If Google Says I’m the Best Recruiter in the World… It Must Be True

You may have heard this phrase before:

“It’s not who you know… but who knows you – and what they say about you.”

I believe that statement is very true, but since we live in an increasingly online world, maybe it should be modified to:

“It’s not who you know, or what they say about you… it’s what Google says about you.”

Case in point – a short email I received last week:

Email shot

Wondering if Curt was on to something, I Googled the phrase “best recruiter in the world” and here’s what I found:

Google shot

The first two unpaid hits out of over 2,200 results came from a tongue-in-cheek post on this blog from July 2009:

Best Recruiter shot

I’m no SEO expert, but I did choose the title intentionally back then, assuming that it’s possible people (ideally client companies) sometimes go to Google and start with that phrase when looking for a Recruiter. A long shot I know. But nothing ventured, nothing gained right? As someone responsible for developing my own business, I try to use every option available to me.

Looks like my title strategery worked a little better than I expected – or at least it worked well enough to give me a laugh. And Curt got a nice response for being a little more creative than the too often used – “I see you’re a Recruiter. Can you help me find a job?”

This cheeky little example was a good reminder for me of how important it is to be mindful of what I put out there on the interwebs. Like it or not, your credibility (and mine) is being judged every day by people searching Google (and other search engines) who are finding your blog posts, tweets, LinkedIn profile, etc.

Thankfully, Google got it right this time.

Let’s be careful out there…

How To Get Speaking Opportunities (And Where You Can Find Me)

As you can probably tell, I really enjoy speaking to groups and traveling to various places to meet new people. Recently on her blog, my friend and HR Blogger Lisa Rosendahl asked for some suggestions to help her overcome The Anti-Speaking Demon. I responded in the comments with a short novelette that I thought I’d also republish here, since it may be helpful to others interested in developing as a speaker as well.

*

Podium To get started, I’d suggest making people in your network aware that you’re interested in speaking to some groups and some examples of topics you could talk about or do a workshop/seminar on. You’ll likely be surprised at how many opportunities are out there – especially if you’re willing to speak for free. Once you’ve gotten several under your belt, you’ll likely be referred and recommended to other groups who are willing to pay you for your time and expertise.

Beyond your network, here’s a few additional resources I’d suggest contacting:

1)  Schools or universities in your area. Usually, the Career Development offices are dying to connect students to business leaders who can talk to them about what it’s like in the “real world” and also provide networking and job search tips.

2)  Job search support groups or networking groups in your community – In Cincinnati, there are a number of groups that meet regularly to help people in career transition. Most have a speaker as part of their meetings and they’re thrilled to have someone from HR/Recruiting come to talk with them and answer questions about how to approach their job search.

3)  Check with your local HR Association or Recruiting groups. While most local chapters tend to book their lunch speakers months in advance (and it seems they like to book out of town speakers to add some “cred”), it’s likely they’d be interested in having someone in the trenches like you offer to provide a seminar, breakfast or lunch talk about one of the many topics you could speak on.

A few more tips:

1)  Add a Speaking page to your blog. List topics you can or have spoken about. Not only will your blog readers find you that way (and you’ll get opportunities from it I’m sure), but you’ll also get found through search engines. My Speaking/Workshops page on my blog gets daily traffic and more than once I’ve booked a speaking gig because someone Googled “Using Social Media in HR & Recruiting” or “Using LinkedIn for Job Search”, etc. and landed on my blog. I’ve also gotten interview requests from magazines, radio shows, etc. through being found by this page.

2)  Add that you’re a speaker, or open to speaking, on your LinkedIn profile. Same as above, I’ve booked speaking engagements and interviews as a result of being found on LinkedIn.

3)  Don’t be shy about asking attendees to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn if they found your talk to be of value. I’ve not been comfortable with asking myself, but I know several speakers who have tons of great recommendations on their profiles – because they asked. Once your LinkedIn network starts seeing recommendations pop up for your speaking, you’ll start getting more requests to speak. Subtle marketing works.

4)  Bring your own evaluation sheets if the group doesn’t provide one. The feedback will not only help you understand what resonated with the audience, but also what you can improve upon. As you start speaking more and filling out Speaker Proposals, often they ask for evaluation results from some recent engagements.

