Last week I attended the first Career Thought Leaders conference in Baltimore, a symposium for those of us in the careers industry — career coaches, resume writers, and other career management and job search professionals.
Along with workshops on resume writing and coaching, topics covered included online identity and reputation management. It seemed that most of my colleagues attending had embraced LinkedIn, but some hesitated diving much deeper into social media and building their own online brands. Some either didn’t know about or had been ignoring tools like blogging, Google Profiles, ZoomInfo Profiles, Twitter, Facebook, and others that are rapidly mainstreaming.
At a casual dinner with several attendees the final night, one of the presenters, Cindy Kraft, asked each of us at the table what our major takeaway from the 3-day event was.
Several of my dinner companions said that getting the chance to meet face-to-face with colleagues and network was most important, and is always one of the greatest benefits of attending professional conferences.
I concurred, but also added that the conference reinforced what I’ve felt and been blogging about for some time now: With the impact of social media, as career/job search practitioners, we can no longer enjoy periods of complacency about how we run our businesses and help clients.
Things are changing so rapidly that if we don’t keep pace, we’ll quickly be left behind. We all really have no choice but to embrace social media.
What we, as practitioners and entrepreneurs, have to do to communicate our value in the marketplace and keep our businesses healthy, is exactly what job seekers must do to communicate their brands and compete in today’s job market.
I’m grateful that I’ve been keeping up and already have a good foothold with my own online identity, but I know I can’t become complacent.
If you’re an executive and have few or no results on page one when you Google “your name”, whether or not you’re in job search, it’s time to get busy building an on-brand online identity, and move beyond just keeping pace with your competition.
Here are some posts to help you get going: