To get ahead, you must get noticed, most career advisors agree.
A pair of marketing experts, Peter Paul Roosen and Tatsuya Nakagawa, recently posted on Lifehack.org a 16-point list of shortcuts for building a credible public profile in today's mostly digital world. Their essay bears the provocative subtitle, "How to Brag without Bragging."
The authors' first recommendation is to work on improving your Web "hit list" - the first three pages of Yahoo! or Google references that come up in a search of your name. "Forget about personal and professional references for making a first impression because the Internet search gets done before that," they write.
Among their other suggestions:
- Publish articles with your name attached. Start with a "general online publication," so as to boost all-important search engine hits. Then submit an unpaid article to a trade publication. Trade associations are a promising avenue for this, according to Roosen and Nakagawa. After that, submit to a hard-copy publication.
- Post comments on trade-specific Web sites. Post under your real name, and go for quality, not quantity.
- Include on your Web site or documents the logos of respected clients, trade associations and major media that gave you coverage. (Although the authors don't say so, this may require getting permission.)
- Post your profile on social networking sites, and get listed in media and professional directories. That will both position you as an expert in your area and help you attract future media attention.
A few recommendations could be perceived as gimmicky or even borderline deceptive. For instance, they advise linking your name with "credible" people and companies, by:
- Sending testimonials to credible people who will post it on their Web site.
- Nominating companies or people for awards.
- Asking credible people and companies to provide testimonials about you.
- Sending "framed thank you letters...to opinion leaders or admired companies."
Roosen and Nakagawa are co-founders of Atomica Creative Group , a specialized strategic product marketing firm.