The first month of 2013 is about to end, but the ideal time to look for a job is not yet over.
After the festivities of January 1, now is the time to perk up your energies – try a new plan of action, think about a fresh perspective, or follow the top career trends of 2013.
With your eyes focused on those goals, and help from the world’s largest social network for professionals, LinkedIn spokesperson Lindsey Pollak predicts three career trends she thinks will help search for the perfect job this year, and how to integrate them.
Pollak, a career and workplace expert, says career trends in 2013 will follow three routes: LinkedIn profiles, specialized skills, and Generation Y.
The number of people who lead a LinkedIn profile against a traditional resume has increased, and Pollak thinks lots of employers will count more on the social network, instead of resumes, for hiring new employees.
This year employers will continue to request for the traditional resume, but they will put your LinkedIn online presence as first priority.
Many reasons support this curve.
- A LinkedIn profile brings unlimited information of a job candidate (more personal data and full discourse of career tracks, skills, and experiences), whereas a traditional resume ties employers to one or two pages.
- A LinkedIn profile is public and thus more reliable for employers (LinkedIn connections are quick to point any lies or overblown data), whereas a traditional resume’s references need more time to verify.
Despite the stark contrast in benefits, your LinkedIn profile must reflect the information found in your resume – job titles, employment dates, academic documents, and other facts must fall together.
The skills set, level of experience, and specific fields of profession must stay consistent to each other so you don’t look like two job candidates with the same name.
Apart from those basic similarities with your resume, your LinkedIn profile is completely customizable.
- The most attention-getting LinkedIn profile comes with a catching headline full of clear keywords. You can gain ideas for the headline through the headlines of LinkedIn profiles with a successful record of accomplishments on your dream job.
- Use a professionally shot profile picture to help potential employers match your face and name if ever you must meet personally for an interview.
- Ensure that your LinkedIn profile appears as a more complete version of your resume that includes experiences, accomplishments, improved results, and recommendations from former direct superiors and colleagues.
After doing your best to improve it, ask trusted friends or family members to review your LinkedIn profile and ask them these two questions:
- Does my LinkedIn profile provide a clear representation about what job opportunities are a good fit for me?
- Does my LinkedIn profile provide a clear representation about what makes me valuable and unique?
Your family and friends must provide clear answers that suit your standards, or else, re-edit or re-customize your profile.
Keep in mind that your LinkedIn profile is a living version of you, so visit it regularly to update with your latest attainments and skills.
To maintain a new, catching profile to hiring managers, frequently share informative articles or short commentaries about topics that interest you.
The “Activity” section, found at the top of the LinkedIn profile page, shows the shares to keep an active, imposing profile.
With the job market slowly picking up where it left off before the recession, employers are keen to fill only the important roles.
This year employers will seek and hire job candidates with the skill sets they now need – 2013 is the year of the specialists.
Job seekers must have a specific field of expertise and know how to sell their unique skills, credentials, and accomplishments.
Pollak suggests that you visit often LinkedIn’s Jobs section to look for job postings related to your field of interest and to identify the skills most frequently mentioned in the job lists.
She adds that job seekers look at the “Insights” tab of recruiters’ company pages on LinkedIn to check the five most popular skills noted by that company’s employees.
If you possess a skill mentioned in that company’s page, go to your LinkedIn profile and add this skill to your “Skills and Expertise” section, and think of a way to raise this in the Summary and Experience sections.
Recruiters look for prospects in LinkedIn through highly specific keywords, such as “AUTOCAD expert mechanical engineer” compared to a mere “mechanical engineer,” so the most effective way to catch the attention of an employer is to ensure the exact keywords are clearly shown in your profile.
The oldest Generation Y members are now grownups, and they have joined management ranks in companies worldwide.
The college interns we knew as teenagers a couple of years ago may now be your best connection to a promising job position, so remember to extend to people from all generations when working on your LinkedIn network.
An effective way is to join and be an active member of your alma mater’s LinkedIn alumni group.
A network that lacks Generation Y contacts will do good to build more in this area, and you can use LinkedIn’s Alumni Tool to look for recent graduates from your school through their location, employer, or job positions.
LinkedIn users can view people’s profiles who fit an exact criteria through a search query, and then use an InMail – exclusive to holders of a Job Seeker Premium Account – to extend and introduce yourself.