Are you a experienced senior professional or executive looking for a new job or relationship? Be different to attract more opportunities is the topic of this blog. . So grab a cup of your beverage of choice and lets dive in.
Why combine job hunting & relationships?
The reason I combined searching for a new job or relationship in the same blog is because I’ve seen how often change and movement in personal and professional lives happen in multiples. And the tools, lessons and mindset reframes are totally transferrable.
Whether looking for a new professional or executive role or a new personal relationship you need to promote yourself.
And promoting yourself can be confusing and confronting. But promote you must. You need to be a (metaphorical) red chair amongst the white ones in a row.
There is no two ways about it – we are all pitching, promoting and selling ourselves in some way shape or form in our professional and personal lives.
Whether looking for a new job, a promotion, attracting new clients or finding a new romantic relationship, it all comes down to positioning, promoting, influencing and converting!
Truth is that there are many similarities in finding a new relationship or professional job or career change. You must stand out in a swirling sea of competition for all the right reasons to inspire. Your vibe as ever will attract your tribe and resonate alignment.
Start with a marketing mindset
The first tip off the rank is to start with a marketing mindset. This is foundational and is central to personal branding. Think and approach activities like a marketer would.
And yes everyone has a personal brand – in essence it is who you are, how you show up and are perceived.
Self assessment – analyse your who, what, where, why, visions, goals and unique points of difference. It’s like a personal or professional SWOT analysis.
Reality check – recognise that you cannot be everything to everyone and won’t be every employer or dates cup of tea. Be truly honest in who you are and who is your ideal tribe.
Creativity – branding and promoting with context and creativity to inspire (more on that in following paragraphs and video)
Courage – fortune favours the brave, no point hiding or not showing up fully. Big girls and boys pants on to step up and out intentionally and meaningfully
Opportunities & challenges
LinkedIn and the ‘reputable’ dating sites provide really fabulous opportunities to raise your visibility, make an impact and influence. Be it for commercial or personal purposes a profile that creates the WOW factor and has back-up and substance converts
And being unique and authentically reflecting what your brand promise is delivers positive results. And that brand promise is what the client or date can expect when they meet and get to know you. There will be no untoward surprises and you will live up to what was written.
But creating and delivering profiles that are clear, truthful, creative and interesting isn’t a walk in the park and easy for most. Hell talking about yourself is hard (especially if you have a touch of the imposter monster)
Be unique – don’t use useless boring clichés
As Dr Zachary Smith from the 60’s television show Lost in Space would lament ‘oh the pain, the pain’. Does any of the following sound familiar.. and quite painful?
LinkedIn: “I am a seasoned results driven professional with a solid track record. I have a proven history of solving problems. I care about my clients and building new networks”
Dating sites: “I love quiet nights at home and going out. I enjoy walks on the beach and good food. I have a great sense of humour and my family is very important to me”
The above clichés are recurrent examples of lazy, duplicated boring clichés that could apply to any other Tom, Dick & Mary. Read more about career clichés to ditch here
They have no value or context, are banal, subjective and are as inspiring as a basket of rotting fish heads.
Optimism or delusion?
Trust is the foundation of all successful relationships. It’s useless attempting to portray yourself as 2M tall if you are 1.5M; as extroverted if an introvert; or as a global influencer if you are a local TAFE graduate. Rhetoric must match reality.
It’s a rabbit hole of delusion when initial interest is driven by pretence and hence not sustainable. ‘Fake it till you make it’ is complete nonsense. It causes undue stress as it’s impossible to be the answer to everyone’s prayers and needs.
If you are showing up authentically it is a given that you by virtue will attract some and repel others. And that is totally ok and not to be feared. By gee it will save you so much time, money and headaches when you minimise the wrong connections as ‘your vibe will attract your tribe’.
LinkedIn Profile Tips
Success on LinkedIn has so many moving parts and elements. It starts from the personal profile with the follow-up of strong connection, engagement and content strategies.
Below are some essentials to start cutting the mustard. Many points are relevant for romance side too over on upmarket dating sites like RSVP.
