Examine how LinkedIn.com can help you build your professional brand for employment opportunities. Learn how to separate yourself from the competition in this difficult job market.
The class paused. Matt, who was a business executive, shared his career journey. Students asked probing responses. He answered authentically to all. One question that struck a chord in me was, “what would you do differently in college.” As a graduating senior in college, Matt mentioned that he was determined to land a job after college. In meeting this objective, Matt sent out over 300 resumes to potential employers. In addressing the question about doing something different as a college student looking for a job, Matt confidently proclaimed to the class of seniors, “I would trade those 300 applicants to employers for 300 connections on LinkedIn.” My students gave me a reluctant smile. I was the professor promoting the merits of LinkedIn.com. Now, they heard this proclamation by successful alumni. I only wished that more students understood the power of LinkedIn as a catalysis to employment. Today was a good start.
With the unintended consequences of the pandemic, many individuals are struggling with the reality of future employment. When I was employed as a senior program manager in the federal sector, I visited college campuses across the nation, recruiting students for potential jobs. I soon discovered a major disconnect between what employers desired from potential employees (i.e., college students) and what today’s job seekers expect of employers. I was deeply disturbed by the lack of knowledge of students about employment. As a result, I co-authored a book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century, outlining career strategies for today’s college students. Sadly, I’ve found that individuals generally do not understand that the employment process has changed. Without an online presence in today’s employment picture, individuals will not be positioned for success. Being the world’s largest online professional network, LinkedIn.com has become necessary for business professionals who want to succeed in a digital economy. The article examines how LinkedIn.com can help you build your professional brand for employment opportunities. Individuals can learn how to separate themselves from the competition in this difficult job market.
Covid-19 has created a New Normal in society. Employment is no exception. The pandemic, with lockdowns and strict regulations across the globe, has resulted in numerous challenges.
According to several studies, over four million Americans have left the workforce, and nearly 10 million are now unemployed compared with last year. At this juncture, 43% of businesses had temporarily closed, and nearly all these closures were due to COVID-19. According to a Glassdoor.com survey, each corporate job, on average, attracts over 250 job applicants. Of those individuals applying, four to six will be called for an interview. However, one person will get a job offer. With that said, individuals need to implement the right job strategies to succeed.
Today’s job seekers can benefit from an online presence on Likedin.com. According to Business2community.com, 427,000 resumes are posted each week on Monster.com, an online job board; 8 million job applicants said they found their job on Twitter.com. Having an online presence is vital for today’s employment opportunities. With over 700 million members in over 200 countries and territories, LinkedIn is the perfect digital footprint for working professionals. Professionals are signing up on LinkedIn.com at a rate of over two new members per second. In fact, 89% of employment recruiters have hired through LinkedIn.com. College students may flock to popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, LinkedIn is the website that makes them credible to future employers while building their brand. Connecting with the right person can increase career networking opportunities with the basic “Six Degrees of Separation” principle. To get the most attention on LinkedIn, these steps are provided:
- Submit a professional photo.
- Create a catchy headline aimed at potential employers.
- Write an incredible summary statement.
- Select a unique LinkedIn URL for your profile.
- Obtain recommendations from professors, employers, coaches, and other influencers who can speak to your character and leadership abilities.
- Post relevant articles on your LinkedIn profile (i.e., LinkedIn Pulse) that demonstrate your critical thinking and writing style.
- List appropriate work and volunteer experiences.
- Upload presentations and written documents that showcase your professional abilities.
- Follow businesses and organizations that are potential employers or contacts.
- Join LinkedIn Groups that add to your professional network.
With fierce competition for jobs, job seekers need to present a great image to future employers. LinkedIn provides an excellent gateway to more employment opportunities online. Richard Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute, argues, “In today’s world, he or she who gets hired is not necessarily the one who can do that job best but the one who knows the most about how to get hired. If you learn new advanced job-hunting skills, you can not only survive. You can thrive.” The article demonstrated that individuals can utilize LinkedIn.com to help them build their professional brand for employment opportunities.
With access to the LinkedIn platform, job seekers can separate themselves from the competition. Unlike traditional job-hunting tactics like a resume, LinkedIn allows individuals to be more proactive, establish professional networks, obtain needed resources, and foster a professional relationship with prospective employers, clients, and partners. In building an effective LinkedIn profile, job seekers can ensure more career opportunities even during a pandemic. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
© 2021 by Daryl D. Green
About Dr. Daryl Green:
Dr. Daryl Green provides consulting, guidance, and management training for today’s small businesses. Dr. Green is the Vice President of Marketing at AGSM Consulting LLC. In 2016, he retired as a Senior Engineer in the federal sector. He is also the Dickinson Chair at Oklahoma Baptist University. He has assisted over 100 small businesses across the nation with marketing and management expertise. Dr. Green has over 25 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. If you would like more information about this article or business assistance, please contact Dr. Green at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.drdarylgreen.com.