Despite not having worked in Recruitment for some time I still get asked for advice from SAP professionals who are looking for new careers or contracts within the sector so I decided to write a Blog post on the subject.
My first piece of advice to anyone is to get yourself online. There are lots of ways to do this and I would recommend them all: Make sure you are active on SCN and also get a full Linked In profile complete with references from previous employers and start interacting with people. If you really want to work at “Company X” find out who the CIO, IT Director, Head of SAP is, then find out what “Groups” they are members of on Linked In. Join the groups and start talking to them on a level and hopefully open a dialogue. This will help you grow the number of quality people in your network. Remember though, it’s better to have 200 useful contacts than 1000 useless contacts!
Get yourself on Twitter and start following & interacting with key people. By “Key People” I mean influential people in your desired industry. If you are an SAP Consultant and want to work for a top consultancy like Bluefin Solutions, IBM or anyone else do some research, find out who is a hiring manager / senior person within the organisation and start a conversation with them on Twitter. Treat it like going to a networking event, if you find and talk to a hiring manager in your sector, impress her / him with your experience and knowledge then next time they’re hiring hopefully they will think of you.
Blogging is a great way to demonstrate to people who you are and what you are about. There are several ways to start blogging, whether it’s on the SAP Community Network, Personal Blog or hosted somewhere like WordPress. If you are blogging about interesting and relevant topics you’re going to get noticed. Combine this with a big Twitter / Linked In following and you can get your Blog out to a lot of people. An example of my Wordpress blog is here:
Your CV / Resume needs to be strong, even with all this social interaction you will still find a lot of companies ask for a CV. Make sure you have 2 sections at the top “Skills” and “Achievements”. The Skills section is so someone can quickly see you are an expert at HCM Talent Management or you are an SAP Developer with extensive HTML5 Skills, without reading the whole document. Achievements should be both work related and personal, maybe you have run The London Marathon, Built huts in Peru or something non work related to grab the readers interest. Next you need to clearly and concisely write about your previous employment starting with the most recent.
Register on specialist job sites to get your Resume out there. If dealing through a recruitment consultant make sure you get across to them as concisely as possible why you are suitable for the role. Follow it up with them as often as possible and DON’T tell them where else you have applied for jobs. The recruitment market is so over saturated that consultants stoop to very low tactics to get business and will not hesitate to try and “Canvass” someone who you’ve said you have an interview with. Do not divulge your previous manager’s name either because they will just be added to a database and “Canvassed” as well.
Lastly, get involved in events like SAP TechEd, Sapphire Now, InnoJam or SAP Inside Track as you will meet a lot of potential employers. Befriend them, sell yourself to them (not literally) and over time you will get known for who you are and what you do.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a job or a new job you need to be pro active. It’s not simply about sending out 100 CV’s but actually demonstrating to someone in a slightly subconscious way that you are the next person they want to hire.
Good luck if you’re looking and I certainly don’t mind answering some questions by email if anyone is interested