I got on campus early. I like to visit where students are meeting (i.e., student union, café) before I interview them. I sit back and read the student newspaper. I watch how students behave with each other. I check out how they dress around campus. With my campus visits, I enjoy visiting the classroom, sharing my role as a professional with DOE, and presenting career advice. I soon learn that most students are operating in a bubble.
What about current events? Reading the news? How do these issues impact your future livelihood? I chat today with a group of senior students. Yes, I make jokes. But- I also share the realities of the difficult employment picture before they graduate. I ask them if they have any job strategies. Most said ‘no.’ At the end of the day, I wondered if I had made a difference. Clearly, students needed to do something different!
Today’s job seekers face a landscape of great opportunities as employers look due to growing competition and limited job openings. In fact, college graduates are under tremendous pressure to land a high-paying job to cover their college debt. In recruiting young engineers and scientists at the Department of Energy, I soon discussed a major disconnect between what employers desired from potential employees (i.e., college students) and what today’s job seekers expect of employers.
According to a Glassdoor.com survey, each corporate job on average attracts over 250 job applicants. Of those individuals applying, four to six will be called for an interview. However, one person will get a job offer. With that said, individuals need to implement the right job strategies to be successful. This article examines how LinkedIn.com can help you build your professional brand for greater job opportunities.
Are you ready for the competition for your ideal job? According to Business2community.com, 427,000 resumes are posted each week on Monster.com, an online job board; 8 million job applicants said they found their job on Twitter.com. Having an online presence is vital for today’s employment opportunities. LinkedIn is the perfect digital footprint for working professionals.
Being the world’s largest online professional network, LinkedIn.com has more than 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Professionals are signing up on LinkedIn.com at a rate of more than two new members per second. In fact, 89% of employment recruiters have hired through LinkedIn.com. College students may flock to popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, LinkedIn is the website that makes them credible to future employers while building their own personal brand.
Getting started on LinkedIn is easy. Connecting with the right person can increase career networking opportunities with the basic “Six Degrees of Separation” principle. In 1929, Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy coined the term ‘six degrees of separation.’
According to Whatis.techtarget.com, six degrees of separation is the theory that “any person on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.” When a person is established on LinkedIn, the individuals can see how their connections are linked to other influential people.
To get the most attention on LinkedIn, individuals need to achieve the “All-Star” status. Some of the requirements include a completed LinkedIn profile, including a professional photo and summary. Below are steps to build an effective LinkedIn Profile:
1. Submit a professional photo.
2. Create a catchy headline aimed at potential employers.
3. Write an incredible summary statement.
4. Select a unique LinkedIn URL for your profile.
5. Obtain recommendations from professors, employers, coaches, and other influencers who can speak to your character and leadership abilities.
6. Post relevant articles on your LinkedIn profile (i.e., LinkedIn Pulse) that demonstrate your critical thinking and writing style.
7. List appropriate work and volunteer experiences.
8. Upload presentations and written documents that showcase your professional abilities.
9. Follow businesses and organizations that are potential employers or contacts.
10. Join LinkedIn Groups that add to your professional network.
With fierce competition for jobs, job seekers need to present a great image to future employers. LinkedIn provides an excellent gateway to more employment opportunities online.
This article demonstrated that LinkedIn.com can help you build your professional brand for greater job opportunities. Unlike traditional social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn allows individuals to establish professional networks, obtain needed resources, and foster a professional relationship with prospective employers, clients, and partners.
Management guru Tom Peters explains, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” Creating an effective LinkedIn Profile can garnish great career and professional networking opportunities. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
© 2019 by Daryl D. Green
About Dr. Daryl Green:
Dr. Daryl D. Green is the Dickinson Chair of Business professor at OBU’s Paul Dickinson College of Business, teaching leadership, management, and marketing. In 2016, Dr. Green retired from the DOE, where he worked in the Environmental Management Program for over 27 years.
He is the author of Amazon.com Hit Job Strategies for the 21st Century: How to Assist Today’s College Students during Economic Turbulence. For more information, please visit www.darylgreen.org.