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Why you should be using LinkedIn to find a new job and how to get started

Clients who come to me with job search issues often tell me that they do not have a LinkedIn profile or they have a LinkedIn account but they don’t use it.

When I ask the reason for not having a profile or not making use of it, they say it’s because they’re not into social media, or they simply don’t believe that the LinkedIn platform will help them land a job.

So if you are amongst those who do not use LinkedIn to search for jobs, listen up!

The single biggest reason you should be using LinkedIn

The single biggest reason is this: 95% of recruiters and hiring companies use LinkedIn to find talent and publish job adverts.

Did you take that in? Yes 95%.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. With so much of the world’s recruiting happening there, why wouldn’t you want to be part of it?

Hopefully I’ve changed your mind about LinkedIn. If this is the case, I’d like to give you some great tips on how to attract attention from the right people.

Before you start

Companies not only hire on your skills and experience, but also according to ‘culture’ fit. So before setting up your LinkedIn profile, ask yourself the following questions. You’re more likely to write something that helps your audience understand the kind of person you are.

  • What inspired you to work where you worked, or where you want to work?
  • What do you believe in?
  • Who are you? What are you passionate about?
  • How do people feel when they interact with you?
  • What do you value most?
  • Why a company/recruiter should connect with you?
  • Can you name your unique strengths/talents that you feel are relevant to the role you are looking for or current role?
  • Can you name activities/topics that deeply interest you at work?

By answering these questions, it will be much easier to write your profile in a way that will spark interest and resonate with the right employers.

It will also help you write out your career history and experiences in a coherent way, and get across your unique value proposition.

An essential checklist for creating a great LinkedIn profile

Writing your summary

The summary section is your elevator pitch, therefore the most visible part. Here is where you tell the reader what your selling point is, and your area of expertise. This part will help to connect with those who work in your industry.

Also tell them why you do what you do. What motivates you is an important ingredient in helping employers find the right person, for the job and the culture of the organisation.

Use keywords

Recruiters and hiring companies do searches using keywords, so if you want to appear in those searches your profile should have keywords related to your field of work or the field you want to enter. Have a look at current job offers and what keywords are used in the role requirements.

To generate more interest, you should have a grabbing headline to get noticed, not just your job title but a headline that will tell your audience what you do, how and who you can help, so be specific.

Your profile photo

Your photo should be a professional headshot. Not a holiday photo on the beach wearing sunglasses! Professional photos really make you stand out from the crowd and present you in the best possible light (literally).

Don’t forget to include a background picture (‘header’ image) as well – just a little extra effort goes a long way.

Use recommendations

To give your profile a real boost, make sure you have some recommendations. These are your testimonials. Recruiters always check this section so if you don’t have any, it could create a real barrier between you and the job you really want.

From within your LinkedIn profile, you can ask for recommendations from former bosses or clients you worked with. People are often busy so make it easy for them to write something – perhaps by reminding them what projects you worked on. Offer to give them a recommendation too!

Almost done

After you’ve completed your profile, ask some friends to check it out and give you some feedback.

When you’re ready to go – do switch the career interest on. You’ll want to let recruiters know that you are open to new opportunities.

Last but not least, be active on the platform if you want to get noticed. Just having a LinkedIn profile doesn’t mean you’ll find a job. You need to connect with people too.

… so start conversations

Make connections with everyone you know, but also comment on other people’s posts (you don’t have to be directly connected to do that). Write your own posts too. Share interesting articles related to your industry to show your expertise and interest in what you do, and get some conversations going.

Good luck!

Post previously published on http://www.thecoachspace.com

Happiness at work may be closer than you think

Do you question yourself about whether or not you should change career? I often speak to clients who are not happy in their job and who are not sure what other careers might bring them. Being unhappy at work doesn’t always mean a change of career is the solution.

To find out if a change of career is what you need, you have to find out first why you are not happy at work. There are sometimes circumstances that could trigger your unhappiness and your willingness to change career. Maybe there’s a lack of collaboration, your tasks are too repetitive, your boss isn’t communicative, or the company values are not aligned with yours.

The key to making good career decisions is self-awareness. Here are some tools that can help you discover why you’re unhappy and help you make choices that will re-shape your work life for the better.

Job crafting

Job crafting has been used by a number of people who have been redesigning their own jobs to better suit their values, strengths, and passions.

According to the research of Wrzesniewski and Dutton (2001), job crafting is how an employee reframes their work, physically, socially and cognitively. Job crafting is a way for employees to utilise opportunities to readjust their jobs by changing their tasks. It helps people find meaning in their work, they have the opportunity to use their strengths, incorporate their passion and re-energise their working life.

