The other day I saw a post online in one of the LinkedIn HR groups. Someone had asked for feedback on the fact that he had been applying for an HR position for some time now and though he had done a few interviews, he had not landed a job as yet. Many people did provide very useful tips specific to his situation. I shared some feedback which I would like to share here too.
Showcase your entrepreneurial spirit if you have one
This person is also an entrepreneur and this was showcased more than his HR skills… which could potentially send the wrong signal to an employer.
Personally, I think that showcasing any entrepreneurial drive is a great move because it exhibits the kind of characteristics many organisations are looking for. We all know that being an entrepreneur is certainly not for everyone. But its a catch 22 for some. While some organisations want that entrepreneurial drive and spirit, at the end of the day, they also do want someone to tow the line on some things. Are organisations the only ones conflicted about this? I think not. I think in our work lives, we too run into these conflicts on a regular basis.
We want a level of autonomy but we also want guidance.
We desire friendship and camaraderie at work but we also want the right to call people on their actions and the repercussions if we need to, as their manager or leader.
We want long term vision but simultaneously, we want results today.
It’s a question of balance we seek.
Be clear about the road you want to go down
While this may seem obvious, make sure that your resume makes it clear what you want to do. Don’t leave it up to them to make the connections you have in your head. If you have moved around, taken on different roles but these are roles which are somehow connected to your original purpose, make sure that it can be explained away in your resume somehow. If you leave it up to the reader, they may make assumptions that they may not seek to clarify with you, leaving you completely unaware on decisions they make consequently.
In short, be sure to highlight the HR elements in your role especially if a HR position is one you’re after. Be brave – take a stand, have an opinion and then make it known
In the past, many people have concentrated rather heavily on what’s in the resume and their network. But in today’s climate, I think a more long-term view needs to be held. By that, I mean, you need to show you’re in for the long-haul ie you care about the issues and not just the position. And while you may care for the issues, and done so, in the positions you’ve held in the past, its not just what you do but what you’ve been seen to do. And this is best exhibited by showcasing your opinion. In blogs, responding to group posts and discussion boards, actively networking online and onsite events, attending webinars, presenting papers, writing articles and generally having an opinion. The online world gives you the ability to have an opinion and leave a trail that others can follow, feed on, value and respect. While there is as much bad as there is good in that, the value of this channel cannot be under-estimated. If this is something you’re not used to or haven’t tried before, don’t let that daunt you. Many wait to gain the experience before trying (as I myself must confess as well), but the expertise comes with the trials. So plunge in. Start small and take baby steps. Comments on blog posts or discussion groups are as good as any other way to begin down this road.