Ask James Caan – Issue 84
You will have seen the main social media channels – LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Facebook – are providing jobseekers and employers a new playing field to engage with one another.
Whether it’s using Google+ to create brand awareness or using the networking value of LinkedIn, people from every industry are finding innovative ways to market themselves. It’s added a new dimension to the hiring industry; one that is delivering excellent results.
2012 will continue to see the rise of social media, as employers recognise the importance of creating social communities. Job seekers, therefore, need to start understanding which platform will help meet their objectives and find ways to stand out.
This week I’d like to discuss the benefits of LinkedIn for all new members to our group, thanks to a letter from Michael.
Michael, a quantity surveying undergraduate, has recently joined LinkedIn and is looking to find out how to use it to aid his job search.
‘I am new to LinkedIn and webrecruit and finding both tools very useful. I am looking for work within the construction industry and have tried a number of different techniques to gain experience.’
‘Do you have any advice for me? I am willing to try new ideas and ways of getting the all important interview.’
Michael, finding a job in this economy is difficult enough. Add to this mix the proliferation of social media sites, and the job seeker’s task can seem daunting.
Companies from all industries are fast realising the effects of social media, and it’s great to see that you’re using LinkedIn and webrecruit to help you in your search.
From looking at your CV and cover letter, you’ve obviously put a lot of effort in. It’s clear, well-structured and a great start to your job seeking strategy. Your challenge now is to identify ways to engage with employers and show them just how valuable your skills are.
So how can you use LinkedIn to get the interest of recruiters with the aim of securing interviews?
To start with, ensure your profile is 100% complete. Like a CV database, recruiters search for potential candidates using keywords. Therefore, you need to reflect this in your CV. Use the keywords your industry is using at present and populate every field that’s relevant to increase your chances of being found.
List your past jobs, education and highlight the skills you possess. The more you list, the more likely it is that the right people will find you when searching for talent.
If there’s a particular company you’re interested in working for, try searching for it using the Company Directory. The searchable LinkedIn Groups feature allows users to establish new business relationships by joining alumni, industry, professional and other relevant groups.
Your professional network will be one of your most valuable assets on LinkedIn. Upload your address book, invite the people you want to connect with, and get connected. If you attend industry events – make sure you connect with professionals you meet almost immediately on LinkedIn and start building rapport. A job search these days is subject to the ‘law of large numbers’: the more people who know you’re looking, the more likely you’ll find a job.
And last but not least: recommendations. Search for network connections who can recommend your skills and experience. A strong recommendation from a previous manager highlights your strengths and shows that you were a valued employee.
Of course, this is only a small part of your job search strategy. As the job market changes, new ways to promote your skills will arise, so ensure to use the content available to learn about what’s available.