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If you overlook the need to prepare yourself, prepare yourself for being overlooked!

Make sure you have a good social media presence if you want to be proactive in giving your career a little bit of a boost. The headhunters say they sometimes see candidates coming to interviews unprepared, in the sense that they have failed to find out about the job, the company and the person who they are going to meet. If you apply for a job, take the trouble to make sure that you give yourself the very best chance. This error already gives a fair bit of information about the candidate. Finding a new job is a job in itself, and needs skill and preparation. Similarly, too many candidates present themselves poorly on LinkedIn or other equivalent networks. This is regrettable because, these days, that is often the first impression you give of yourself. If you apply for a job, you need to be prepared to be "googled". So you need to leave a digital footprint (a good-quality one, obviously) on the web to present yourself in the very best light. Not using the social networks properly and to the full is a mistake, as is using them badly, or overusing them. We have to move with the times. To attract searches by headhunters, applicants for treasurer jobs need to showcase their skills and know-how to sell themselves, online in the first instance, and then in person, live. Even though it is true that most people contacted are not looking for jobs, this is no reason not to test the water and be on the alert at all times. For all you know, something unforeseen might be lurking around the corner!

For jobs bearing responsibility, recruitment agencies are used very frequently. They will start with the first source of information available to them: LinkedIn. That is the starting point, and the beginning of an open sesame to the offer of a new job. The challenge is not insurmountable: you have to adapt to these digital times. Depending on how demanding their customers' requirements are, headhunters filter and refine their searches. The more complete and comprehensive your profile is, the better chance you have of being spotted and identified initially, and then possibly being selected for an interview. LinkedIn has shaken up the way we do things, and today you need to be visible and be seen, failing which you risk being overlooked and missing out on a job opportunity. First and foremost, your profile must be up-to-date and well presented. Regular review and an upgrade are always worthwhile. It is also a proactive way of keeping the headhunters informed of how you are doing and how your career is progressing. Leaving an upbeat footprint and reminding various people that you exist, for example by posting invaluable content, could prove to be rewarding and worthwhile. Over and above the fear of being overlooked, there is also the need to be known and identified, or at least be identifiable. You need to draw distinctions between the social networks and their different uses, because Twitter is not Facebook or LinkedIn. A modicum of good sense and a bit of effort will enable you to make yourself identifiable and detectable by headhunters eager for quality profiles. Don't let yourself be overlooked through oversight or not being there. Make sure you have a smart and dynamic presence on the web. Remember that many people are invisible. Try googling a few people and see if a photo comes up. There is no need to become an internet star but against that, it is absolutely essential to have some sort of presence and existence on the social networks. Do not underestimate the influence of these networks and their positive (when used well) or negative (when used badly) impact. Learn to sell yourself even if you are not (yet) for sale or going to be for sale; I see LinkedIn as a sort of life (and survival) insurance cover for professional life. A ticket to full employment and a prosperous career. The millennials are arriving, and this will give them no trouble at all. We need to adapt, but not just by focusing on virtual networks alone. Physical networks are crucial. Don't neglect them, because they will often come to your aid. What is more, it may prove to be Tier2 or Tier3 of your network that comes to your aid, and not the people you thought would be the most likely to help you. Virtual or real networks are not built up in two shakes of a lamb's tail, instead they need to be worked on over time. If you are not ready, get ready fast, because unfortunately we never know what tomorrow holds in store for us! And if everything goes well for us tomorrow, then you will have taken out an insurance policy, paying a small premium for something you did not need to use. Can anyone really believe, even if they are insured, that in their lives no raindrops will fall? So do not overlook what needs to be done to make sure you are not overlooked.

François Masquelier, Chairman of ATEL

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