In Malaysia, we’re seeing unprecedented changes in the career landscape, as a result of the global pandemic. Many professionals are struggling to adapt to working remotely. Many organisations have frozen hiring and have even downsized. This has led to fears of job loss, or even finding a new opportunity.
However, the swiftly changing work environment may also bring about new opportunities in the digital space. With online job resources and professional networks like LinkedIn, job seekers can market themselves effectively to prospective employers and headhunters.
Here are some quick tips on how to do this.
You need to advertise your skills. Your LinkedIn profile should be an accurate representation of your professional life.
What can you do? Here are three tips.
Pick the right profile and background photo: Your profile photo is your calling card. Make sure your photo is recent and looks enough like you. No full-body photos, please. Your face needs to occupy around 60% of the frame. Lastly, wear what you’d wear to work. If you are in a creative industry, be a bit casual. If you’re in a more serious working environment, be a little formal. Now, if your profile photo is your calling card, your background photo should be your personality. Make it stand out, give viewers a sense of what you do, and what matters to you. Use it to make yourself memorable.
Revamp your About and Featured sections: The About section of your profile should not be a space to reiterate your job title. Give readers a taste of what you do and why you do what you do. Keep it short, two to three sentences will do. Imagine this as the part where you get to do an elevator pitch of yourself. Your Featured section, on the other hand, should be your story. Make it personal. For example, don’t just list down the skills you have; bring it to life by telling people how you brought those skills to life. Link articles you’ve written and published. Share media like presentations, videos, images and other sample works that are the highlights of your career. Take your time to draft this part, regularly revise. Sharing your story will always be a process.
Highlight your skills: When updating your skills, identify what is relevant to you and employers or colleagues you want to work with. Think of what you should be presenting on LinkedIn as your “core skills”. For example, instead of listing down “content strategy specialist” as your position, break down your roles in terms of what people actually search for, such as copywriting, brand strategy, creative writing and so on.
Growing your network can be challenging if you don’t know where to start. A quick tip: start with people you already know. These include your friends, family, former colleagues and contacts from your internships, summer jobs, volunteer work and alumni from your school. They are likely to be open to connect with you since you already have something in common.
To help you find them on LinkedIn, you can start by synching your address book or checking the “People You May Know” feature on the “My Network” tab on LinkedIn. This feature allows you to find and connect with people who went to the same school as you, who work in similar roles or industries, or who are based in the same city.
If you’re reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, break the ice by engaging with their posts and greeting them on their special days and whenever they have personal or professional milestones.
Did you know that LinkedIn has an Interview Preparation feature?
With this feature, you can get access to videos and articles from experts and hiring managers on how to answer frequently asked interview questions. You can also test yourself by writing down or recording yourself answering these questions.
Free users can get connections to review their practice responses or get instant, AI-powered feedback. Premium users also get access to exclusive expert-approved sample answers.
You can learn more about LinkedIn Interview Preparation here.
These are just some suggestions to be a power user of LinkedIn. The job platform has a lot more free features you could play around with, and tailor-fit to your needs and that of your chosen industries. Find the job that is meant for you here.
Siti Farah Mamat, who recently secured a job in the pharmaceuticals industry, shared, “As a job seeker, I know it’s crucial to prepare myself for difficult times in the current economy. Since almost everything can be done online today, I spend time every day interacting with professionals, recruiters, and employers on social media platforms such as LinkedIn to make myself visible to potential employers.
"Learning the right way to showcase my skills and experience in my resume is important to be more marketable. Upgrading my interview skills is also as important to convince interviewers that I am ready to take up opportunities.”