5)  Eventually make sure you get a good video of you speaking to a group. Same as #4, it will help you see what you do well and what you need to improve and it’s also frequently requested for more high profile speaking opportunities.

*

Where You Can Find Me

Since some of you may subscribe
to this blog via
RSS
(I hope you ARE a subscriber!), you may not have noticed the link
on my blog to the Speaking/Training/Workshops page before. Take a
look there, and you’ll notice that April, May & June are thankfully
shaping up to be pretty busy for me as a Speaker including:

RecruitCamp
– Raleigh, NC – April 22, 2010
. Thanks to RecruitingBlogs.com
I’ll be leading a session at this event and I’m looking forward to the
Keynote by my friend Laurie Ruettimann of Punk Rock HR!

HRevolution
– Chicago, IL – May 7 – 8, 2010
. Special thanks to Lisa Rosendahl
for asking me to co-lead a session on “Can HR Be Trusted” to continue
the discussion started with my recent post. (This should be good – can’t wait!)

Louisville
Kentucky SHRM Chapter
– June 8, 2010. Thanks to a recommendation
from Crystal Peterson, I’ll be joining LSHRM as their
luncheon speaker and also leading an afternoon workshop on Using Social
Media in HR.

I’m also super excited about speaking
at the Ohio HR Conference in September thanks a connection
from my friend Steve Browne and also the Sm@rt Social Media
Conference Reno/Tahoe
in December thanks to Dr. Bret L. Simmons.

You’ll notice in the engagements I’ve highlighted,
there was at least one person from my network who helped me to connect
with the opportunity. I’m grateful to each of these people and appreciate their support very much. My network rocks and if you’ll be attending any of these events, I’d love to meet you in
person to get to know you as well!

*

What did I miss? What would you
recommend to someone interested in developing their speaking skills or
becoming a professional speaker? I’d like to learn from you!

It’s April Fool’s Day… Can You Learn Anything From It?

Ah, it’s April Fool’s Day and the pranks and jokes are flying in offices all around the world and especially on the Interwebs. Hey, I’m a Fan of fun and a decent practical joke, but having a specific day unofficially sanctioned for these activities means that it’s not safe to go on the internet, step out of your house or speak to any of your friends.

Bah. Humbug.

April Fool 1

Of course I may be jaded a bit after a good (or was it bad) trick that was played on me (and quite a few others) a couple of years ago. I had just caved in and finally joined Twitter (on March 26, 2008 to be exact) after reading this post from Jim Stroud indicating there were only 85 recruiters were using it. A few days later, on April 1st, I started my day as usual and noticed a tweet from Scott Allen, mentioning a post on his Linked Intelligence blog with a big announcement from LinkedIn – that they were eliminating their free service as of May 1, 2008.

Immediately after reading the post, I spun into a tizzy. How could they do this? I’d been using the free version of LinkedIn for a couple of years and had also spent a considerable amount of time teaching and encouraging other professionals – especially job seekers – to sign up and get involved. I knew that many of these people wouldn’t be willing to pay for the service and as a result, its usefulness would soon be gone.

I sent Scott a couple of tweets asking how this could happen. No response. I searched the internet for the “official LinkedIn announcement” that was referenced in the post. Nothing. I Googled, went to LinkedIn related Forums and scoured the LinkedIn site and blog. After losing far too much time and productivity, I went back to Scott’s post (which has since been removed – bad for LinkedIn SEO I guess) to see if I could find more information there. As I scrolled down to the bottom just above the comments, in very tiny font, I saw this:

*April Fools

I was mad. And frustrated. I’d lost a lot of time and productivity (my fault – not Scott’s) by following this April Fool’s boondoggle. But after I thought about it a bit, I was thankful. It was a great wake up call to remind myself that I must be sure to never depend on any one tool or any one thing that is controlled by someone else to manage my relationships and do my job.

So thanks for the Punk Scott! I deserved it – and I even learned from it.

Now if you want to see some good April Fool’s hijinks, this one is perfect. (Link to the picture referenced is here.) Couldn’t have happened to a better target guy. 🙂

April Fool 2