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At Meytier, we use the power of AI and Analytics to eliminate unintended, unconscious bias in enterprise hiring. We help women represent themselves effectively and find opportunities at organizations that are committed to diversity.
Career Advice
A LinkedIn Expert on How to Maximize Your Profile
LinkedIn can be a tricky social media to navigate. Self-promotion is hard for everyone, but especially for women. However, if you’re looking for a job in 2020, your LinkedIn profile is invaluable and one of the most important tools you have at your disposal. We’ve been speaking to experts in this space to learn more about how job seekers can make the most of their LinkedIn profiles. Last week, we spoke to Pamela Shand. This week, Team Meytier got a chance to sit down with Saloni Mehta, Consultant and Coach to learn about how she helps her clients utilize their LinkedIn to build their professional brand and achieve their goals. We’re sure you’ll find it just as insightful as we did. What value do you think a strong Linkedin profile can bring to job seekers? LinkedIn is your passport to the professional world. Earlier you had coffees, dinners, but now LinkedIn is a place to network and be seen. Linkedin has become ubiquitous. Before I meet someone, I will check out someone’s LinkedIn profile to get a snapshot of who they are. It’s become an important first impression. It’s like an elevator pitch. From your profile to your banner to your headline. It’s where you can create such a strong impression of who you are. I always say that the perfect blend is when you fit out enough and fit in enough. Meaning, on one hand you need to remember that LinkedIn is an SEO tool and a place to be found, it’s a version of your resume. So you want to include all the right keywords and skills so you can be found organically. But you also want to include content that tells a story about who you are and shows your personality. What are your top LinkedIn musts for job seekers? My first must is a complete profile. Like I said before, it should be a blend of a resume and your personality. Utilize every feature, so include a profile picture, a banner image, a headline. Secondly, if you’re actively looking for a job, purchase premium and set up your job alerts. Just having premium will increase your ranking in the organic searches. Second, set up your job alerts. My last must is to start writing. Start thinking about issues and topics that are important to you and start putting that content onto your LinkedIn. It will help draw traffic to your profile and help others get an idea of who you are. What makes a good headline? Thoughts on explicitly stating that you’re looking for a job? Necessary or not? I don’t think it’s necessary to include that you’re looking for a job in your headline. There is an option to signal that you're looking for work. Only recruiters will be able to see it. That said, it depends on how senior you are. If you’re very senior, signal to recruiters that you’re looking privately. If you’re younger, it’s fine to include it but I do think that real estate can be used better. A headline grabs me when I see something beyond just someone’s designation. What makes you, you? How are you different from anyone else? What do you bring to the table? What are you passionate about? The headlines that I remember the most have a strong personality. What kind of engagement /activity should job seekers be looking to cultivate? Should they be interacting with others in their field, companies, news? Start connecting with people in your field. Find the cross sections of your industries and your interest. Add people who aren’t just in your function but in the industry you're passionate about. Have a network of juniors, peers, and seniors. They’re all instrumental in helping get you hired. Especially peers! They likely get asked “do you know somebody?” all the time. So get visible. Another important activity is to sign up for speaking engagements. They don’t need to be big! They’re all valuable. The minute you're at speaking engagements, you become visible and people attribute credibility to you. This is one piece that women can shy away from. Being public and being visible but it could be a gamechanger in getting hired. What should people be including on their LinkedIn profile? As much as they can. Include courses you’ve taken and if you volunteer somewhere, things you do outside of work. That said, far too often people don't even include things they did at work. If you were part of a project, a campaign, etc. include it. Use hyperboles, use numbers wherever possible, and talk about the additional things you're doing beyond your role. Women take on a lot and don't always talk about the additional responsibilities they do at work. Highlight your softer skills as well, empathy, communication, and more. And if you’ve taken career breaks- acknowledge them! They aren’t bad, you likely gained valuable skills during them. If you don't address it, it's an elephant in the room but if you address it, it's the magnificent beast from India. We often work with women who are the only female applicant in the process. What do you think female job seekers could be doing better to stand out in the job application process? My biggest tip is to start writing. Here’s why- I can guarantee that in the last 20 days you've read at least two pieces that impacted you. They might not have included anything you didn’t already know, but they impacted you. And you could have written it. Writing can help your focus, especially if you’re looking for a job. Also, comment on other people’s writing. Ally with other women. There is nothing more powerful than sisterhood. Be more vocal on your own platform. State your skills and what makes you unique. Reduce your discounting words, the “helped” and “joined” and the like in your resume. In light of COVID. What kind of a role do you think Linked in is starting to play not just job search but building your brand? It's becoming a must have. Earlier it was a good to have. So many people now are coming to me realising their older ways of networking have vanished. They need to build a brand. In that sense, LinkedIn is democratising professional networking the way youtube democratized content creation. Anyone at any level can get visibility and build their brand without waiting for a ten year career mark or any other point in time. Thank you to Saloni Mehta for taking time to speak with us. Stay tuned for more interviews with experts on LinkedIn, Job Search, and more!
