I was recently introduced to a jobseeker looking to return to the workforce after a career break, pursuing interests outside of his usual area of work - accounting.
Nothing unusual there you might think. On paper, there were strong credentials: a post-graduate qualification, experience with an ASX listed company and a track record of promotions with a previous employer. If you are thinking the candidate sounds like someone I should be working with, you are correct. And I am working with him.
However, I found one thing striking – up until this point he had not created a LinkedIn account to complement his search, so was in effect foregoing its potential to reconnect with former colleagues and/or hiring managers, who are likely to rate his skills highly, based on the resume I reviewed.
We are often warned about ensuring nothing is damaging in our digital footprint, especially when looking for work. Nowadays however, not having a digital footprint can also pose problems.
LinkedIn is firmly established as the leading global professional network with over 630 million members. Having a well-crafted LinkedIn profile helps build your personal brand, credibility and your career. Not only can you connect with former managers, colleagues, clients and suppliers, you can ask them to write recommendations. You may be surprised how others see you and what they say about you. You can tell me how great you are in an interview but someone else telling me how great you are reinforces that message.
LinkedIn is also an important tool for research. It’s interesting to see what mutual connections you may have with someone you want to meet. It’s not just about who you know, but who your network knows. By sharing interesting articles and updates, and reading and commenting on other people’s posts, you become player in the world’s largest business conversation.
Of course, the first port of call when looking for a new role is to develop a trusted relationship with a recruiter in your market. But it is equally vital to use all the tools available in a so you can “jump the queue” on applications or be alerted to opportunities you didn’t know even existed. Managers remember positive contributors, high achievers and team players, so do them and yourself a favour and “connect.”