Statistically speaking, you know your industry better than most people. It goes with the territory and it's why conversations that start with "What do you do?" are the worst part of any dinner party. Sure, you get to feel like an expert, but don't get complacent because of a few impressed in-laws. Something is changing in your industry right now and, whether you're actively looking for a change in your career or just open to the possibility, it pays to stay on top of those changes.
Timing and market knowledge are as important to advancing your career as what's on your resume. You may be the perfect candidate for a position, but if you never know that position exists it doesn't bode well for your chances. First, not every opportunity winds up on Workopolis or Monster. Second, you're denying yourself a competitive edge by waiting until a position is publicly available. There are a lot of tools at your disposal and investing a little time every week can pay off in the long run.
Industry News Sites and Publications
Virtually every industry in the world has at least one association, trade magazine and a news site dedicated to it. A lot of professionals make the mistake of unplugging from the industry news unless they're part of it. Staying aware of trends in the industry, moves by the competition and other high-level information increases your value within an organization and gives you signals about where the next-big-thing might be happening.
In a more immediate sense, you can also follow the money. Companies love to announce when they've secured funding, been acquired or had a great quarter. These are all signs of growth and there's a chance some of the new cash might be used to bring on experienced people to keep that growth going strong.
Everything mentioned above also applies to social media, but in a much more intimate sense. With news sites, you're limited to news the company thinks is worth putting out a press release about; with a company Twitter feed, you get daily updates about everything that's going on. You also get a direct channel into the organization, rather than the contact info for the PR Manager listed on the press release.
There's also the advantage of following other professionals in your industry, whether they're the CEO's of your competitors or the new start-up down the block. You can indirectly have hundreds of people sifting all the content the Internet has to offer into a concise stream of mostly-relevant industry information.
Everything I've mentioned above takes time, which is something always in short supply. Staying on top of trends, connecting with the people in various companies and actively looking for opportunities is what recruiters do.
It's also going to be difficult to find someone more invested in your search than a recruiter. Good candidates are their lifeblood; without them they don't get paid. Working with most recruiters doesn't cost you anything and you get access to all the hours they spend doing reconnaissance.
All of this information can be boiled down to one statement; Be aware of what's happening in your industry. It makes you more valuable, more competitive and more desirable when it comes to making a move. It also gives you the chance to be the first call a company receives about a potential opportunity, rather than the 23rd resume in the pile.
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Cody Pierson is the Marketing Manager at Martyn Bassett Associates; Toronto’s premiere executive and sales recruitment agency. Whether you’re looking to find a new opportunity or add someone to your team we’ve got the expertise and experience to find the perfect candidate. Visit us online for opportunities, resources and all your recruiting needs.
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