Excerpt from book Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn For Business – by Ted Prodromou
So, let’s say you’re looking for a job. I bet you joined LinkedIn because everyone says it’s the best place to find a job. Almost every time I’d mention LinkedIn to someone, the person inevitably responds: “I signed up for LinkedIn but I’d never use it because I’m not looking for a job” or “I signed up for LinkedIn a year ago to get a job and I still don’t have one.” It seems like most people think LinkedIn is explicitly a job opportunity web site like Monster.com, of course I tell everyone that LinkedIn is a great job opportunity website but it is so much more.
Yes, LinkedIn is a great place to find a job if you know what you’re doing and you are willing to make the necessary effort. So many people think they just have to sign up for LinkedIn account and companies will magically find them and offer them a job. Well, I have some bad news for folks: Just signing up for LinkedIn will not get them jobs. Like everything else in life good things don’t come to you unless you work for it. You need to put in the effort to find a job, whether it’s on LinkedIn, another job site or in person.
Finding a job is so much more than updating your resume, posting it on what job websites and responding to Craigslist ads. How many times have you applied for a job online that you know you are perfect for and yet you never heard back from the company? Most of the time they don’t even acknowledge that they received your resume because they’re so inundated with responses to their ads.
To get a job in today’s job market you need to stand out above the crowd. You are competing against hundreds of applicants every time you apply for a job. You may be more qualified than most of the applicant’s but somehow they get noticed by the employer and land the interview while your resume goes unnoticed. What are they doing that you aren’t? Is their resume flashier than yours? Are they optimizing their resumes, so it will get through the automated scanners that detect certain key words? Do they know someone in the company who passed their resumes directly to the hiring managers?
That’s the key to getting hired two days to catch the attention of the hiring manager. It’s not about having more education or experience and other job applicants. Don’t get me wrong. Education and experience are very important when you’re looking for new job. But there is so much more employees consider when they’re looking to hire new employees. They are looking at the big picture, like your LinkedIn image where you demonstrate your skills and expertise in a variety of ways. You need to establish a presence on LinkedIn, as well as social media sites like Twitter, Slide Share, blogs, on article websites, and even YouTube.
Employers are looking for well-rounded, flexible people because jobs are so dynamic these days. Most jobs require a diverse skill set in adaptability because a business environment is changing so fast. The skills I use in my job as an online marketing and search engine optimization analyst didn’t exist a few years ago. I had to learn these new skills to be qualified for my job and the skills of changing constantly. In a few years, I will have to be an expert at an entirely different skill set because tasks I do work today will evolve into something completely different. I have no idea what skills I will be used in five years, but I know that the Internet and online marketing will be very different. Google will probably be replaced by another company that doesn’t even exist today. Employers are looking for employees to understand this and are willing to adapt quickly to the latest and greatest trends in the industry.
What can you do to rise above your competition for jobs? First of all, do you know who your competition is? What are their qualifications, experience, and skill sets that make them competitors when you’re applying for a job? Why might they be more qualified than you for the position you’re applying for? Let’s go to LinkedIn and do a little research to find who your competitors are and how you can rise above them.
Let’s say you’re looking for a position as a social media manager in a midsized business. This position is one of the hottest new jobs and there are a lot of people competing for it. We should learn a lot from this example since it’s a job that didn’t exist a few years ago and it’s an evolving career.
Let’s start by searching for some job openings to see what qualifications these companies are looking for and comparing them with your skill set. This will tell you if you’re qualified and what skills you need to learn to be a top candidate for an open position as a social media manager
Go to the LinkedIn search box in the drop down menu, change People to Jobs. Let’s start by searching just for “social media” so we don’t limit our search results. You want to carefully review the qualifications and the responsibilities of the jobs you are interested in. Are you qualified? Can you quickly learn new skills you may be lacking? After reading the job responsibilities, is this a job you really want? Sometimes you have the skills for a position but you don’t like the responsibilities. Maybe the list of responsibilities is unfocused or includes tasks they don’t want to perform. The good news is that there are plenty of jobs out there in high tech, so you can keep searching until you find the right job for you.