Social Media: Help or Hindrance? (Part 4) - From Retha Du Plessis

We are all very familiar with websites like Seek and CareerOne where we search for particular jobs that may fit with our skills and experience, then we apply by adding our resume and a cover letter – and then we wait. LinkedIn on the other hand allows employers and recruiters to search for the required skills and then come to you. It sounds a lot easier, but let’s explore what it is all about and whether it is going to give you that additional step towards a new job.

Tip # 4

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In 2017, LinkedIn reached 500 million members in 200 countries with over 100 million members seen as active on a regular basis.  That is a very large network we can all tap into.  It allows you to connect with others in your personal or professional network and then connect to their networks as well, through an introduction.  Recruiters are very active on the platform.  They advertise positions, screen candidates, review what we are commenting on or sharing and, most importantly, ask their networks for recommendations on potential candidates.

In essence, it is you recreating your resume on this platform.  The benefit though is that it is much more interactive.  You can link your previous experience to the company you worked for, and a recruiter or potential employer can click through to view that immediately.  You can categorise your skills which makes it quick and easy to view, and you can even see who or how many have viewed your profile.  By connecting to organisations on LinkedIn, you have the opportunity to comment on or share their posts, which will get you noticed for sure.

LinkedIn is more than just a virtual resume.  The more people you are connected to will make it easier for others to find you.  Try your hand at posting or commenting on their blogging platform with insights into your area of expertise or interest.  You will get others who share your interest commenting on it and will attract followers – perfect opportunity to get noticed.

And one final tip, your profile photo is very important, so choose one that potential networks will engage with.  Ensure that it is a professional looking image of yourself, in work clothes with most of the photo taken up by your face.  It does not have to be a professionally taken photo so ask a friend or family member to help you out –  selfies not appropriate.  Ensure there is good lighting with a background that is not too distracting and remember, this is about you, so make the most of it!  

Thank you for reading over the last four weeks – and good luck with your job search.  There is so much help out there, take it on and go for it!