I find it revealing to watch a CEO like LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner talk about the future of his company.
Between the lines, he inevitably gives clues to the future which job seekers must prepare themselves for.
He also clearly spells out that the future for job seekers who use LinkedIn is full of opportunity – if they learn to use it correctly. See for yourself:
The video is quite long, so I’ve fleshed out the key points below for you.
I’ve also added my own analysis and opinions of other leading career experts – specifically in the context of how changes at LinkedIn will shape your job search efforts in the next few years.
1. LinkedIn Will Kill Off Job Boards – Eventually.
LinkedIn’s mission is “to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”. (Timestamp: 0:45).
Consider what it means. Every job is a connection. LinkedIn has made it their job to become the hub through which all of the world’s people find work.
Joshua Waldman specialises in helping job seekers get jobs through social media. He points out that in USA, Monster.Com has recently slipped from S&P500, “heralding the shift away from the post-and-pray approach of job applications, towards a much more focused, relationship-based approach”.
Resumes and job boards have a few years left in them, but the countdown has begun.
2. Spend Your Time On LinkedIn Instead Of Facebook.
Mobile Composition Of Traffic On LinkedIn is up from 2% to 41%. (Timestamp: 1.51).
It means that you can apply for jobs, research companies you work for and get top-notch content as you’re munching on your sandwich at lunchtime or waiting for a bus.
It also means that by defaulting to LinkedIn mobile app instead of Facebook you can be actively furthering your career goals, instead of consuming your friends’ status updates.
William Arruda, a personal branding expert, reminds us that carving out as little as 9 minutes every day can make a significant difference to your personal brand.
3. Early Adopters Will Win.
LinkedIn Has Grown 20 times in 5 years. (Timestamp: 2:10).
The influence it’s had on the careers space during this short time can be deeply felt. It means the impact it will have in the next 5 years will be mind-boggling.
People who are serious about their career need to be up to speed with LinkedIn’s progress. Those playing catchup will be left behind because the gap will be too wide.
Start building your digital professional network now by reaching out to the right people. And remember that there’s a difference between SPAM and powerful outreach, points out Daily Muse columnist Sara McCord.
“I’d like to add you to my professional network” is definitely not the right choice of words if you want to make a good impression.
4. Don’t Ditch Your Resume Just Yet.
LinkedIn profile is increasingly replacing the resume. (Timestamp: 3:30).
This is certainly true for some industries (creatives, digital specialists, entrepreneurs). However, for in the context of mainstream professions I think this is an overstatement.
Right now, LinkedIn is being used by recruiters IN CONJUNCTION with your resume to build up an accurate picture of your personal brand.
5. You’ll be Headhunted Through LinkedIn.
“People are updating their LinkedIn profile even when they’re not looking for work.” (Timestamp: 3:48).
It means that your competition is realising that their profile is a magnet for passive opportunities.
In other words, right now recruiters are searching LinkedIn database for people with a skillset which matches your own and are contacting them directly with job opportunities. Everyone can be headhunted, at any time.
I suggest you check out these 5 tips by career strategist Hannah Morgan to help recruiters find you and make your phone ring off the hook.
6. Use LinkedIn To Tell Your Story.
“You can now display your accomplishments VISUALLY on your profile.” (Timestamp: 4:12).
Have you built a remarkable website? Installed an impressive shopfront? Given a speech in front of hundreds of people? You can use images to tell a more comprehensive story of what you create.
Career strategist Jenny Foss reminds us that you need to be responsible for every item you post because every image (or shared item, comment or status update) make a mark on your digital footprint.
7. LinkedIn Can Help You Become A Better You.
Do you have a gap in your skillset?
You can take a course and use LinkedIn’s integration feature for your new qualifications to be displayed on your profile. (Timestamp: 5:10).
It means you get an edge over other candidates and recruiters are able to find you by those new qualifications.
8. LinkedIn Will Mentor You.
LinkedIn’s Influencers program allows you to learn from the world’s leading business minds. (Timestamp: 8:19).
Hand-picked, passionate leaders talking about first-hand experiences means this is your opportunity to get free mentoring from one (or all) of world’s top professional luminaries.
9. LinkedIn Will Amplify Your Brand.
LinkedIn has just allowed its users to publish content on their LinkedIn profiles. (Timestamp: 9:10).
Publishing under the LinkedIn brand gives you the opportunity to have some of the platform’s value rub off on you, positioning you as an “Up-And-Coming LinkedIn Influencer”.
Steph Sammons, a personal brand expert, says that If you’re already blogging and creating valuable content for your network, this is an opportunity to potentially achieve greater visibility and engagement.
Close proximity of your content to your profile means potential employers don’t have to go far to get a glimpse into how you think and what drives you.
Pro Tip: after publishing the content, head into relevant LinkedIn Groups to discuss the ideas you wrote about. After building rapport, share your piece with the group and suggest they read it.
10. Ensure That Your Profile Is Optimised.
LinkedIn Recruiter is a tool which allows (you guessed it) recruiters to perform advanced searches for any combination of positions held, achievements, companies worked for, courses completed and universities attended. (Timestamp: 10:54).
Without any limitations.
It means only jobseekers (and happily employed “passive” jobseekers) with most impressive and well-optimised profiles will find themselves headhunted.
11. Jobs Will Come To You.
LinkedIn is improving its algorithm, so that the “Suggested Jobs” section is a good match to you. (Timestamp: 11:20).
It means you don’t need to waste hours browsing job boards. Targeted job suggestions come to you.
When applying via LinkedIn, I recommend you don’t skip a well-written resume and cover letter – they’re still vital ingredients in the job search process.
However, attaching a generic resume won’t work. “It is pointless to send out dozens of resumes without doing the research it will take to customise each one for a specific recipient,” says Liz Ryan, founder of Human Workplace – a company dedicated to teaching new-millennium career techniques to job-seekers.
12. LinkedIn Gives You Options.
(15:03) LinkedIn’s vision is “To create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.” It’s quite revealing that they don’t use the word “job” – I think it recognises that a significant portion of future jobs will come from entrepreneurship and freelancing.
13. Ultimate Hub For Job Seekers.
“We’d like for there to be a digital representation of every job posted by every company [on their company page]”. (Timestamp: 18:55).
This is the most important one, and so easy to miss. Weiner points out, a few seconds later, that the only thing that’s stopping them from achieving that is scale (in other words, money and time).
Given the rate at which the company is growing, I think that won’t take long for LinkedIn job search to become mainstream.
When it does, won’t you be glad that you haven’t neglected your LinkedIn profile over the years and have, piece by piece, build a solid professional digital network?