The short answer to that question is – YES!
According to a Social Recruiting Survey conducted by recruiting platform Jobvite, 93% of hiring managers review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision. This clearly shows how critical it is to have a strong digital profile to boost your chances of landing your dream job.
Whether you like being in the limelight or not, a career in product management requires you to have your presence felt in the product ecosystem.
Hence, it is crucial that you are continually crafting your “personal brand” in the eyes of your industry peers, thought leaders, and influencers during your career – those who may hold the keys to product management opportunities.
1. Write, write and write
Strong writing skills help a PM get his/her message across more effectively.
– PMs need to write PRDs (product requirement documents) that communicate the specifications of their product to various stakeholders
– PMs communicate with various stakeholders, which requires a very different and customized approach. For e.g. communicating with the business folks require a different approach from interacting with the designing team.
Hence, the ability to write and articulate well is essential for a product role and one of the most desirable traits sought by Hiring Managers.
You may depict your articulation and communication skills by writing blogs about product management, product case studies, publishing your thoughts on the industry. Medium is one of the most powerful and widely used platforms to publish your articles. The main objective is to ensure your online presence is engaging and formulates coherent arguments about technology and business.
Start collating and creating artefacts relating to your career highlights for your portfolio, such as product pitches you have delivered, strategy plans that you developed and executed, product performance metrics that you are proud of, published work, project outputs such as business cases, personas etc. These artefacts are of great value in a hiring decision. If you have a product/MVP to showcase, it will massively increase your chances of getting hired.
3. LinkedIn profile
Most of the recruiters leveraging social media for their hiring decisions use LinkedIn. Thus creating an engaging LinkedIn profile becomes very essential. Its usability as a networking medium has already been discussed in the 1st article. Here we will talk about how it can serve as a significant component of your online presence.
a. Compelling headline and summary: Improve your visibility by creating a descriptive, keyword-rich headline and summary describing your background, interests, and achievements. Recruiters will often search for keywords that relate to the role they’re trying to fill, so it’s important to feature industry terms in your profile—whether in your headline, summary or job description—and explicitly state your skills.
b. Complete profile: While this might sound obvious, we commonly see incomplete section or blank picture space. Recruiters want to see what work experience you have, your educational background, and a detailed list of accomplishments, so make sure you’re showing the full picture. Convince them you’re the person they should hire. Don’t forget to upload a current photo that’s closely cropped to your face.
c. Career highlights & achievements: Linkedin is a great place to demonstrate your achievements, but make sure you quantify your accomplishments. Saying you are “results-oriented” isn’t nearly as effective as your actual results. Also, it is useful to showcase links to support crucial artefacts that are evidence of your success.
d. Recommendations: Request for recommendations from those who can speak highly of your achievements. It will bring more credibility to your work and also help in highlighting your expertise, validated by others. This will help you better showcase the value you bring to a position.
e.Endorsements: are another powerful way to stand out on LinkedIn. Emphasize your most valuable role-specific skills, have your network endorse you for your top skills and don’t forget to endorse your network in return.
f. Activity: Read your Linkedin feed regularly, and engage when people post things of interest to you. This shows people that you’re interested in what the industry is saying. Stay engaged with your professional contacts by sharing information they’d find helpful, such as a blog post, white paper, or information on local networking event.
4. Reinvent and update
An out-dated online profile suggests complacency if you are a Product Manager. Don’t wait until you actively start looking for a job. It will look obvious that you are solely active or connecting with someone for a job. Sporadic updates online suggest that you live and work in a very narrow world – which is a negative trait in the world of Product Management. PMs are expected to be knowledgeable and able to articulate and share meaningful insights succinctly.
Be mindful of the fact that networking and digital profile are intertwined. We boost our digital presence to do networking and sometimes we do networking to enhance our personal brand. The ultimate objective of all these activities is- you want that employer to think of you when he is envisioning the ideal candidate for a Product role in his organization.
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