Are you happy with your job? According to a user survey published on 18 November by professional network LinkedIn (which has 12 million members in India), two out of three Indians are satisfied with their current job. With 67% saying they are happy, India is actually the seventh most content country in the world workwise, according to the survey.
The study also revealed that most professionals are optimistic about their future with their current employer. While 52% respondents globally believe that hard work and good results will lead to career advancement, in India the number was 60%—the third highest worldwide.
LinkedIn also asked what factors might motivate a change of job, and the top three reasons stated by Indians were: to get promoted, to work abroad, or to change industries.
In case you happen to be the third person in the group, the one who isn’t fully satisfied, LinkedIn is also a great place to start looking for something new. You can use the network to showcase your expertise by participating in groups, and answering questions about your area of expertise in LinkedIn Answers.
While 12 million have signed up on LinkedIn, the number of people using the service effectively in India remains small, and most simply use it to put up their CV, and then don’t return. To stand out and get results is easy, if you follow the nine tips below:
Write a personal tag line
The tag line in LinkedIn isn’t just another “About Me” section, even if it seems that way on your profile. The information boxes to be filled in on social networks are displayed at different points, and the tag line should not be ignored because it’s the first thing people see on your profile.
In fact, it might be the only thing that people see of your profile, because it follows your name in search results. This means that if someone is looking to hire people with your kind of skills and experience, they’re going to see a list of names with those skills, and they’ll get to see the tag lines. An eye-catching phrase that reflects your professional personality and describes who you are at a glance, will go a long way.
Ask and answer questions
One of LinkedIn’s new features is a section called Answers. People can ask questions from any field, and those with expertise on the subject respond to them. Insightful questions will provoke answers and good answers will drive people to your profile. Both will help build a network of professionals with similar experience and interests.
Stick to your field and establish your expertise to build social capital. People might have answers to your questions down the line, and if you have answered theirs, then they are more likely to help you.
Become a follower
Another new feature is being able to “follow” companies you’re interested in. When you follow a company on LinkedIn you get updates on new hires, promotions/changes at the company and even job opportunities. If you are an engineer and it’s your goal to work in one of the giants like Microsoft or Apple, then follow them and you’ll get updates on your home page.
While you’re on a company’s profile, you’ll also be able to see if anyone in your network works in that company or knows someone that works there (LinkedIn Company Profiles show both current and past employees of the company who are on LinkedIn). See if you uncover an inside connection at your dream employer.
Get the right recommendations
You don’t need to hoard recommendations—a few, meaningful recommendations are better than several one-line comments. You should request recommendations from people who really know you and your work, such as former bosses, or professors.
Customize each recommendation request with a personal note, and be sure to outline the projects, achievements and qualities you feel that person will recognize about you, to get a thoughtful response that will be useful when job hunting.
Keep a professional profile
Don’t stretch facts—your profile is public, and the people you are working with can see everything. Also, remember to use a photograph that is appropriate. Save the party pictures for Facebook instead.
Write up your credentials as if you were writing a cover letter. Double check the grammar and spellings before you post, and keep it current. At the same time, don’t cut and paste your resume. You’re connecting to a network of people, and you wouldn’t hand out your resume to people when you first meet them, so don’t do it here either.
Keep your updates focused
Use LinkedIn’s status updates to talk about work, new concepts and ideas. You can post notes about events and conferences, or your take on an article or a book, or perhaps even something about your accomplishment at work. If you are using it to post the latest joke you have heard—you are better off on Facebook.
Showcasing a sense of humour is not a bad thing. But do it appropriately and better still in a way that relates to your work. While being robotic in a bid to maintain a formal tone is no good, neither is going too far in the opposite direction.
Let trusted contacts know you’re looking
The people you know well are the ones who will be able to help you and provide the best introductions and recommendations. The best way to let everyone know that you’re looking for a new job is by making a status update, but that can draw unwanted attention.
Instead, use the messages service to send a private note to people you trust, like former co-workers and bosses, telling them about positions you are interested in.
Having a large and trusted network is the key, but telling the right people what you need is also important. Building that network to the point where you can send these messages is an area where some of the earlier activities, like Answers and participating in Groups, will come in handy.
Log in regularly
LinkedIn doesn’t have as much activity as Facebook or Twitter, and logging in daily is unnecessary. But log in once a week to respond to messages and connection requests in a timely fashion. LinkedIn can send Network Updates either weekly or daily—use that as a reminder so that you maintain a consistent presence, by logging in to respond to requests, or participate in group discussions.
Don’t broadcast that you’re looking
Consider how your organization will look at your job hunting—chances are that they won’t like it. Before you reorganize your profile and connect with recruiters, consider changing your privacy settings.
Most updates and notifications from you can be made private, and this discretion is a large part of a passive job search. It might be best that you change settings to control who all are notified and ensure that these notifications are not reflected on your company’s profile.
The privacy settings offer different options, and can keep certain status updates from being mailed to everyone you know.
Illustrations by Raajan / Mint