John, Unemployment & The Use of Social Media

John, an experienced mechanical engineer has been out of job for the last two years. He was demobilized after the multi-million dollars project he was supervising ended. He has spent the last 2 years searching for another job opportunity through his friends and visited job sites but all to no avail.

During the day, John spends more of his time on social media, especially Facebook, Instagram and twitter to keep himself busy.

John was not totally unaware of the importance of LinkedIn in helping his online presence, professional networking and a tool recruiters’ currently use to find candidate than any other social media platforms.

He considers LinkedIn as a platform that is not so engaging like other social media platforms that helps to fill the vacuum unemployment has created in his life. What a misplaced priority! said Francis.

Francis been one of John’s old class mate continued to advise him on the value of having a sound LinkedIn account. “If you are serious about finding another job, investing your time to build a digital professional footprint by creating an optimized, well thought-out LinkedIn profile would be your priority”. I will advise you to consider the following to better position yourself and showcase your skills to recruiters and ultimately, your prospective employer:

  • Create a LinkedIn profile, update your status and search other people’s status via LinkedIn’s Signal. Be sure to include keywords in your profile and in your titles. Think about what words people in your field and your level of experience use and add those to your titles, your headline and your descriptions. (Don’t forget the rule; Never lie! Because it will be exposed during the interview and your goal of securing a job will be defeated)
  • Engage constructively on LinkedIn especially on your connected professional groups. A network isn’t useful unless you use it. Join a few strong, useful groups.
  • Remember, LinkedIn is not Facebook or Instagram that are designed more to connect with family and friends, LinkedIn is designed more for business, professional networking that offers a profile to relate in a business sense. It’s like a billboard to highlight your unique value proposition as a professional, and recruiters will be looking for you there. Don’t mess it up by sharing professionally irrelevant contents. Make commitment to sharing content, advice and opinions that boost your professional credentials. It’s all about relevancy. Save the other non-work-related stuff for the platforms that best suit that.
  • Receive (and give) endorsements and testimonials. LinkedIn enables your connections to endorse your skills and write up recommendations, and you can do the same for them. People who are searching for networking connections or job candidates will take these recommendations into consideration. Therefore, its essential to have a connection of like-minded people and especially your previous co-workers who can testify of your achievements, character and skills demonstrated in your previous employment.
  • Make conscious effort to search and connect with recruiters and HR of the company you really desire to work for. Ensure your LinkedIn profile does match your resume. Double check job titles (yes, they matter and they need to be accurate), employer names and dates of employment. Be sure everything lines up, so when a prospective employer reviews your resume it will match what you have on LinkedIn. 

Like John, social networks can be ideal places for support during a crisis, but there are limits to online compassion. Facebook and Instagram, arguably the most famous marketing and social networking sites.

However, people like John spend too much time on this vast social networking sites and thus lose focus on their career needs and development. Some folks don’t even remember to create a LinkedIn profile until they are desperately in need of another job.

Please help John by providing your advice on the comment section below.

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