LinkedIn has certainly exploded in popularity in Ireland. Many professionals are joining every single day with many of them hoping to secure new employment with this online networking tool. But how many are getting the results they want? I think that many jobseekers will never gain the full benefit. Signing up for LinkedIn is not enough and you must be active. Below is an article I posted on Bloggertone about active engagement on LinkedIn.
I am amazed how the job market landscape has been transformed over the last 12-18 months. Not so much the actual change but more the speed of this change. All associated stakeholders need to take notice and embrace this change.
They need to incorporate new technology and strategies or they risk being left behind. Much of my work is with jobseekers and I feel this statement is very true for them. Traditional job hunting strategies and tools still play a part in the delivery of career goals but I am not so sure for how long. Terms and tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogging, Personal Websites, Facebook and Personal Branding are bedding roots fast.
LinkedIn is one of my favoured tools for jobseekers and it has many benefits. I have been aware for some time that recruiters and employers had embraced the tool to source candidates and that jobseekers were actively using the tool. Having said this, to hear a job board tell me that they now saw LinkedIn as a direct competitor knocked me for six. I think LinkedIn is a nice place to start for jobseekers and many jobseekers seem to agree judging by the uptake figures.
It is important for jobseekers to realise that it is not the tool but the application of the tool that delivers the results. Jobseekers need to understand the tool but more importantly develop a strategy about how they are going to use to tool to deliver results.
Within the jobseeker community there are the users and the non-users. I split the users into two categories – those who dance and those who stand at the side of the dance floor. The dancers are proactively using LinkedIn and shaking their stuff on the floor. They are visible and are making things happen online. Those standing at the side of the dance floor need to step out onto the floor or leave as they are probably achieving the same benefits as the non-users – NONE!!
So how can they do this?
Get a nice outfit – Looking good can help increase our confidence – look what happened Cinderella. Equally a strong profile on LinkedIn can deliver user confidence. Ensure your profile is complete and that you have a strong summary and header.
Learn to dance – It is amazing the improvement of the celebrities on come dance with me. Lessons and practice are essential. Many jobseekers don’t participate on LinkedIn for fear of looking stupid. You need to get over this fear. Talk to other LinkedIn users and copy their moves. Join online groups, ask questions and answer questions.
Ask someone for a dance – Networking one of the key benefits from LinkedIn and more importantly the platform to access the hidden job market. This can be difficult for some as again there is associated fear of rejection just like asking someone to dance. It is amazing though when you make yourself visible how many people ask you to dance.