By Curt Hensley
CSH Consulting Inc.
As ISOs and merchant level salespeople, you are a self-reliant group with plenty of entrepreneurial spirit. Some of you have had great success building your businesses from small home-office operations to large ISOs.
Others are well on the way to doing the same. Many of you now have residual income that meets or exceeds your financial goals. Others dream of doing so one day.
But what if it's time for a change? What if, despite your success, you're tired of going it alone? What if you need a new challenge? Maybe you just deserve a better deal. Perhaps you're going through a cross-country move or another type of transition, and you long for a steady paycheck and no worries about small-business management.
Have you ever considered that some leaders in the payments sphere or in emerging market sectors might value your expertise and pay you handsomely to join them?
Millions of people hunt for a new job every year. The Journal of Labor Research reports that each year one out of five working Americans - over 20 million people - leave their jobs.
If you decide to join them, you can take several steps to better your chances of getting noticed by top-notch recruiters seeking professionals who have payment processing and merchant acquiring know-how.
First, brand yourself. Second, raise your online profile. Third, manage your comprehensive online presence. Here is a list of the six most important steps you can take to get noticed quickly:
Contrary to popular opinion, the best recruiters still search for candidates on Monster.com and CareerBbuilder.com. It's typically not the first place they go, but they would be remiss if they didn't use all of their resources. Currently there are 44 million résumés on Monster, and 17 million on CareerBuilder. And, there's much less overlap than most would think.
There are a number of other job boards to keep in mind when you are ready to post your résumé. Yahoo! HotJobs (www.hotjobs.com), Jobing.com, Vault (www.vault.com), and CareerSite.com are all worthy for posting your résumé to gain increased visibility. Recruiters are very familiar with these job boards, and they are great resources for recruiters. As a job seeker, you really can't afford to pass them up.
Due to the volume of résumés on the major job boards, there's a perception that the candidate quality is poor. Not true at all. Yes, Monster can be overwhelming for job seekers, and it's much harder for the superstar to stand out because of the number of résumés listed.
But great recruiters can find the stars when they take the time to look. You will be much easier to find if you post your résumé on Monster and CareerBuilder.
More than 15 million experienced professionals from around the world have profiles on LinkedIn. Take the time to create a winning profile, and use your LinkedIn profile like you would your résumé. Make sure your LinkedIn URL is attached to your e-mail signature, and encourage people to take a look.
LinkedIn is easy to use. If you reach out to as many friends and business associates as you can, accept invitations when they are offered to you and add connections to friends and business associates, your 50 personal contacts will soon become a network of 500,000 personal contacts.
Imagine how easy it is to network for a job by putting in a little extra time. According to LinkedIn, adding five connections makes you 3.7 times more likely to receive a job offer.
According to Inc. magazine, Jigsaw.com is "the world's biggest rolodex." And, with more than 6 million people registered on the site, complete with all their contact information, Jigsaw has become a key resource for recruiters. This is a great place for recruiters to go when they are digging into their clients' competitors to find potential candidates.
Both ZoomInfo and Jigsaw enable you to seek a new position without making it obvious that you are looking to leave your current workplace.
Add conferences, meetings, user groups, contact management software you have used, complex projects you have run, descriptions of your certifications and leadership positions you have within your community. Be specific, and try to include key words that a recruiter might use to look for talent. The goal is to be obvious, but not too obvious.
Also, offer to guest post on friends' high-ranking blogs. You will be surprised about the attention you draw.
Someone who is published is going to have a better chance of getting noticed than someone who keeps his or her expertise confined to e-mail correspondence.
It's rare to find employees who take this kind of initiative, so it automatically labels you as someone who is willing to go the extra mile. This is also a great résumé builder.
The best way to make valuable professional connections is to make yourself easy to find. If you follow these steps, many opportunities could open up to you - not just job offers.
If you're lucky, you may find your dream job and continue to have business opportunities knocking at your door long after the search is over.
Curt Hensley is the founder, Chief Executive Officer and President of CSH Consulting, a recruiting firm exclusively focused on the payments industry. He and his leadership team have over 50 years of combined experience in recruiting and merchant acquiring. They have placed more than 1,000 professionals over the past seven years. Contact Curt at 480-315-8800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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