Get Noticed, get Hired
Susan Burke is an award winning global careers coach helping you to "own the game you most want to win." Your career! She helps high level professionals, Directors & C Suite Executives who either want to get hired and/or want to get companies chasing them. They realise the old school approach to job search is dead and buried. Her slogan is "Get Noticed, Get Hired." You can connect to Susan via LinkedIn and grab a complimentary copy of her best selling book direct from her website.
“You're only as good as the four walls that you work in.” Susan Burke.
I moved to London for my partner’s work as we had been doing the long-distance relationship thing for some time before he secured the job overseas. When I moved to London, the focus was on his career as he was the higher income earner, there was no job waiting for me there. I had been preparing before I arrived, I had moved from Liverpool four hours from London, but I had been building my personal brand and had been trying to get myself known in my field prior to the move. The penny dropped when I arrived in London, I was able to get some work as people had heard of me before I arrived but it wasn’t the sort of work that made me feel content. Within a few months, it clicked that there was a great opportunity being here in London. I had been working as a career coach for some time before I finally realised that it wasn’t my true passion, there is nothing worse than having a career coach who doesn’t enjoy what they are doing, who wasn’t practicing what they preached. When I realised I was having to talk myself into going into the office I realised that it wasn’t for me, that I wanted to do my own thing. When I had free time, I wanted to do what I do now working as a global career coach.
I had to admit this to my partner, to tell him that I no longer wanted to do this job. He took it well, in fact he took me out to celebrate that I no longer had a job which was very understanding of him considering that I had a good job and that we had just moved in together. He left me alone to work out what it was that I wanted to do, he could see that I was improving myself even where the improvement wasn’t obvious or financially beneficial. I worked out that my strength lay in helping people to get ready to be hired, the things that you need to do before you get hired. I am also good at helping people to understand how to get companies to chase them, my understanding comes from the personal experience of doing this day in and day out myself. I have had to treat myself as a business, I feel like everyone needs to recognise that they are a business, that they are a commodity and getting paid for a service. Regardless of where in the world you work, you are only hired for one reason, simplistically a company has a problem and they hire you in the hope that you are the solution to that problem.
We are all very shy or modest when it comes to selling ourselves, we like to blend in. You are only as good as the four walls that you work, you can be the absolute best at your job within that company but if not one is hearing about you outside of those four walls then you are never going to get other companies interested in you or what you do. My job, as a global career coach, is to help you understand that you need to do this from day one, when everyone sells the same and is selling the same message, how are you then differentiated from every other person selling that very same thing? How can recruiters work out who is the best fit from this, the higher the level you want to climb the more you need to have to understand that the opportunities don’t come around often and when they do, you need to be ready.
You need to have great foundations, I believe your LinkedIn profile and your CV are the basics that you should have, and should trigger the kind of response where someone looks at them and immediately thinks we need to get in contact with you. If it doesn’t have that impact, it is not a good profile and most people don’t recognise that they have LinkedIn or CV shame, when you could improve these to the point where they have the ‘wow’ factor. It is then that you can move onto the next stage and begin to work smarter, most people see LinkedIn as a pretty profile online, in some senses it probably is, however the trick is to understand that LinkedIn is a database. Where you can influence the key people who could hire you, where they could know that you exist before you even go to an interview or before you step a foot into their office. I practice ultimately, day in and day out, utilising LinkedIn as a data base and targeting high end professionals in a two-way approach where those people are also interested in me. This is also a great approach for introverts, by using the right words and sentences not just to get noticed by everyone but to target the right sort of people to get noticed by, all the right gatekeepers. It all comes down to these great foundations, same as with a house you need good foundations.
I hate the groups on LinkedIn that advertise being able to increase your profile views by the members all viewing each other’s profiles, as it is meaningless. My philosophy is that ultimately you are there to resolve the problems that the company needs solved, you need to think of yourself as a business and not talk about yourself as what you have done, but how you can do what the company needs and to then ensure the right people are seeing the solutions that you are offering. It is about learning what you need to do now so that in the future when you do need that next job, you have the opportunities coming to you.
Global career coaching
For me, I have niched myself down to helping people in two areas, where as a general careers coach would usually help you in several areas. I don’t specialise in career changes or career transition as if I were to do so I wouldn’t be able to operate globally as I would need to understand the dynamics and makeup of that particular labour market.
