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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How to Use LinkedIn Effectively for Your Job Search

According to LinkedIn, there are more than 800,000 Kenyans registered on this Professional network. However, registering is one thing, utilizing its potential effectively is another thing altogether.

As we know, recruiters and employers are constantly hunting for the best candidate to fill a specific position in their organization or the best candidate to present to the client. In this case they have no choice but to come to where these professionals are and LinkedIn happens to be the right place.

Candidates are often judged by how they present themselves online. There is the type that always posts motivational messages and quotes on life, religion or even politics. The type that is always following celebrities and known personalities.

But how about engaging that Human Resource manager, employee or employer from an organization  you are interested in? Instead of following Richard Branson, Aliko Dangote and Bill Gates connect with individuals who can add value to your career.

How to Job Hunt Via LinkedIn

I don’t know why you signed for LinkedIn but I have these two guesses. You could have joined LinkedIn to search for that dream job or to network for your business. If you have other reasons other than these two, then this may not be the right post. If you are looking for a job then why don’t you have a better profile?
Start by uploading a professional photo. What would come out as a good LinkedIn profile photo? Look at ease, look confident and smile. Remove any distraction behind or next to you (that means nothing else in the shot; no kids, no friends, no wife, no hubby, no pets etc). If you can afford one, get a professional passport photo taken.

Brand Yourself.
If your top skill is capital management, describe your capital management proficiency in your summary as well as in multiple work experience descriptions. Don’t be a jack of all trades.

Have a detailed job description.
Where you currently work, your start date and what you do. Update your profile frequently by adding new employments and achievements in your past places of work. Spend some little time on your profile once in awhile as it’s the only avenue recruiters get to know you. Make good that first impressions!
When contacting a recruiter or any other person that you think can be of help, your approach really matters. Bombarding a recruiter's inbox with messages asking for a placement is not going to give you that job. Apart from being unprofessional, this act will only portray you as someone not serious enough. Why not start by engaging him in a personal chat, get to know this person and their organization. Ask about their recruitment process. Do they accept unsolicited CVs? If yes, why not email him/her your CV indicating clearly the kind of job you are interested in. Make the conversation personal as opposed. Don’t just inbox with the message, "please find my CV" or "I am looking for job ABC."

Lastly, engage!
For you to be recognized online, start by posting helpful articles and links about your profession. Don’t do the motivational quotes that every average Dick and Harry is doing. Always post content that will add value to your connections and bring out your knowledge and interest in your field. And if someone sends a message to your inbox , be courteous and reply.
It would be worthwhile joining the numerous professional groups in your field and contributing. A professional group will help you advance your knowledge and skills as members share their experiences. By posting in the group you establish credibility and grow your influence.

LinkedIn is such a wonderful employment tool and as more Kenyan employers and recruiters are turning to this valuable tool to source for candidates, you can count on LinkedIn to offer you that dream job.  Online savvy professionals are now using LinkedIn to grow their networks for jobs and to develop their career. Don’t be left behind.

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