Myers Briggs personality test

Myers Briggs personality test is the most popular personality assessment used by recruiters internationally. It uses to understand individual strengths and differences.

It is an excellent way to identify and understand your personality type which is useful in the workplace as you will be able to understand why you react a certain way in some situations. The test helps you in terms of personal development and professional development and it gives you a list of roles that matches with your personality.

SWOT analysis

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. This analysis helps you leverage your strengths and the opportunities you have. Going through this exercise can help you uncover abilities and discover how your weaknesses could be holding you back. You’ll see how to develop your strengths and distinguish yourself from your peers.

Personal Ansoff Matrix

The personal Ansoff Matrix is a strategic planning tool that measure risks in your career decisions. It’s a good way to investigate your options and associated risks. It helps you assess those risks and overcome doubts so you can plan your career accordingly.

I have used the above tools in my coaching programs, and they are very effective.

Give yourself the best chance of happiness at work

It pays to be aware of your needs and personality before deciding to move jobs. When I use these tools with clients, they are able to understand themselves and make informed decisions with a much better chance of success.

Previously published on http://www.thecoachspace.com

Just landed a job interview? Be prepared for these 6 key questions.

You’ve landed a job interview, congratulations! Now you have a choice: to turn up and go with the flow, or, spend the time before the interview preparing and giving yourself the best chance of getting the job.

Job interviews can be stressful, especially if you have not had any interviews for a while or if this is your first job interview since leaving school. Practicing your interview skills and being prepared for generic and more complex questions will calm the nerves and boost your confidence.

The first thing to recognise, is that each company has their own way of interviewing, based on various models such as:

  • Behavioural questions
  • Panel interviews
  • One on one interviews
  • Competency questions
  • Opinion questions
  • Think-on your feet questions

So to be aware of these models will help you prepare. The actual questions will be based on the key requirements of the role, so make sure you’re really familiar with them, then you can prepare yourself for all types of questions that might come up.

To start you off, here’s a list of common interview questions that employers usually ask, and the answers employers would expect.

1. Tell me about yourself

Many candidates struggle to answer this open question and are not sure where to start. What is your understanding of that question?

This is your elevator pitch, a good way to talk about your overall experience and expertise. You should start with a brief summary of your career history by giving an overview of how your career has developed and what you achieved and/or learned.

For example, you could say: I am a Finance Director with 8 years of experience in the media and tourism industry. I started my career as a Finance Administrator with Google doing reporting and analysis, after 2 years I needed a new challenge and I wanted to move up the ladder so I joined Apple as a Finance Officer where I was in charge of managing a team of two, involved in project work etc. After that, I secured another role with British Airways where I worked as Finance Manager in charge of… etc.

Your elevator pitch should not last more than 4 minutes as this is an introduction of your career history and the interviewer will have more in depth questions afterwards.

2. Why do you want to work for us?

For that question, you would have read about what the company does by checking their website, social media pages or Glassdoor (to get some inside information about what former employees say about the company).

The employer would expect for you know what they do, who they are, they competitors, their culture and values, their goals etc.

Your answer should tell them how you fit with who they are.

3. Why should we hire you? What can you bring us?

What the employer wants to know it is your “VALUE PROPOSITION”, so your answer should cover the followings:

  1. How you can deliver great results, by giving examples.
  2. How you will really fit in with the overall culture, department, team.
  3. Your motivation and dedication.

Basically, why YOU and not someone else with a similar work experience.

4. Can you give me an example of a time when you..?

This is called a competency based interview question, where the employer expects you to give a specific example so they can assess your suitability for the role.

To answer that question you need to practice the STAR technique. Listen to the question carefully and think of the event like this.

What was the Situation?

What was the Task?

What Action did you take?

What was the Result? (Even though the outcome was not successful, you could turn this around by saying what you would do next time).

Don’t forget the question is about YOU and what YOU did, not what others did. You might have worked as part of a team but the employer wants to know YOUR contribution.

5. What are your salary expectations?

Be honest and don’t say I don’t know nor it’s not about the money it’s about learning, etc.

You need to know YOUR WORTH, so do some digging and check the salary range that falls into your category of work.

6. Do you have any questions?

Think about interesting questions to ask your interviewer. You are marketing yourself but the employer as well, so asking interesting questions will show your motivation.

For example, you could ask:

  • What type of project are you working on?
  • Why did you join this company?
  • What makes this company unique?
  • Where do you see the company in 5 or 10 years’ time?

If you would like to practice your interview skills, I offer elevator pitch preparation and mock interviews. All you need to do is send me your CV and the job role you applied for.

Don’t wing it! It’s better to be prepared than going with the flow at a job interview.

 

Post previously published on http://www.thecoachspace.com