Advice to self and others
The pieces of advice that I would have given my younger self would be to start before you’re ready and to invest in yourself, I mean you only know what you know and there are experts in your field who can support you. When I started a business, I realised the need to recognise the importance of learning by trial and error, and that with the correct support even where you need to pay for that support, you are going to get to your goal sooner. The other thing that most people don’t recognise is consistency, that act of doing something one day and being motivated that day but then not being motivated the next week to do that same thing. You need to realise that these things have to be done either way, I am a big believer in the importance of accountability in keeping yourself motivated. My ability to move to London and to start my own business has come from being able to motivate myself to do those things that need to be done each and every day whether I feel motivated to do so or not.
You need to get visible, the things that I learnt that I have implemented myself are that you do need to have a plan of action and to ultimately be seen, whether you see the results at the time or not. It is about doing what is comfortable for you, whether it is online or offline, not everyone likes networking events so it is what works for you whilst recognising that you need to push yourself outside of that comfort zone each day. Years and years ago, the idea of writing a blog on LinkedIn would have been intimidating and uncomfortable for me but that’s no longer the case as I have had to move outside of that comfort zone. The more you are willing to do, the more comfortable you become and the more you will feel you are making a greater impact. If I want to get myself known, it is not enough for me to press ‘publish’ on LinkedIn, it is about working out the combination of steps that you need to take to achieve this.
It comes back to the point of working smarter not harder, from the outside it would look like I am on LinkedIn 24 hours, 7 days a week without sleep. Whilst I do spend a lot of time on LinkedIn I can still sleep and still have a life, I have been able to automate a number of elements as there are platforms that you can use. For example, when I write content I may write 60-70% of it and then send it off to a PA who will finish it off, polish it up and up load it to LinkedIn, when you look at the cost of outsourcing compared to the potential return you realise that it is okay to outsource some activities and that you don’t personally need to be doing everything. I help clients to look at what they want to achieve, and the best way to get from A to B without them having to do every step. The biggest mistake that people make when they start a new job is that they go from the fourth or fifth gear in getting yourself out there, to stopping completely and stopping everything they had been doing. You need to always be in first gear, otherwise once again you are back in the situation where you are only as good as the four walls in which you work as nobody outside of that one company will know how good you are.
I wrote my first book to be aimed at graduates, it was a learning curve that I underwent and I swore that I would never write again but I seem to have a short memory. My most recent book Get companies chasing you I wrote in response to continually seeing people making the same mistakes repeatedly, yet being frustrated by the fact that they weren’t able to get a job. Ultimately the book is aimed at someone who is looking for the next position or someone who has a great job but who is always looking for the next opportunity. It is a new way of thinking about jobs and being recruited, it goes against the traditional model of sending in a CV and focuses instead on identifying the hirer manager, writing them a ‘show and tell’ letter and send it via post as opposed to email. This makes you visible, it is taking over ownership rather than giving away ownership completely. By constantly making yourself visible you are also helping to protect yourself against redundancy which is a reality of the modern workforce. You should not focus on what people may think or let this stop you from trying something different.
I have just written a third book which is due to come out at the end of December or start of January, centred around the concept that one can only know what they know, that we cannot just DIY everything when there are experts in the area we could involve to support us. When people are looking for a job or creating a personal brand, they assume that they can do everything themselves but the reality is that they can’t in a way that will achieve the same results. The world has changed in such a way where we can’t be experts in every area, we are still utilising the old-school approaches to getting hired and the book aims to shed a light on why we are still doing this. A company can only evaluate you based on what you have out there and for 99% of people this is made up of only their CV and their LinkedIn profile, so if you are coming across as a two-star hotel instead of a five-star hotel there is nothing else to address this. The higher the position you are going for, the more obvious this will be.
‘You’re only as good as the four walls that you work’ as this summarises my whole belief that you should always be building your brand and should never limit yourself and your brand to the current company which employees you.
The best way to get in contact is to visit my website linkedinsuccessacademy.com where I offer a free consultation known as the Breakthrough consultation for those who are serious about taking the next step. If you are looking to move forward, in the session I would evaluate your LinkedIn profile and CV. My book is also available for sale on my website.