I regularly visit LinkedIn and read the discussions, where they exist. What amazes me are the responses to job posts which just have “Interested”, a name, or an email address. Those who post this type of response are only boosting LinkedIn’s count of “engagements”, not their chances of landing that job.
No-one will give you a job. You have to earn it!
It is true that doing well in a job interview it usually critical. However, in order to do well in the interview, you have to be offered one. A good CV/resume will help, but, even before you send that to an employer, there are ways to improve your chances of being offered an interview:
Are you already known to the employer? Do you know anyone that already works there?
Are you actively participating in LinkedIn or other groups? By participating I don’t mean posting “Interested”, but asking insightful questions or offering helpful answers, which demonstrate your subject knowledge.
Have you presented in conferences or webinars? Presenting papers can be difficult at first, but by researching your topics thoroughly in advance, and incorporating your research into your presentations, you will gain confidence and show that you can explain your subject knowledge clearly to others. You will also find the questions asked afterwards to be easier to answer, or could lead you to research a new topic for a future presentation.
Getting a job should never be easy. It requires you to put in that extra little bit of effort, so that you can stand out amongst the candidates, and the employers see the potential in you and also see the benefits you can bring to their company.
The following table investigates what you are telling a potential employer by using a specific style of profile photo. I’m taking the role of an employer here, so these are my own opinions, and my own photos. However, you may not realise that this information is what you are giving away!
Head and shoulders view with a smile, and wearing professional working clothes
Professional, serious, but approachable.
Head and shoulders view with a serious face, and wearing professional working clothes
Professional, serious, and may not welcome human contact.
Full length view wearing professional working clothes
Professional, but might not welcome close scrutiny.
Wearing casual clothes
Wearing sports kit
Team player, but not necessarily at work.
In vacation setting
Relaxed and has a life away from work.
In front of company poster
May have been forced to publicise their employer’s or some other company’s name.
Wishes to hide real identity from someone, or can’t be bothered to find a photo. Interestingly, using #opentowork without a photo shows a corrupted profile image on desktop web page!
Wishes to hide real identity from someone behind a company facade, which may not even be their own.
Random non-personal photo, e.g. artwork, children, stock image, cartoon etc.
Wishes to hide real identity from someone, and also is not at all serious about business connections.
May want to show they are family oriented, team players, or just prefer to hide in a crowd.
Image of single initial of First Name
Wishes to hide their face from someone, but not their identity.
Blank single colour photo
Wishes to hide real identity from someone, but has got around the bug in #opentowork without a photo, which, at least, shows some understanding of LinkedIn.
Background has contrasting colour
Wants to be noticed.
Background is busy and multi-coloured, which makes them difficult to see in a smaller image
Wants to hide from someone, lacks self-confidence, or doesn’t understand how to compose a profile photo for LinkedIn.
Image at an obvious angle, or even upside-down
Trying too hard to get your attention.
In image, but facing away from the camera
Wishes to hide real identity from someone, or lacks self-confidence.
I’ll leave you to decide which profile photo I prefer, but which have you got on your LinkedIn profile?