If you are an HR professional looking to advance your HR career, there are two tools that are absolute musts.
The first is LinkedIn. It's the greatest career management tool ever invented for anyone – and especially those in HR. There are 500,000 HR career professionals on LinkedIn and it's a great tool for branding yourself and making yourself "findable" by other HR professionals, employers, recruiters and headhunters that can help your advance your career.
The second tool is your personal network. Most recruiters will tell you that networking will deliver more job interviews to you than any other method. More than answering ads. More than hitting the online job boards. And more than putting your resume down Monster's black hole and hoping that you'll get some hits.
The tough thing about networking is hanging on your personality, it's either a lot of fun or a lot of work. For me, I'm not a natural networker, so it's work for me. So, if you're like me, you have to discipline yourself to do it. But if you're in the job market with the goal of advancing your HR career, you must do it.
Good networking takes effort, sincerity and time. Start taking people to lunch. Start attaching cocktails, dinners, and networking events. Set goals for yourself. For example: "I want to have a good conversation and exchange business cards with at least 3 people during this event." There's an old saying that you should dig the well before you're thirsty. Well, this applies to networking.
These two tools are indicative for advancing your HR career.