1. Self-reflection and courage is the backdrop to attract ideal clients, position your value and expertise. Grab a mirror, ask yourself some hard questions and get feedback from clients, colleagues and networks to see if it is consistent.
2. Share what makes you tick and what is important to you. Put a spotlight on your who, what, why, where, when and unique differentiators (you have 2600 characters)
3. Always write your profile in the first person. Or in the neutral but never in the 3rd person The vast majority of LinkedIn members prefer to read profiles that are written that way as my recent research poll indicates.
4. Show some of your personality and even a glimpse of your AH life (as appropriate)
5. A current and clear photograph is essential. It must represent how you show up when people meet you to do business. If you don’t wear a suit generally, don’t in the photo. If you hate make-up and never wear it, don’t do a glamour shot. And absolutely no sunglasses, wedding, group and out of focus shots.
6. The headline is a critical identification search field. With circa 180-200 characters (it can be glitchy re characters based on your device and browser) , add your profession, areas of expertise, target markets, key information and focus. Leave out extraneous and salesy fluff.
7. A branded banner makes a real impression. Add images, taglines, media and meaningful elements that represent you
8. Name field – only for names (and suffixes and qualifications) Extra information is tacky and is against the LinkedIn User Agreement.
9. Voice recording feature. This is a fabulous tool right next to your name to record a 10 seconds introduction. It really gives people a window into your personality and communication style.
10. Cover Story feature – a great tool to record a 30 second video introduction that sits behind your photo. Find out how to record and use here
11. Show don’t tell, weave your unique story conversationally
13. Make it easy for people to reach out. Include details of email, website and ideally also your mobile at the end of the profile.
Dating Profile Tips
Many shared similarities of professional LinkedIn profiles above.
Some extra pointers around honesty and compatibility below:
1. Self-reflection and courage is the backdrop to attract a new date, romance or spouse. Grab a mirror, ask yourself some hard questions and get feedback from how friends would describe you honestly.
2. Share what makes you tick and the values which are really important. Focussing on what you care about clearly will help self select OUT the wrong people
3. NEVER lie about your age, status, work or physical appearance. You really do deceive yourself firstly and then others. It never ends well and both women and men are guilty of this.
If people don’t like you for who you are in truth, then its a wrong match anyhow. Be proud of who you are as again your ‘vibe attracts your tribe’
4. Show your real personality as you just have to be YOU. If there are aspects that are delicate (ie mental health, unemployment etc) there may be and often are kind ways to allude to some issues. Its in the HOW not the what.
Think of it as a “wish you told me” model as I wouldn’t have…….” . Put yourself in the other persons shoes and ask yourself if there is something important you may have needed to mention. But this is not about spilling your problems out. Far from it. Anyone who has had a life will have baggage, that’s a given.
5. Current and clear photographs are essential and add a few different settings. Keep out other people and family but pets are ok. And its great to give different perspectives of you.
Perhaps sporting, work, casual, formal, whatever represents the whole. The main picture must be representative of how you would show up when meeting for the first time (or close to).
6. Have a great moniker that you love and feel proud of to represent you.
10. Show don’t tell and weave information throughout your profile in a conversational tone (ie how you would speak in person) .
Share the ideal future and person but please show warmth and flexibility. As honestly life and people are never always a 100% perfect match in every aspect. Be realistic and fair. But be very clear on the non negotiables. Most good sites give options. .
Profiles that are unique, relevant and engaging are the foundation for success. But it is not a set and forget it. Without a strategy to connect, engage and contribute the profile will deliver mere breadcrumbs.
And if you are on the lookout for a new romance, just like business marketing, it takes persistence and commitment. So don’t ever give up on finding your ideal match. .
Oh and unless you are a food, you are not seasoned. Not everyone enjoys walks on the beach. And humour is terribly subjective. What gives you a great belly laugh may give another a crunching head ache.
Here is a TV interview I did a few years ago on Ticker TV on finding love or a new job. Whatever you are doing or planning, remember to be different to attract more opportunities.