Whether you like it or not, your CV alone is not the only thing you are going to need in your job search toolbox when navigating through the world of work.
When establishing your personal digital brand, start with curating all your social media accounts. With regards to your Facebook and Instagram accounts, I would encourage you to set them to airtight privacy. The most inconspicuous comment or photograph of you may count against you.
Not having a LinkedIn profile, or a low-quality one is a bad practice. Having a LinkedIn presence is pivotal to growing your personal brand and facilitating the networking process; it’s also proved to be one of the most successful professional social media networks that allow you to highlight your current and prior work experience, upload your portfolio, connect with like-minded professionals, gain exposure to professional opportunities and advance your career. Its most powerful function is to not only find employment opportunities but to get head-hunted!
Here are my top tips in this regard:
The ideal LinkedIn Profile:
LinkedIn has made it easy in this regard. What you want to achieve is “All-Star” status, where every gap has been populated (think education, experience, skills, etc.). But remember… Less is more. Rule of thumb: Your LinkedIn profile should not be more detailed than your CV. If not on par with the detail the CV offers, it should have less information. However, unlike your CV, here you have the opportunity to upload interviews you’ve done (whether as weblinks or attachments), articles you’ve authored or your portfolio of work.
You can even upload your CV (in PDF of course) as an attachment to LinkedIn. Just be aware that your personal information should preferably be taken out (ID number, address, and phone number) if your profile is public (which it should be if you are on the market).
Please find a professional-looking profile picture as well, you can even ask a colleague to take a picture of you in your work clothes against a plain background. It can show a little of your personality and the industry you work in.
The cost is roughly around R 400.00 per month depending on where we are with the Rand to the Dollar exchange rate; so it’s not cheap, but if you are truly aggressive about finding a prospective opportunity, I would recommend you sign up. Features include:
– Direct messaging to recruiters
– Capacity to apply to roles as a featured applicant
– See who is looking at your profile
– Data/insights – see how you compare to other talents
– Online video courses
You can sign up for a month for free to see if you gain any traction here. If it’s not worthwhile to you personally, you can cancel and not lose a cent 🙂 **You will only get ONE free trial in your lifetime. On the far right-hand corner of your profile, simply click on “Try Premium Free for 1 Month”.
Go to “Jobs” on LinkedIn:
This is the little briefcase on the top bar. Specifically, look at the way in which your desired job lists the competencies they are looking for. If you don’t have this listed in your LinkedIn profile, add it. Also, ensure that your cover letter matches these same keywords (you may even go as far as tweaking your CV to include similar keywords if they are absent).
When you start applying for roles on LinkedIn, there are three types of processers you will follow. The first is ‘Easy Apply’ which really is the easiest manner of applying. You’ll be able to simply click through, upload your CV and voila! Done! The second type of process is a click through to the company’s website, where you’ll need to fill out the application, possibly answer a questionnaire and if you’re not inputting your CV data, you’ll then be required to upload your CV. The third is being routed to a career portal or website, such as P-net, Career Junction or Careers24. Make sure your profiles on these portals are up to date!
Let recruiters know you are open to opportunities:
Letting them know facilitates the head-hunting process, and allows recruiters / HR professionals to connect your skills to what they have on their books. Remember, LinkedIn takes every precaution they can in order to protect your privacy (this function cannot be seen on the front-end / your connections; only on the backend / those who have paid for LinkedIn premium as talent scouts). Having a great Personal Digital Brand set up makes this step very easy.
Remember, you can only input a maximum of five different job titles to be matched to.
State where you are, but also state if you are open to positions outside of where you reside, or abroad.
Build your network!
LinkedIn is not Facebook. You don’t necessarily have to know the person you want to connect with – but there should be a common thread between you and them (your interests, skills, or people you know). So it’s time to build your connections. Your specific Personal Digital Brand can assist you in this. You never know who they may know, and who they may introduce you to when it comes to opportunities. If you’re new to LinkedIn, you’ll be asked for your email address (of course). LinkedIn will find a whole bunch of connections from your email contact list that you should connect with. You’ll have to pick and choose who you want to connect with by sending them an invite. And I promise, it is easier than it sounds – you will see that once you get active on the platform.
Having positive recommendations and testimonials is worth its weight in gold on LinkedIn. You cannot physically upload a testimonial in this section; you need to actually ask one of your previous colleagues for a recommendation.
If you need any help in setting up your personal digital brand on LinkedIn don’t hesitate to reach out to me.