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Write An Article. Published Or Not, It’s Still Valuable!

October 24th, 2007

Last week I was in San Antonio with professional career experts, including resume writers, career coaches, career counselors and college career center staff. It was a fun four days and I took a number of pearls of wisdom away from the event. One really struck me and I knew it would be included in the first post that I would write about the Career Directors annual conference!

Heather Wieshlow, Turning Point CEO and AuthorHeather Wieshlow, owner of Turning Point Coaching and Consulting, was presenting on her very cool book (Heather’s Internet Career Resources Guide). She was going over 40 major resources that she coaches her clients through when she mentioned “articles.” Many of you know that I’ve blogged plenty of times about writing articles as part of your personal brand strategy… but Heather mentioned a tactic that I had not thought of before.

Us your article as a follow-up. So simple, yet brilliant! Here’s how Heather Wieshlow described it:

After you send your resume to someone, or have an interview (whether it’s an informational interview, or a first interview, or whatever), you want to follow-up, right? You want to be on the short list! We’ve been told to follow-up with a phone call, or a thank you letter, or something like that. In fact, a thank you letter could include something along the lines of “oh yeah, I also wanted to mention that…” so you can further show them how wonderful and great you are :)

Heather said to include an article you have written. It doesn’t matter if it has been published or not — when you write “when we were talking about Six Sigma we focused mainly on xyz. I am really passionate about Six Sigma and process improvement, and thought you might enjoy this article I wrote, Implementing Six Sigma From Scratch, which I’ve attached to this e-mail.”

Don’t you think that will make you stand out from the other candidates?

Let’s say you are no longer in transition, but still actively growing and nurturing your network. I can see this same technique used with network contacts. As you learn more about people’s interests (someone wants to break into the Six Sigma space), or needs (if they are preparing a presentation on Six Sigma), there will be opportunities to send them a follow-up with an article you have written. It doesn’t matter if it has been published or not!

Don’t you think that will make you stand out from other network contacts?

Can you think of any other reasons to have an extra article handy? I can think of at least one…

6 Comments »

6 responses to “Write An Article. Published Or Not, It’s Still Valuable!”

  1. Jason, that sounds like a really good tip. Even more reason for me to start writing articles.

  2. Krystyna says:

    Some writing need time, grow to expand more ideas, knowledge to make us happy. If I think, that my article (post) is quite good, but not right time to publish, I safe, wait; work on. I learn a lot from others, and I’m never nervous for critical opinion about my writing. I’m thankful to Janson for many feadbacks, I asked him for.

  3. Darlene says:

    VERY good STUFF!! I like this alot!! I will have to write about this when I get back next week!!!

  4. […] I was reading the Jibber Jobber blog today, as I often do, and Jason Alba shared some wisdom from Heather Wieshlow about following up on an interview with an article. If that sounds a bit odd, it’s because it’s definitely thinking “outside the box.” The standard follow up is to simply e-mail or, even better, call the hiring manager or interviewer. After you send your resume to someone, or have an interview (whether it’s an informational interview, or a first interview, or whatever), you want to follow-up, right? You want to be on the short list! We’ve been told to follow-up with a phone call, or a thank you letter, or something like that. In fact, a thank you letter could include something along the lines of “oh yeah, I also wanted to mention that…” so you can further show them how wonderful and great you are. […]

  5. John Hunter says:

    Good advice; I think it is even better to publish them online. Your online brand can separate you from the crowd.

  6. Jason Alba says:

    Katie – yep, I agree, it makes me want to finish some articles that I’ve had in my mind, as well as take some blog posts and create articles out of them. Better to be prepared, right?

    Krystyna – You are welcome for my feedback. Just note that I’m distinguishing between a blog post and an article.

    Darlene – I thought so too, although I can’t take any credit for it :)

    John – I agree… although there is a distinction between publishing online and delivering a specific, targeted article as a follow-up. My mileage on article distribution has been significantly less than what I’ve gotten from targeted placement (one of the best has been on Marketing Profs… and that’s great for Google results. But for that special touch, shoot it to someone as an attachment. Also, I talk a lot about the google part of personal branding, with my You Get It awards… hang tight, the next You Get It winner is announced either tomorrow or Wednesday (and she certainly deserves it)!