It’s been just bad news all day, every day for the last couple of months. There have been layoffs, people are having difficulty finding new ones and whatnot. Coronavirus has started a domino chain that no one could have predicted.
This post is just my little effort to bring ease to a certain category of population amid coronavirus: Job Seekers. I am going to put forward a few strategies which I think anyone on Linkedin can leverage, for FREE. This will not guarantee you a job but will at least increase your chances of getting one, as you all know ‘Something is better than nothing’
These are some of the strategies which anyone on LinkedIn can leverage. I have tried them all and it has helped me a lot to be where I am; it might not be in terms of getting a job, but it has taught me how important it is for someone to create a brand for oneself.
You can connect with me on LinkedIn.
#1: Write good ‘cold’ messages
I am not saying get off Facebook completely but make it your second favourite application (if it was your first, which I don’t think it is :P) Surf LinkedIn like it’s some goldmine because it actually is. Imagine a platform where all professionals ranging from executive officers to analysts are present. It is like going to a big virtual networking event.
What is the first thing you do when you go to any networking event? The first thing is observation. Similarly, observe different profiles, imagine what you want to become and look for people with similar skills. It’s like having a chance to peek into the future. Let’s say you want to be a Project Manager. Search for PM profiles and look at their background. You may find someone whose interest aligns exactly with yours.
What is the second thing you do when you find the person you want to be? You go and talk to them, so do the same thing here! I don’t know if that’s just me but consider you get two types of messages from someone you have never met,
‘Hey, how are you?’
‘Hey, I really find your profile interesting because of XYZ reason. We have ABC in common. Would you mind spending 5mins on a call with me on PQR day and time?’
Which one will you respond to? I would respond to the second one as I think the individual has taken efforts to look at my profile and the individual thinks I can be helpful in his/her progress.
What is the last thing you do after the networking event? Follow up. This is exactly what 80% of people don’t do. Even though you get the information you need during your first conversation, please follow-up. At the end of the day, you are dealing with people here and people like when someone respects them and checks in with them.
#2: Go, get connected and get recommendations!
LinkedIn has a very good feature where it notifies when someone from my connection posts something and it also comes up on my feed, so leverage that. Try connecting to people whom you admire and look up to, try connecting to managers, recruiters etc..
If you just write for example ‘ABC hiring’ in the search box and in the filter select ‘Posts’, you can get all the posts where employees of ABC company have been posting open jobs and there is a high probability that if you approach them, they might refer you.
Also do not forget to get recommendations from your previous employer, on LinkedIn. If you are a graduate student, you can reach out to your professors or employers where you completed your internships. The more filling your LinkedIn profile is, the more confident someone gets after going through your profile.
Fill up your certifications, your courses and everything that you have done in your life. Make sure to write a summary on what you have worked on, under the job experience section. Have a updated summary about yourself on your LinkedIn page and always attach your updated resume with the same. These things may sound silly but it’s the small things that matter at the end.
#3: Have virtual coffees
Coronavirus might have stopped us from going out and meeting people but we are in the 21st century. We have zoom, google hangouts and lots of other things to still see each other and get connected.
Schedule a virtual coffee chat with someone you want to talk and always have your video on. Without the video, there will be no difference between you and an AI bot, and also people respond well when they can see other people’s emotions and I don’t think emoticons do a very good job at that.
Have an agenda in mind before the coffee. Keep a set of questions prepared, I am not saying to behave as if it is an interview but do your homework.
#4: Write, Post, Like!
Be pro-active on LinkedIn. Once you have connected to everyone that you want to be notified of your activities, it is time to write something. You might be wondering if you are good enough as a writer but trust me it doesn’t matter. I am not a very good writer, obviously :P, but still, I write.
You write, not to impress anyone, but to impart your knowledge to everyone. Till and until you can write and other people can understand what you are trying to communicate, it doesn’t really matter :)
Apart from writing, comment on something that you find useful. Like something that you think will be helpful for others as well. Whatever you do, be it writing or posting, it benefits everyone in your network.
#5: Hey Alumni!
Who else can give you the best advice other than the people who graduated from the same university and took the same courses that you took? Go and talk to your alumni. Look at them as your mentors and be honest with them. They have been on the same boat in which you are now, so please reach out to them.
Go to your university LinkedIn page, click on alumni and then you can see how many of them are working in which companies and in which sector.
#6: Be Bold!
Last but not least,
Fortune favors the bold
Always remember this and do not hesitate to post about getting help. If you are someone who is searching for a job or someone who is being let go, please post it on LinkedIn. There are millions of people looking to help others. No one can help you if you do not help yourself.
Be bold and communicate what is required and I am sure people will step forward to help you :)
I intentionally did not mention LinkedIn premium as I thought if you can get the most of what is free then why pay in a situation where you are looking for a job. But on the other hand, if someone wants a LinkedIn premium, I would highly encourage that.
There are lots of features which the premium provides but I am not covering it here as LinkedIn has done a very good job explaining the salient features of LinkedIn premium.
Hope this helps!
Please comment on any other tricks that have been helpful to you.