Congratulations, you’ve done the tough part. You’ve taken one or more SAP training courses, you’ve set aside time to study, and you’ve passed the test and gained a certification. Well done! Now, you’re looking to reap the rewards of all that hard work—a new job, fresh responsibilities, or a promotion. But one question’s puzzling you: How do you best highlight your newly minted SAP skills?
Independent analyst and former SAP recruiter Jon Reed has some helpful pointers on how to make your SAP skills shine and appeal to recruiters and other interested parties.
Don’t forget to regularly update your SAP skills and accomplishments as you complete new training courses and gain fresh certifications. Typically, you’ll be adding to or amending the listings on your profile on LinkedIn and other business social networking websites. “One thing MMC students should keep in mind is that a lot of hiring managers in the SAP arena put a lot of value in recent experience,” Jon says. “Being up to date will help you a lot.”
Ensure your profile is referencing the latest SAP technologies. One of the ‘joys’ of working in the SAP world is that the software vendor has yet to meet a product name it doesn’t change at least once or twice. For instance, if you have some great HANA Cloud Platform skills, now’s the time to reflect the new name for SAP’s Platform-as-a-Service, which is no longer HCP, but is SAP Cloud Platform (SCP). “It’s good to keep the SAP terminology up to date,” Jon says, joking, “It can be a full-time job!”
Steer clear of listing too many SAP skills and certifications. Instead, highlight the SAP training most relevant for the opportunities you’re now seeking. “You want to look like you have some level of corporate career direction,” Jon says. “You want to build out a body of expertise and come off like you have a plan even if you don’t.” So, as you add another SAP certification, think about whether you want to remove some of your earlier accomplishments.
Don’t limit mention of your SAP training to the traditional skills and accomplishments sections of your social networking profile where they might be overlooked. “You can also be more aggressive about your skills by including your SAP certifications in recent work descriptions,” Jon advises. So, for example, you could write, ‘As a certified Michael Management SAP professional in Financial Accounting or Sales & Distribution or Materials Management, etc., my responsibilities included/I achieved… etc.’
“It’s a little too passive an approach to just rely on sites like LinkedIn,” Jon says. “Sometimes, you need to up your game with content.” He suggests MMC students find ways to create some SAP content, which can then link back to their social networking profile, driving a larger numbers of viewers (and potential hirers) to that site. “One objection readers of this blog might have is that they’ve just started,” Jon says. “You can share SAP content and ideas even if you don’t know a whole lot yet.” One idea is to write content where you interview someone who is an expert in a particular SAP technology, he suggests, or write your impressions of and takeaways from an SAP webinar or event. “Start the journey as soon as you can and don’t be intimidated,” Jon adds.
Typically, any blog or contributed article will include the writer’s bio—a brief paragraph of who you are and what you do—and also yet another place where you can list your latest SAP skills. “In general, you have to think about where do people see my bio and then make sure your bio is there,” Jon says. Along with LinkedIn, he mentions sites like About.me which he has seen some individuals use as their online business card since the site provides more room to list accomplishments than a Twitter profile.
Whatever SAP-related content you’re writing, do be very clear about your current level of expertise, Jon advises. It’s another way for your audience to relate to you and your skillset. “You may be new to SAP, but have a lot of relevant work experience,” he says. So, for example, you could write in your bio or within the content itself: ‘I’m an experienced accounting professional new to SAP or new to SAP S/4HANA.’
Automation is a fact of life in recruitment, meaning computers are more and more likely to ‘read’ and ‘review’ your social networking profile on LinkedIn and your resume. “You have to start from a search perspective,” Jon says. So, as you create or refine your skills, do keep keywords and other machine-friendly concepts in mind. At the same time, don’t forget about human networking via in-person events such as SAP shows and user group meetings. “Work hard building networks and relationships so you’re not overly screened out by factors and control,” he advises.
In conclusion, think of wherever you present yourself and your skills online as something fluid rather than set in stone. At any time, you can shape and reshape your SAP knowledge for where you want to go career-wise. So, keep current, stay focused, be bolder and create some content! Let us know how this advice works for you and please share additional nuggets of wisdom you have for your MMC peers in the comments section below!