When we were Young Part 2 – by Abidemi Adebola “Sometimes our best love moments
“Its about time to take the bold move, start by crossing the LinkedIn bridge”
Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it
At some point in our careers we are sure going to start exploring our options, it’s only natural. Sometimes this could be because we find our job increasingly boring or can’t seem to find peace with the culture of the organization and then our job performance reflects our distaste. At other point it could be prompted by a change in management or lack of opportunities to grow. When you reflect on these reasons, you will find that the list is quite exhaustive.
Contrary to the buzzing feeling you had when you first join an organization and the overarching need to show value, the journey to the point of dissatisfaction can be quite faster for some people. In a matter of days or months the prospect of the next job might just be an option to explore.
As a professional, one of the most popular place to network and look for job opportunities is the LinkedIn community. But do we get the best out of it? Most young professionals simply replicate the details in their Curriculum vitae (Yes! The same one that got them nowhere) on their profile and then starts the waiting game. The issue is that if you’re only updating your profile now and then, you’re not fully utilizing all LinkedIn can do for you and you are not getting value either.
I am hoping to draw attention to the tactical tips you can leverage LinkedIn to bridge the transition from a truly boring and uninspiring job to one where you can come to your full potential to land your next great job.
It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the top professional social networking site with 133 million users in the U.S. alone and reaching 200 countries and territories around the world.
In Nigeria, there are 5.8m LinkedIn users (as at Jan 2021) and they account for 2.7% of its entire LinkedIn population.
If you are between the ages of 25 to 34years, you already represent 3.7m of that number, and if you are 35 – 54 years, you represent 11% of that figure with 640,000 users
That’s a lot of people!
Let’s get into the swing of it;
1; Build your network before you need it
LinkedIn provides an excellent way to build a professional network and young professionals should not only rely on having a basic profile on the platform but build a strong network. The network represents those you know and trust, and you can utilize it for recommendations and to ask for introductions into a job or opportunity in which you are interested.
No matter how the economy is situated, or what your career is doing, having a strong network is a good form of job security. It akin to building your followers on other social media platforms. In fact, the same energy, effort and time invested in building followership on Instagram and twitter and face book must be dedicated to LinkedIn if you must build a strong professional network. Don’t wait until times are tough to build your network.
Hint – There is a “magic” number of connections to have on LinkedIn, and that number is 50. By connecting to at least 50 trusted contacts (past co-workers, clients, classmates, professors, friends and family) you will increase your chances of getting in touch with people and companies that will help you get ahead in your job hunt.
2; Keep your profile up to date
This one is quite obvious isn’t it? However not many users take the time to complete the information required on their profile. Some users do not have enough images on their profile while others provide information that would NEVER attract a recruiter.
A LinkedIn profile should be a “living, breathing document” that clearly represents what makes you “unique and worth hiring.
Your profile is your chance to showcase your skills and talents and help recruiters and opportunities find their way to you. For this reason you should set it up to be discoverable through the millions of searches on leading search engines and on LinkedIn.
Don’t leave anything out about your current skills and objectives. Use your headline to share your main objective if it makes sense and add all of your skills to your page. There are over 45,000 skills to choose from on LinkedIn to beef up your profile, to get noticed make sure to regularly update your profile, add a profile photo, and include your notable skills.
It is important to note that your photo, name, and headline (which is listed below your photo) are the only items people see when they do a search. Your headline should stand out and highlight what you do or what type of position you’re looking for.
Hint – “HR professional connecting employees with management” are examples of headlines that are clear and might grab attention when compared to plain-Jane headlines like “Chemical engineer in the public sector.”
– Members with at least one past position listed on their profile are 12 times more likely to be viewed for potential opportunities through LinkedIn. People with at least one education listed are seven times more likely to be viewed in general and professionals with a photo on their profile are also seven times more likely to be viewed in general.
Trivia – LinkedIn members with a profile picture are 14 times more likely to receive page views, while those who post skills are 13 times more likely to have profile views compared to those who don’t, per LinkedIn’s blog.
3; Make yourself memory with great stories
Recruiters and hiring managers are like anyone else—they respond to story-telling rather than mind-numbing lists of facts. Plus, research shows that stories can aid memory. So telling a good story or two in your LinkedIn profile could make you more memorable to recruiters.
