LinkedIn is a social network specifically designed for career and business professionals to connect. Over 65 million professionals use it to cultivate their careers and businesses. If you were wondering how you could tap into this, here is some great advice on how to use LinkedIn to score on some massive local and global employment opportunities. These are courtesy of Nigerian Digital Strategist and Afropreneur, Blessing Abeng.
“I know a number of people who have gotten jobs on LinkedIn, a number of recruiters who use LinkedIn as their major recruiting platform and more importantly I have been offered jobs and business opportunities on LinkedIn. It is a good platform if you can wield it,” she tweeted.
The ‘How to’ is divided into four parts.
This is ultimately your CV and contains parts that can answer all the intricate details every recruiter is looking for. This is why it is important to update your profile to 90-100%. Your profile starts with your profile picture (see this as your passport).
You cannot, however, have Snapchat/IG filters, flowers on your head, far distance shots etc. Your shoulder to your hair are the most important features nothing else. The essence is to see your face, pick a clear and presentable picture. Look sharp, ready to work.
Look at it this way, if you were announcing your interest to run for the presidency, what pictures would you use?
Define your Career Goals & Interests
What kind of job are you looking for? What are you good at? What are you interested in? What companies would you like to work at? What matters most to you – experience or money? Choose wisely. This will guide your profile.
Please don’t write “Looking for a job”, “available for job position” and the likes. It is distasteful. Follow the LinkedIn Guides. For example, your Title would be IT Engineer, when explaining your Job Description, include what you did. Like most social media platforms, keywords are very important, so use industry keywords. When a recruiter is searching, they won’t search “looking for a job”. Instead, they’ll search for the role, keywords associated with the role and maybe location.
Fill in your details correctly and remember to be as detailed/specific as possible when describing your job positions and titles held in the past. Internships count as experience. Studying online is valid too, add your online courses. Most online schools have LinkedIn pages, link them. Follow accounts that align with your career goal and values. They form your interests
Skill endorsement is important too. Ask for recommendations from your past colleagues, classmates etc. Include accomplishments if you have any such as projects, certifications and language(s).
2. YOUR CONTENT
Don’t just leave your page dormant and hope that your beautiful profile will be enough. Post updates, be active at least once a week. Share your thoughts on articles you’ve read. Share links to the articles. Share things that emphasize your value and career goals. Include keywords in your posts and articles and share valuable content. Things to reinforce that you’re “hirable” and you can think for yourself. Don’t write things like “I am a great person”. Write without directly selling yourself and let the content sell you.
3. YOUR ENGAGEMENT
Accept your requests wisely and purposefully. Send requests wisely too. Don’t just send requests, make sure you include messages. Be value-oriented and message smartly. Read about the person you are adding and let this spark up your conversation.
Hello Blessing, I noticed you’re into Branding and Communications and you’re also passionate about the Startup Ecosystem in Africa. I would love to connect with you and discuss more on Entrepreneurship particularly. Your work inspires me.
A gentle ego massage helps people drop their guard. You could go straight to the point and ask if there is a vacancy or sell yourself enough to ensure that a role is created for you.
Engage with posts, have an opinion and ask questions. Comment. Like. Share. Take action. People will find you through this. You can access a wider network beyond yours by engaging with other people’s posts.
4. YOUR NETWORK
Write to people and let them know of your intent to work for their organization. Engage offline and turn offline friendships to LinkedIn connections and online connections to offline friendships. Let your friends know what you do and let them know you’re looking for a job. Referral is big on LinkedIn. Once in a while post your job hunt stories and lessons you’ve learned from them. Ask for their feedback. Tag potential Employers in posts creatively.
Again, don’t wait to see vacancy call before you try to apply. If Mohammed will not come to the Mountain, the Mountain would have to go to Mohammed. If the job is not coming to you. Go to the job. DM, ask, speak up, apply, follow company pages you aspire to work in.
Visit your LinkedIn account at least once every week (Maybe every Monday). Monday mornings are the best times to post (they are the most active times too because of
#MondayMotivation. Check your DMs regularly too, so you don’t miss a message from a recruiter.
This article was written by Blessing Abeng on LinkedIn Pulse, you can see it in full here.