In Hollywood there is an old adage that states that “say (write) whatever you want about me but make sure you spell my name right!” Such a philosophy may work wonders in entertainment circles but I doubt that it holds a whole lot of credence in politics or business and especially for those who are in job search mode. Those looking for work are publicizing a brand – “me,” but if you are to be held credible you must be forthright in maintaining an accurate and professional approach to what you are and what you stand for.
Though entertainers are always looking for exposure, in any form they can find with their names and images on everything from billboards to products, I sincerely doubt that Bernie Madoff or Senator John Ensign of Nevada have found solace and comfort in having their names plastered on every newspaper, blog and cable network the last few years.
Job Seekers have a brand and they need to develop it over time. Unlike our billionaire friend from New York City who has no difficulty placing his name on anything and everything from casinos to food products and much in between, job seekers must be more directed and specific in how they position their brand and how their name appears in the blogosphere.
It is with much modesty that I recently had an article written about this blog in the icon of association CEO publications –CEO Update. Because the article is only available to subscribers I would advocate such consideration. I have maintained a subscription on and off for multiple years because of the in-depth and relevant articles; even when I wasn’t looking for work. Many thanks to author William Ehart and CEO Update management – Lynn McNutt and Mark Graham for such wonderful exposure. The following is the article:
For Unemployed CEO, Search is Something to Blog About
Daniel Borschke is blogging his job search.
That might not be so unusual if he was, say, 22.
But the 58-year old Borschke is a veteran association CEO looking for another top position or two to cap his career.
He sees his blog, “In Transition” (danborschke.wordpress.com), as good for him – and good for fellow job seekers.
“It’s therapy in that it gives me the opportunity to share some of my experiences.” Borschke told CEO Update, “unfortunately, I’ve had more experiences than I’d like to admit in terms of job searching.”
“I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been in the association world for well over 20 years.” he said. “In many ways (the blog) gives a very positive impression that I am out there using techniques that many associations could use in promoting themselves. In this case I’m promoting me.”
Borschke is back in the market after parting ways Jan. 1 with the National Association for Retail Marketing Services, where he was president and CEO for seven years (it was really 6). The association opted not to renew his contract, he said. “The Board and I had a difference of opinion on the future of the organization.”
He began his blogging career at NARMS, so that part of it isn’t new.
But searching for a job isn’t what it used to be.
“In seven years the process has changed so dramatically,” he said, noting that major decisions back then including choosing the type of paper for printing your resume and cover letter.
“We were not talking about LinkedIn profiles – they didn’t exist seven years ago.”
Today, he has 600 LinkedIn connections.
Borschke had said seven years ago he planned to write a book on his job search and transition experiences, but he landed a new position too quickly, and never finished it.
This time, he plans to turn his daily blog into a book.
His intended audience is fellow job seekers, but he has gotten comments on his site from recruiters as well.
“(The blog is) a wonderful opportunity just to be able to connect with these people and get their own thoughts and views as well as your own,” he said.
“It has honed my skills and frankly, if I can get exposure to my capabilities and qualifications to one other person who wouldn’t have known me in any other way, it’s certainly a plus.”
Borschke’s blog offers basic self-help tips (“You can’t take rejection personally”) and practical advice (“Cover Letters are vital”). There are few original insights, but Borschke amplifies ideas and themes put forth by other experts. A recent post, which cites a Washington Post article and includes his own observations, examined whether the tighter budgets seen during the recession will be “the new normal” for nonprofits, especially charities.
One element that seems to make the blog tick is that Borschke, unlike most, actually likes looking for work.
“I hate to admit it, but I enjoy the process. I’ve always been a person who’s enjoyed talking with people. I’ve interviewed on both sides of the table, so I enjoy doing it.”
As much as Borschke has put into the blog, he knows there is no substitute for personal contact.
“If you are going to network, you need to network both digitally and personally,” he said.
As someone who has worked in Communications and Associations over the years I know the value of exposure; it is vital to keep your brand omnipresent but I would encourage all to be reserved in how you publicize yourself. You aren’t a mustard or even an upscale resort – we are talking about you and if your brand is going to result in a new employment placement it is important to focus on all the right approaches. I guess the best approach is to remember the old adage, “Would your mother approve of your actions?”
Dan Borschke is a Certified Association Executive who has been a CEO for 3 distinct trade associations in his career. He currently is between positions and has written more than 50,000 words or 65 blogs on the topics of job search and career transition. He can be contacted at email@example.com.