Here's my post for the day - it's about building a talent pool within your professional community.
If you're a candidate looking for work, you're an active candidate who is hoping to get a job. If your happily employed you're a passive candidate to a head hunter who will likely track you down at some point in your career and present an opportunity to you. Chances are that these two scenarios will be constant cycles in your life.
A good way to make sure you have a professional profile that can be found when you're looking for work, or even when you aren't, is to network and stay in touch with people who do what you do, or who are looking for people who do what you do. (That’s a mouthful, try saying that 5 times fast)
Recruiters often build talent pools so that they can be prepared for searches that ask for specific skills and experience. Candidates can do this too.
Here are 6 simple steps to take towards building your own talent pool or community.
1) Search LinkedIn for people who do what you do, join the groups they are a part of and follow up with networking oriented invites " Hi So and So, we have a lot in common professionally and I would like to connect with you so we can share and exchange ideas and job opportunities"
2) Offer to post and share jobs that recruiters call you about within your networks like, Facebook, LinkedIn, professional associations, Meet Ups, educational institutions. You'll be surprised how many people will want to network with you and stay in touch.
3) Start a group on LinkedIn, if there isn't one that's specific to your profession and geography. Sometimes it’s best to have a group that has a target demographic and level - geography like cities and regions is really helpful. Once you start the group you can invite people to join.
4) Go to Meetups, attend Google Hang Outs and Webinars specific to what you do. Make sure you Link-In with all of the attendees or follow them on Twitter.
5) Start a Twitter Chat and establish a hashtag specific to your profession - i.e.: #UXdesign, #NYCAccountants #JavaGeeks #ChangeManagersRUS . You can promote the twitter chat and hashtag to people in your professional community and to individuals seeking skills in your community. Establish some ground rules, elect a few mediators and make it happen. Everyone can tweet; perhaps you can train or find someone to train people you want to tweet with.
6) The key is to stay in touch with your professional peers - your past, present and target contacts. I like Facebook and Twitter for this, but some people just like a local pub or coffee shop. Talk, reach out, share, get up to date - stay on top of what’s going on in your field and the people who do what you do well.
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