Career Advice
How to Make the Most of Your LinkedIn Profile: An Interview with Pamela Shand
LinkedIn can be a tricky social media to navigate. Self promotion in such a public setting is difficult for everyone, but especially for women. However, if you’re looking for a job in 2020, your LinkedIn profile is invaluable and might just be the most important part of your job search. So, what kinds of things should you include in your profile? What kind of content should you be interacting with? We spoke with Pamela Shand, Talent Acquisition consultant and career coach, on how job seekers can make the most of their LinkedIn profiles. Pamela helps connect job seekers with the right kinds of roles and works with organizations to help them hire the right kind of talent. She has valuable insight on both sides of the job search, and we’re sure you’ll find it just as helpful and insightful as we did. What value do you think a strong Linkedin profile can bring to job seekers? LinkedIn is an awesome tool for personal branding. It’s a tool you can use to get your values out there and find other people and organizations who align with those values. LinkedIn can help you find opportunities that aren't just a match for the basic things. It’s also probably the greatest way to get found. Which takes the hard work out of job seeking. It puts you in a position where you’re not just constantly pursuing employers- you get to position yourself to receive outreach. What are your top LinkedIn musts for job seekers? First, a good picture. And not just a selfie. Make sure it’s straight on, well lit, with a plain background, something that looks clean and crisp. Use a picture that speaks to your career and your brand. It doesn’t necessarily have to be really formal. My second must is an attractive headline. Make sure your headline includes searchable words. Remember that there's two sides to LinkedIn, the job seeker side and the LinkedIn recruiter side. Recruiters and hiring managers are looking at your profile. It’s a boolean search* driven platform and they want to find you. So if they’re putting in keywords and you don’t have them in your profile- they won't find you. Include your industry, career choice, what job you want, to be found. *This means it’s a kind of search platform that allows users, recruiters in this case, to combine keywords with Boolean operators (and, not, or). This way, they can narrow down their search by finding candidates who meet an array of criteria. This could include skills, location, interests, etc. While we’re talking about headlines, what do you think makes a good headline and what are your thoughts about explicitly stating that you’re looking for a job or including “open to opportunities” in your headline? I don’t think you need to include it. It’s implied that you’re open to opportunities. We’re in an employment at will job market, recruiters will reach out even if you don’t have it written in your headline. Also, LinkedIn has features to tell recruiters that you’re looking for opportunities. It won’t appear on your page to the public, only to recruiters. Again, it’s a boolean search, so don't waste keyword space in your Headline. Instead, use that space to write about what you can bring to the table and what kinds of opportunities you’re looking for. I know many people feel like LinkedIn is such a hard social media to spend time on. How important do you think it is to the job search? I think LinkedIn is really important in terms of building relationships and trying to grow your career. So many employers look at LinkedIn before they even look at a resume. Job seekers need to circumvent the process and go beyond the applicant tracking systems and the online applications and go right to hiring managers. Reach out and help them get to know you. A relationship will help you not get lost in the shuffle. With LinkedIn it’s really like a one stop shop job search, you can look at company pages, find jobs, even reach out to the person who posted the job and interview before you even apply. LinkedIn also allows you to research salaries, positions, and company information in different ways. It’s a much more in depth job search. What are the tools that help job seekers most? Especially in light of searching for a job during COVID-19. Use your LinkedIn to position yourself as a passive candidate. Even if you aren’t looking for a job and you just want to be open to outreach. One of the biggest things you can do on LinkedIn is have a complete profile. It’s not just about listing the companies you’ve worked at. List your details. Key accomplishments, measurable impacts you’ve had, project’s you’ve taken charge of, etc. Your headline and summary are good places to tell your story. Inject searchable keywords. You can also use LinkedIn to find other people. Once you've connected to someone, send them an inmail. Take it off of LinkedIn, set up a zoom call. Do a virtual coffee. Just do it. Really, do what you can to make your profile findable. Remember, it’s not just for LinkedIn. Recruiters use Google as a search tool for talent and your LinkedIn profile will appear in searches. So make sure your profile has all the right information. Go through every section and don’t miss projects, awards, accomplishments, etc. What kind of engagement /activity should job seekers be looking to cultivate? Should they be interacting with others in their field, companies, news? All of it- you should aim to have a diverse network of not just hiring managers. Start by connecting with people who are in line with where you’re headed, your trajectory, connect with peers, thought leaders, headhunters, agency recruiters, as they’ll have access to different opportunities. When they have a job to fill the first thing they'll do is look to their network. Remember that LinkedIn is all about getting found. In addition to your network, post content that speaks to who you are and what your values are. I personally love to see creative posts- things other people will share. If you're passionate about something in your field- post about it. There will be others who share those interests. Share things that matter to you, that reflect your technical expertise as well as the things you care about. Remember your passion is more than just a job, you want to be happy at work and that companies reflect your values. You want your LinkedIn to reflect your technical expertise and skills but also your passions. So cultivate a network where you are surrounded by individuals who are in line with your values. This way you’ll have a greater platform to speak to absolutely what's important to you. What should people be including on their LinkedIn profile? I think the more the merrier, but it has to be done the right way. On LinkedIn, you can add more detail and more personality than you can on a regular resume. Every time you share something, or upload a link to something, your profile becomes more inviting and attractive. Find a balance between highlighting professional achievements as well as personal content. We often work with women who are the only female applicant in the process. What do you think female job seekers could be doing better to stand out in the job application process? Women struggle to properly sell themselves and market their strengths. As if they don't see the value of what they do and don't feel worthy of marketing the heck out of it. That mindset helps create these gaps. There is so much talent that women bring to the table they aren't putting it on their resumes. I always tell people, you’ve done so much and you've created so much, you need to put it on your resume. Women just aren’t always seeing that their value is important. Remember self promotion isn’t an ego thing- just understanding your value. There is nothing wrong with marketing your value. It's what puts you in position to be in demand. Highlight your strengths, own your power, and state your worth. It’s one of the biggest challenges that women face. Just seeing their own worth and value and not being afraid to put it out there. Once you get those two things out of the way- creating a stronger profile will flow naturally. A big thank you to Pamela Shand for sharing her expertise on this subject with us. Stay tuned for more content and interviews with other experts on how jobseekers can make the most of their LinkedIn!
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