Have you ever thought about the fact that you are your own brand? Every job you start, promotion you earn, skill you develop, or knowledge you gain is shaping who you are and what you can brand and “sell” for other opportunities in the future. With social media at the heart of so many of our interactions it’s critical that you also manage your online brand as cautiously and efficiently as you would navigate searching for a job while employed somewhere else.
As an experienced recruiter I always counsel my candidates on how important it is to be strategic about announcing a job change – it’s an exciting time and while it may feel great in the moment to post to Facebook as soon as you are hired, it’s frequently not the best long-term strategy. It might seem silly to plan so thoughtfully about something as simple as a job change, but the reality is how you announce your news can have long lasting effects on how current and future employers perceive you.
Here are some tips with respect to how I handle my own personal job change announcements as well as my guidance for those I work with:
Phase One – Make A List
The first step is make a list of all the places you will need to update, which when you really stop and think about it could be much longer than you imagine. There are the obvious places like LinkedIn and Twitter, but there are other places that might not be on your day-to-day radar like CrunchBase or about.me. Other places you may need to update include: Facebook, Google+, Medium, Instagram, SnapChat, Tumblr – really think of any place where you share information about your place of work. You may also want to consider sending an email blast to your network of contacts. My personal list included almost everyone I have connected with in my professional path – I personally like Mad Mimi for this type of communication. It’s worth noting there are some people that should receive individual, personalized emails from you, such as existing and future team members, peers at your current company as well as your future place of employment, as well as management and any personal mentors you have.
Lastly, depending on your industry and years of experience, you may also want to consider local newspapers and business journals and submit yourself to their People on the Move sections.
Timing is Everything
The next part of the plan is to determine the timing of your announcements, which ideally should be done in two parts. First, announcing you are leaving your current position and then some amount of time later announce your new role – this is so that both companies get the respect they deserve. Most simply this is effectively done by announcing you are leaving at the end of your last work day at your old company and then announcing your new job the morning you start.
Once you have decided when you will make your announcements draft the messages you are going to post to each of your outlets. You want each to reflect the tone of the platform so think about who you are sharing the information with on your LinkedIn profile compared to who will see it on your Instagram. Having it all drafted in advance makes executing the change a lot more efficient.
The Big Announcement
When all of the logistics are handled and you are ready to make the news official it’s best to time it all to go at the same time. One tip I picked up when I was announcing my move to Riviera was to open a browser tab for every single platform I was going to post the news or edit my profile information on, update the information according to each site (and using my previously drafted messages), but do not hit send or update. After all profiles have the information queued up go back and publish them all in succession, so that everything goes live simultaneously.
Changing jobs is an exciting time for all of us and is something that can be hard to hold back from sharing, but my experience in the hiring industry has taught me that it’s best to be strategic both when and how we communicate our professional endeavors. What we share online lives forever and your next employer is likely to see how you handled your last transition publicly – make it something your personal brand will be proud of.
Image Credit: CC by Steven Zwerink