For each job you post on your profile, don’t simply state your responsibilities, include an interesting tale about your successes in the job and most importantly explain the problems you faced and how you solved them, especially if you came up with creative solutions to important challenges. Keep your narrative short and clear; remember that potential recruiters do not have all the time in the world. A lengthy post could easily turn them off.
4;Get Visual too
In the Instagram age, many people respond well to visual content, so whenever possible, make your LinkedIn profile more visual.
Have you won awards, or do you have impressive degrees or certifications? Great—post photos of them on your profile, rather than simply listing them in text. If you’ve given a well-received presentation, post it on SlideShare (which LinkedIn owns) and add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you’ve appeared in or produced an interesting video, post that to your LinkedIn profile, too.
5; Research the companies you’re interested in and follow them.
LinkedIn makes it easy during the job hunt to find and follow companies. If you haven’t already done so, make a list of the companies you’d like to work for and follow them on LinkedIn. This will help you stay in the know about company news and new positions as they become available.
When you follow a company on LinkedIn you get updates on new hires, promotions/changes at the company and even job opportunities. Follow companies that you would love to work for and you will start seeing these updates on your homepage when you login to LinkedIn.
6; Get straight to the people that do the hiring
Build relationships with recruiters and hiring managers in your area so you are top of mind when great job openings come across their desks.
You can do this by doing an Advanced People Search (click on the hyperlink that says “Advanced” next to the search box in the top, right-hand corner of any LinkedIn page) for the title “recruiter” or “HR Manager,” or other related titles. You can also find people you have in common and if suitable, ask them to introduce you or, reach out directly using InMail messages.
7; Get the word out
Here is another quick fire way to get hired. Tell your network that you’re looking for a new job. Use your LinkedIn status update to let those in your network know you are now looking for a new position. If your profile already has the right feel and your regular updates creates a story in your network, there is a chance that you have already created a great impression on your network and they would likely take your updates seriously. Give this a shot. There is no shame in trying. At least, it’s better than staying home and waiting it out.
8; Apply for jobs as quickly as they are posted.
A close friend of mine made a remarkable observation and I would quickly share this with you. He asserts that if you apply for a job published on linked in within a few hours of posting, there is a great chance you will get a look in from recruiters. However if you apply for jobs that are week old or even days old in some cases, your chances of getting a look in from the recruiters becomes pretty lower.
In applying for jobs, use the filters to narrow down to recent job postings to give yourself the chance to be noticed.
9; Get LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements
A strong recommendation from those who have worked with you highlights your strengths and shows that you were a valued employee. You can actively reach out to your past managers and work colleagues to get recommendations from them. If you want a recommendation that will make you stand out from the pack, hint at why you’re asking for the recommendation (to get more clients, to find a new job, etc.) and also at what types of things the recommender can comment on.
If you worked on a project with your past colleague you could ask them to give you a recommendation based on the results you achieved on the project.
Endorsements are also a great way to highlight specific skill sets you have. An effective way to gather up some of your own is by going through your trusted connections and endorsing them for skills.
10; Clean up your other social media profiles.
While LinkedIn is by far the most important social network job recruiters’ use, it’s by no means the only one. According to the Jobvite survey, Facebook is the second most visited social network among recruiters (55 percent, versus 87 percent for LinkedIn). If recruiters don’t like what they find out about you on another social network, it can kill your chances at getting hired.
In order to build a complete profile of the job applicants, recruiters typically crawl their other social media pages to get a sense of who they are and if they would fit into the organization culture or if their behavior is consistent with the value system that the organization projects. It is important that you mind the sort of post you make on other social media handle to help you stand a chance of landing your great job!
Thank you for reading this far. These are not the only steps you could try, but be rest assured these ones would give you a great chance to land a job.
In conclusion, LinkedIn is as much a search engine as Google, one focused on finding professionals, recruiters, companies and jobs. You should use it to your advantage actively searching for opportunities rather than abandoning it like a doormat. Remember that recruiters search for candidates using keywords and your choice of words would improve your chances of getting noticed.
People are landing dream jobs globally and you have no reason not to join the lot.
This is wishing you all the best!
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