A professional profile should exhibit you as an expert in whatever field you are in. Candidates usually make two main errors here:
Always consider ‘audience and purpose’ for anything that you write. As both of these change depending on the platform, you must tailor your writing style to suit.
Avoid the standard ‘I am a reliable, hardworking …. who always achieves targets …’ introduction. This is an inappropriate approach if you’re networking on behalf of your employer. It looks as though you are trying to leave your current job.
It is much more effective to mark yourself as a ‘passive’ candidate who excels at what they do but, should the right opportunity arise, could be available to progress. This means you can save the application stuff for when it is needed.
Don’t blend in with others by having a generic LinkedIn headline such as ‘seeking a new role’. You want something that stands out. The best way to get selected is to be different – in relevant ways of course. For example, if you are a neuroscientist, with ‘seeking a new role’ as your headline, is this going to make me want to view your profile, just on the off-chance that you might be a neuroscientist?
Attend events that your target employers go to
This will depend on your industry. Events are usually organised by trade bodies or professional associations.
When attending such events, remember employers are there for a reason. So, for example, if it’s a job fair, then it’s okay to pitch them what you do, as they are there to attract candidates. On the other hand, for some events, they might just be there to promote their own business or to learn of upcoming developments in their industry. In this case, a direct pitch is inappropriate. A more subtle approach is required. Start by building a relationship and conversing by whatever means you can. Naturally, you will progress onto what you do. Now you are able to collect the information you need, such as: ‘Do they have any jobs to which I’m suited? And who should I contact about it?’
Finally, be careful not to overdo it. You should draw the conversation to a natural end, knowing you have the required information to take the next action. Your main focus should be making a good impression and leaving on that.
Follow up effectively
A candidate ‘spamming’ or bombarding the recruiter for a response can easily ruin what starts as a promising job application. There can be internal reasons within the company, which results in a decision being delayed. Constantly contacting the recruiter is not going to change this.
So, what is appropriate? An email every two weeks (or whenever they tell you) is a good approach. If you still don’t get a reply, then a polite phone call is a good follow up, but no more than this.
Sometimes you are referred on to a colleague. However, anything you can do to follow up your query directly is great, as this saves the introducer from further work. But be careful to note, that your conduct here will be analysed by the person introducing you, so despite feeling disappointed or being delayed, upholding a good impression at this stage, is vital for your long term success.
If you would like a free review of your own LinkedIn profile, then feel free to email me at [email protected] or message me on LinkedIn.
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