Whether you’d like to get noticed by your boss, a recruiter, or the head of that department in which you’ve always wanted to work, just hoping that a spotlight will appear over your head, bathing you in glowing light at the moment a great opportunity becomes available, well, it’s probably not the best tactic. You’ll probably end up sitting for a long time in the dark.
So what can you do to attract some well-deserved attention your way? Several things, but before we go there, you need to do a bit of homework.
First, what brand do you need to portray to get where you want to go, and is it true to your strengths and values? Second, who exactly do you need to be visible to? Make sure you’re clear on your desired audience and what you want them to notice you for, so you can focus your time and attention on activities that will get you noticed by the right people and for the right things.
Now put yourself in their shoes. If you were that recruiter or business leader, and you had an opportunity that would be perfect for someone like yourself, what would you be looking for and where would you look for it? Would you be looking for specific skills or characteristics from people on your team? Perhaps researching thought leaders in a particular discipline? Looking for people on the forefront of new technology and innovations in the industry? Would you be looking for key words in a LinkedIn profile?
The following is a list of ideas on how you can raise your profile and visibility. Pick those that will put you in the line of site for your target audience, and make sure the topic is applicable to your brand and desired career path.
- Write an article or a column for your internal company newsletter.
- Write an article or a column for an industry trade publication (include a short bio at the end).
- Create a blog on your area of expertise.
- Develop a white paper.
- Share case studies and best practices.
- If you are promoted or your company has good news to share, investigate whether a press release is appropriate.
Speak at an industry event or conference.
Serve on a panel or as a moderator at events.
Develop a training program or lunch-and-learn in your area of expertise.
Stay in touch with current and former colleagues on an ongoing basis (not just when you need their assistance).
Attend industry conferences.
Join professional associations and industry associations, and make a point to attend meetings.
Volunteer on a committee or board at one or more of the associations.
Develop Strategic Relationships
Proactively reach out to key decision-makers and leaders.
Identify respected recruiting firms in your industry and get connected.
Help others succeed — volunteer to help with a cross-functional project, introduce a great candidate to a recruiter, send someone a relevant article, or take the time to go to lunch with someone and brainstorm solutions to problems.
Return phone calls and emails.
Audit your on-line profiles and social media pages for appropriate and up-to-date content (don’t forget about your profile on alumni directories and other places you may be listed).
Make sure the key words that someone might use to find someone with your skills are present in all your online content.
Check your privacy and contact settings so that if someone wants to contact you, they can do so easily.
Share and comment on relevant articles and discussions; contribute to the conversation.
If your position warrants it, ensure that your bio is on your company’s website and is current.
Ensure your certifications, licensure, and qualifications are up to date and still in demand.
Take courses or exams as needed to brush up on current practices, skills, and gain desired qualifications (don’t forget to let people know when you’ve received them!).
Verify your qualifications are accurately represented on-line, in bio’s, and in printed materials.
Look for opportunities to expand your skill set on the job; volunteer for projects, teams, or tasks that allow you to gain expertise, goodwill, or contacts.
These steps can make you more visible, so that you are on the right people’s radar and you are known for your expertise. You want to be the first person who comes to mind or shows up in a search when someone is seeking your skills and talents. Remember, if they can’t find you when they’re looking for you, you may have just missed your perfect opportunity.