Why Every Job Seeker Should Invest In A Linkedin Account
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By Selipha Kihagi
LinkedIn is a social media site just like any other; the only difference is that it demands a more professional approach. You have to be careful about the kind of material you put up on the site. For example, you cannot share multiple photos of yourself or how you spent the weekend, like you would on Facebook and Instagram.
For this reason, it is important for every job seeker to have a well updated LinkedIn account, and what this means is your profile should be like your CV. You may have been told to use the site for your job search and brushed it away, but it is time you took that advice into action and this is why.
LinkedIn Does Actually Work
Corporate Staffing Services, a recruitment firm that offers job placement services and CV writing services, has used LinkedIn at one time or the other to find qualified candidates for open positions.
Perminus Wainaina, a Recruiting Manager at the company with over 10 years experience in Human Resource Management, says in the last month alone he has selected at least 3 qualified candidates from LinkedIn, for different positions.
“A lady contacted me via email about a job placement after getting my contacts from my LinkedIn account. I was also able to engage two other gentlemen on job offers after being impressed by their LinkedIn profiles,” says Wainaina.
Justus and Terry are among the candidates who received job offers from Perminus Wainaina. They share their experience on using LinkedIn to find jobs, engaging with potential employers and have something to say on why every serious job seeker should be on LinkedIn.
Why LinkedIn Should Be Every Job Seeker’s Friend
1. You don’t need to search for jobs, the jobs come to you
Being on LinkedIn, you are assured to get job alerts depending on your field of study. The site will let you know which company is hiring in your field, without even having a connection with the companies.
“The HR industry is changing and long gone are the times when people used to hand-deliver their applications. It’s high time you embrace the change and go online. LinkedIn is real and through it your chances of getting a job stand at 80%,” says Justus.
He believes that with an up-to-date profile and the right connections, one cannot go wrong in finding jobs. One is able to receive solid job alerts from established connections, and with the age of hand delivered applications drifting away, Human Resource experts are now leaning towards online sites like LinkedIn.
2. Some employers will advertise open jobs on LinkedIn only
You may have heard that a company you dream to work for is hiring, but you can’t seem to come across the advert. This could be because the ad was only posted to LinkedIn and only those on the site have access.
“Anyone who is keen and willing to do what they must for a job should be on LinkedIn. It is where job opportunities are today, especially because some of the employers are now advertising job openings exclusively to LinkedIn. You will not find these positions on other sites,” says Terry.
Terry has been an active user of LinkedIn for 2 years now, and says the site has worked in her favour on several occasions. She has reached out to employers directly and had employers reach out to her for open positions.
“Any serious job seeker should invest in a LinkedIn account, it may take up your time in the updating process but at the end, you will be glad you did,” she adds.
3. It is the site where all employers are
Have you tried searching for a company on Facebook or Twitter to see if they have open jobs, only to find their last post was 5 months ago or more? Gone to their websites and their career page doesn’t have new postings either?
LinkedIn is where employers and Recruiting firms are now spending their time. They understand it is a professional site for job seekers who are serious about getting jobs.
“As a recruiter, apart from Sundays, I normally spend a minimum of one hour on LinkedIn. I spend 15 minutes replying to messages and posting job vacancies. The remainder is spent either headhunting or engaging candidates with job offers,” says Wainaina
4. LinkedIn tops all other local job sites
“LinkedIn is a professional site for people who are looking to grow their careers. It bests other Social networks as it stands on its own in a professional way. As long as you are on LinkedIn and anyone was to do a search on you via Google, your LinkedIn account would be first on the list,” says Justus.
According to a recent study, LinkedIn is the 17th most popular site ahead of Brighter Monday, Career Point Kenya and other job sites you know. What does this mean to a job seeker?
It means that it is the one platform you should be on. You may like the thrill of being on Facebook all the time and sharing your photos with strangers on Instagram, but it will be wise to spend this time engaging potential employers on LinkedIn.
How To Make LinkedIn Work For You
You may already have an account with LinkedIn, but if it’s not up to date then it is of no use to you. LinkedIn will require that you update your educational background, work experience, skills and even your interests, among others. It is more or less like your own CV, but better because it can be viewed by multiple people, increasing your chances to land a job.
“I have been on LinkedIn for 5 years now, but only decided to update my LinkedIn profile about 2 years ago when I was looking for a job. I was not getting opportunities on mainstream sources and when someone referred me to LinkedIn, I decided to give it a try,” says Terry. “I can say I was glad I did.”
To get the best from LinkedIn, here are a few things to consider;
1. Establish connections with the right people
Just because you are desperate to get a job does not mean you establish connections with every Tom, Dick and Harry, you must identify with people in your profession. The employers you want to work for and HR firms that are on the site.
“You can engage a HR manager or employee who works for an institution you are interested in, instead of following Bill Gates and Richard Branson. Get in touch with individuals who can add value to your career,” says Perminus Wainaina.
2. Participate in various professional groups
While on LinkedIn you’ll find an array of groups, each with a different topic of discussion or professionals. Identify those you can relate to and join.Whenever Justus has extra time, he reads postings from various LinkedIn professional groups, of which he is a member.
The groups are a great opportunity to find out what is happening in your relevant field or profession. If there are any jobs open, be sure to find them in these groups.
3. Engage with employers and recruiting firms
“Having an up-to-date profile gives you an edge. People are more likely to contact you or start conversations with you. It increases your visibility to recruiting officials and lets you talk to them about your job search or any other career advice you may need,” concludes Terry.
Job searching can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Do your research on best strategies to land a job and implement them. Don’t be the kind of job seekers who insist on sending CVs to employers or recruiting firms when there is no opening, more often than not they will go unnoticed.
It is important that to know exactly what you want, identify the right people or companies to talk to and brand yourself on every social media platform. Let employers see you for the professional that you are or want to be.