has to change to show…management skills, management results, leading teams and working budgets that managers have to do. Project Management? Not so much.
Focus, focus, focus.
You have to focus across the ALL of your avenues for finding a job to that one position. In my case, Project Manager. Otherwise, the perception is that you don’t have deep enough skills to do the one job the company is looking to hire for.
Now, it’s a little ridiculous to go all-in on Twitter to show you are focused on one job. I mean it’s, well, Twitter. But there is one place where you have to be consistent with your resume in that you are looking for a position in a single job title: LinkedIn.
LinkedIn allows you to build a bigger, better story than your resume because the profile has more space. Plus, you can join groups on LinkedIn related to your field of work. And recommendations show up for all of your past history of work.
All of those aspects of LinkedIn tell a story about what position you are focused on. At a bare minimum, the position you want on a resume — Project Manager — needs to match up to what you are looking for on LinkedIn. If it doesn’t and says “Manager” in my case, I’d get thrown out of the running. It doesn’t match.
Recruiters are either going to have your resume and search on LinkedIn for you or they are going to find you on LinkedIn and then look at your resume when it comes in. In this job market — even though we most all can do more than one job title’s work — it has to match.
In addition, on LinkedIn you have to pay attention to the groups you belong to. If you are going for a Manager position and the twenty groups you belong to all say “Project Manager” in the title, it drops your credibility to get the management position interview.
It’s more work to maintain, for sure. But marketing your work requires a single focus on one position. Across all of your marketing streams. But the two places your job search must stay consistent is on your resume and your LinkedIn profile.
How does your resume and LinkedIn profile compare? Are they telling the same story?
Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations. In 2005, Scot started sharing these hard lessons at CubeRules.com, a site devoted to Career Advice for knowledge workers, whom he calls Cubicle Warriors.