Who would have known COVID-19 pandemic would affect the whole world, including you and me?
A lot of people have been made redundant recently. It isn't helping that the economy is not in a good shape and when people have existing commitments like family and mortgage.
Before this pandemic hit, I was fortunate to be in a sector where opportunities were plenty compared to others. Recruiters were constantly connecting with client-side Project Managers about new job opportunities.
But early this year, the pandemic hit China. Then Europe. Then rest of the world.
I understand that being forced to look for jobs is disheartening and dis-empowering. And for some people I understand that there are additional barriers that they face such as gender, race, age, sexual orientation and more.
If you haven't had to look for a job in a long time and are now looking for a new job, let me tell you this. How people hire and look for jobs have fundamentally changed.
In upcoming series of post, I'm going to focus on what you can do, as a professional in the building industry, to increase your chance of finding a job. This list is not bulletproof or does not provide any guarantee. But these are actionable tips you can take right now.
LinkedIn is where the party is at
For the Australian building industry, LinkedIn is where people hangout. This includes myself (okay maybe I hang out there too much). People who hang out on LinkedIn include client-side project managers, engineers, architects, property developers, clients, contractors, suppliers… and importantly, recruiters and potential hirers.
You can choose to willingly ignore this fact, or harness the power of LinkedIn.
These are the main reasons why you should be using LinkedIn for your professional life (regardless of whether you're looking for a job).
- Show and tell people who you are
- Connect with people who you've worked with in the past
- Connect with new people
- Keep up with the industry
Today, we're going to cover the first point.
Show and tell people who you are
First things first. Before you can use LinkedIn for other purposes, you need to have an up-to-date profile.
But are you the person who thinks they don't need to market yourself Or they think that someone will just offer you a job via email?
Oh man, I wish life was that easy.
If you've applied for a job on SEEK, the recruiter would have already most likely looked you up on LinkedIn. If you're trying to see if there are opportunities within your connection, the person with the potential job would have already looked you up on LinkedIn. There are also many recruiters out there actively looking for new candidates, on LinkedIn. And if you don't have an up to date profile, you're missing out.
This goes for me too. Before I decide to engage a consultant for a project, I always look their profile up on LinkedIn. It helps me to understand the person better and have confidence that they have experience to deliver the project.
So first thing is to update your Linkedin Profile. Like writing resume, creating a LinkedIn profile is an art itself.
You should consider the following key points:
- Put an appropriate photo of yourself
- What is a story you want to tell?
- What are you good at?
- Put accurate record of experience
- Put proudest moments in your career
Put yourself in the shoe of the recruiter and let's compare the following examples
Below of a LinkedIn profile of one of the consultant I really enjoyed working with in the past. However, their LinkedIn profile is not really showing them in the best possible light. I have hidden this person's identifying features.
If I was the recruiter and I stumbled upon this profile, my comments would be the following:
- Is this person real? Who are you?
- Why should I hire you? What is your story?
- What are you good at?
Let's use mine.
I imagine the comments to be:
- Okay, he looks like a real person
- He studied relevant stuff
- He says he's good at x, y, z. Just the candidate I am looking for!
- His bio is short and sweet. I'm glad I didn't have to read an essay.
- He has some interesting hobbies even though I don't know what they are.
- I like his banner photo! (okay, maybe not everyone may think that)
There are many, many, articles on writing an effective Linkedin Profile. Do your research!
Coming Up with a Story
So for those who have a blank profile, coming up with a story is not easy. Whilst you're filling out your profile, you may even have a career existential crisis.
But think of this as an opportunity to reflect on your professional life. Do you even like the field you're in? Is this where you want to be going? Do you even think you're good at your job?
Show the world who you are and what you're good at through your LinkedIn Profile. Whilst you're writing your your story, think about what you value and where you want to go in your career.