Career move.jpgLook beyond the usual employment websites and press advertisements and do some networking, in this months’ SmartProcurement explores the use of networking sites to improve your career prospects.

Job seekers should be prepared to dig a little deeper, says Cheryl Lynch Simpson, career coach with Ricklin-Echikson Associates in the USA.

"The quality of your job search skills becomes more critical in an uncertain economic climate. In a nutshell, your skills need to be better, you need to be more aware of career branding, and you must be more strategic about approaching employers," say Simpson

A big issue is that many of the best of jobs are never advertised – online or anywhere, so other routes should be explored.

Career networking.gifShe suggests some creative tips on how to land a job in a turbulent market which can be adapted for the South African procurement landscape.

Don’t count on the on-line job boards. Online recruitment agencies and search engines are seductive in their promises to connect job seekers with dozens of potential employers. Some career advisers call agency sites "résumé black holes," where your CV disappears never to be seen again. Harsh, but sometimes true.

Tap into your network. Ideally, you already keep in touch with an assortment of former colleagues and industry peers who will notify you about job leads before they go public. Make sure you’re on the radar of people who know what you can do and more importantly, they need to know that you are in the market for a change, and your preferred roles.

Offer to help others. Stay in regular contact with your network and periodically pass along a tip or an article to keep in touch. If you must contact someone out of the blue, ask for their input on an issue or offer something in return, such as an invitation to a lecture or a link to a website that might be of interest. People are often flattered to be asked for their professional advice.

Leverage the “blogosphere”. Find on-line articles and blogs relevant to your industry that are written by professionals at the top of their career and develop rapport with them. It is then easy to ask them about career advice and job leads. Sites such as www.linkedin.com have procurement groups that you can join and you can check out www.procurementtips.com for discussions on the latest issues.

Promote your brand. Forget modesty. Establish yourself as an expert in your industry and build your credibility. This might be as simple as volunteering your skills for a community project, participating in an online forum, or offering to speak at an event. You could also try your hand at writing for an alumni newsletter or for SmartProcurement. We welcome contributions from established procurement professionals on topics of interest to our subscribers. Contact editing@smartprocurement.net to present your article ideas.

This topic will be in the spotlight at the upcoming 2nd Public Sector Supply Chain Summit, click here for more details.

SmartTalent is coming!

Watch out for the re-launch of our jobs page during July 2010. We will be providing an improved service to job seekers including tools to help you with CV and interview preparation and career advice. More services have been added to assist the advertisers to attract the right talent too.

* Adapted from an article by KATY MARQUARDT Posted: February 21, 2008 on http://money.usnews.com/money/careers. 5 Tips on Finding a New Job : Tapping your personal network and promoting your brand are two ways to do it.