Virtual hand’s up who’s looking for work right now?
It’s a question we don’t even need to ask thanks to the number of responses we’re receiving currently to our job posts. It’s clear that many people are now finding themselves in search of their next opportunity, likely because of the Covid pandemic having had a negative impact on their sector. There’s also the regular influx of young people entering the market post-studies, helping to increase the numbers looking for work further again.
Wherever their starting point, these candidates all share the same objective: landing a job. Which means the competition for employment is fierce right now, with the number of people looking for work far outweighing the number of roles up for grabs. If this is you, how are you going to set yourself apart from those hundreds of others going for the same role(s) as you?
Job hunting in a digital world leaves you, the candidate, with more to think about than ever. Asides to the old CV – still very much the primary document you need to keep up to date – there’s this whole digital profile you need to think about. AND, like all things digital, you need to do more than just give it some thought: you need to keep it up to date!
Let’s face it, everyone is online nowadays - more than ever, during this pandemic-led, ‘stay home’ existence we’re all living. As such, many people are making this an opportune time to bring their digital profile up to speed - whether they’re job hunting or not - so that they remain current and on the pulse. But, you are looking for work right now and so, we need to get you fixed up digitally and FAST!
Where do we begin? Why, with the world’s biggest online job marketplace, of course!
Love it or loath it, LinkedIn is a 21st century job hunting necessity. Let’s be fair, it has made recruitment much easier on both sides of the game – to companies (or recruiters) looking for potential employees AND to those potential employees looking for their next role. Whether you’re on the hunt yourself or hoping to be hunted, there are a few key elements to address so as to maximise your job-hunting process.
Sounds kind of obvious, but it is amazing how many people find it difficult to nail the basics. Yes, all of this history is listed in full on your CV but this has zero impact in a digital world. Make sure your work history is listed in full, including your job title, dates you held this role and a description of the responsibilities, including skills required. Remember that recruiters are running searches based on keywords – at the very least, by job title – and this information need to be accurate. Don’t be put off by thinking you’ll attract attention to the wrong type of role, either. If, for example, you have moved on from being a retail worker ten years ago to a customer support rep today, you can update all the relevant details in the roles similar to what you are looking for and highlight only transferable skills in past roles by bullet point for example.
Otherwise known as the ‘About’ section on Linked In, it is absolutely vital to your cause. Why? First, it’s above the page fold which means that anyone can see the first few words of your summary when glancing across your profile. Use it wisely, and you’ll attract attention quickly. Second, it is an additional 2000 characters where you have an opportunity to wow your audience. That’s some 300 or so words – way more than the headline section (that’s the one immediately under your name).
Unlike your work history, where everything is factual and based around what you have done prior, this can be much more visionary – that means, where you want to go. Aspirations, goals, objectives can all be included here, so long as they are relevant to your job search. It is important to include some keywords here, too, since recruiters will use them to search down specific skills. If you’re aspiring towards a marketing role, say, as a social media manager, then be sure to weave this string of words into your summary a few times over.
Remember the first two or three sentences are what the reader can see without having to click to view this section in full. So, go in STRONG! Sum yourself up quickly – your skills and strengths, experience, and what you’re looking to do next - within your opener.
Now, here is another rather useful section where LinkedIn users are taking advantage of a few more character spaces to add in yet more detail on how fabulous they are. Or, for business owners in particular, how they can help their customers. And why not? It’s another 120 characters worth of opportunity to shine and, while the reader cannot see this in full on first glance, hover over your name and they will soon see the entire thread in all its glory! This section is also beneficial to those with more than one skill or profession to promote. For example, your regular day job is a sales executive but as a side-line you invest in property, and you want to attract interest on both.
One final tip on the LinkedIn front: PLEASE ensure your profile photo is one you’d expect to find on the world’s biggest business forum! While a suit is not altogether vital, at the very least, appear business-like. That’s a big NO to any bikini or board short images, people!
It would be impossible to talk digital persona and not mention social media platforms. While not altogether an obvious forum for job hunters, don’t think for a second that people wouldn’t take a peek at your socials should they wish to scope you out!
Here’s the thing. Where do you think recruiters go to check you out once he or she has visited your LinkedIn profile? Yep, your social media accounts. They can see from your CV what your work history looks like – now, they want to check on the personal brand itself to help calculate whether or not you’re the right cultural fit. So, once again, it is a good idea to keep these pages up to date; more so, that they are kept nice and clean!
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – even Pinterest, at a push – it matters not what the platform, the golden rule remains the same throughout the social stratosphere: be particular about your posts. It happens over and over again. Candidates believe, since it’s their personal account, they can put whatever they wish onto their page. Which, of course, is true – you can post about whatever you like wherever you like. These days, however, you need to be highly mindful of how widespread and pubic this information has become, and something taken out of context can be the difference between a hiring or a hoofing!
Do make sure you profile picture and cover are respectful. Perhaps not to the degree of a LinkedIn profile image, but something that reflects the genuine YOU – even though you might be at play with friends or family. Again, this is all about first impressions (or ‘second’, assuming a recruiter has already read all about you on LinkedIn!). How do you want to be seen, not just by a recruiter, but by the entire world? Think about it.
Hopefully there’s a few things here to help you go forth and wow the recruitment world, all from the comfort of home. Once you’re all digitally up to date, feel free to give us a call and let’s help you find that next winning role!