How to use your professional network
Career or ‘professional’ networking is a useful tool at any stage of your career. According to career expert Alison Doyle, ‘70 percent of people in 2016 were hired at a company where they had a connection’. This is a significant figure, especially when it comes to furthering your academic career, where positions can be held by the same person for decades. By forming connections with colleagues, past or present, and making LinkedIn introductions to acquaintances, former business associates, research partners and even clients, you can strengthen your network and increase your professional profile in an international marketplace. You may have noticed that your LinkedIn network list and recommended connections are categorised into three degrees of connection. By converting recommended contacts and members who are categorised as 2nd-degree, 3rd-degree and ‘Out of Network’ into 1st-degree connections, you will greatly broaden your reach into associated fields that could result in unexpected, but valuable lead-ins to new areas of interest.
How to make yourself visible to employers
Becoming a contributor will help to boost your profile. By posting articles and content that links back to your research, published work or personal blog, you can increase your visibility and maximise your reach. Additionally, LinkedIn will target the circulation of your articles to other users, beyond your immediate network, effectively marketing your profile to potential contacts.
The improved analytics capabilities of LinkedIn, means that you can track an article’s performance, and access the location, names and companies of users who like and share your content. This helps to advance your academic career; understanding your readership can inform career move decisions and clarify potential universities and research institutes, when considering relocation, as well as helping to identify potential collaborators.
An important, useful addition to the publishing capabilities of the platform is the new, integrated blogging interface. Users are encouraged to blog directly from the site itself, which in-turn provides the potential to reach huge numbers of readers, based on specialist interest and academic career choices. By following corporate profiles, users can access content and receive notifications from companies and universities.
How employers can use social media
Employers are increasingly asking applicants to provide LinkedIn URL’s in their applications or on their CV’s (you can customise your URL to make it earlier for employers to find you), and it is common practice among recruiters and head-hunters to research candidates via LinkedIn before formally extending invitations to apply for vacancies. Employers can also conduct screening and background checks on potential candidates by simply accessing the information on LinkedIn members’ profiles. Employment history, personal interests and education are included in the valuable information freely available to employers.
Employers are also able to target their job vacancies and create targeted campaigns, directed specifically at candidates who meet their own criteria. By creating company profiles on LinkedIn, employers can source candidates from their own network of contacts, who have already expressed an interest in their business, research specialisation or company ethos. Furthermore, by publishing news and other marketing content, employers retain consistent engagement from ideal candidates, and preserve a healthy and extremely targeted network of active users.
Additional exposure and brand awareness is achieved through activity on Twitter and Facebook, which are both linked to LinkedIn profiles, and result in a highly effective, recruitment strategy. Importantly, stringent employment policies prevent employers from discrimination, based on personal information published on social media networks. Inserting key search terms into job adverts is a widely used marketing technique, used by employers across all social media platforms to maximise engagement through internet search engines.
Professional, social and career networking
LinkedIn is the leading global networking platform for work, used by over 530* million people worldwide. Used by recruiting agencies and institutions it is a massively efficient means to extend your professional network and build invaluable contact lists across countries, disciplines, professions, industries and institutions.
The benefits of meaningful career contacts cannot be overstated – the most influential and powerful figures in industry and across academia have wised up to the huge marketing potential of building personal and professional brands and fostering relationships based on shared interests, experience and academic track records.
LinkedIn is increasingly becoming a rich source of quality, specialist news and industry content, and has a vast team of specialist contributors globally, supported by 24 languages.
LinkedIn operates in a freemium business model – allowing members to sign up for a free basic account, with the potential to upgrade to a premium account to maximize networking potential. The premium account features include InMail – allowing users to contact anyone outside of their network; seniority filters – allowing users to search based on levels of seniority (Director, Manager, Intern etc.); interest filters, years of experience, Fortune 500 companie, and more.
The LinkedIn news feed now includes a ‘trending topics’ thread, providing users with popular, relevant content, based on an algorithm, designed to recommend relevant articles based on user’s interests and network connections. Maintaining user engagement benefits both job hunters and recruiters – by introducing more personalised features, such as the news feed, announcements and training resources, members visit the platform with increasing regularity, thereby improving successful job search rates and creating more opportunities to connect with potential leads.
Big brands mean big business
Using your network to establish a personal/professional brand is the smart way to market yourself to recruiters and potential employers. Creating a solid foundation from which to link your published work and other professional resources, it will greatly improve your international profile and help your career. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the holy trinity of social media networking and should be treated accordingly. LinkedIn has become a wellspring of talent and networking potential, and Facebook and Twitter are following close behind, introducing increasingly well-calibrated digital publishing features.
Global Academy Jobs is a market leader in HE recruitment and has over six years of success in the global academic recruitment sector. Using agile, efficient and effective social media networking tools, we have become highly specialised at targeting job roles to aa engaged audience of both active and passive job seekers in specialist academic fields. We understand the value of building strong, reliable, trusted brands and work closely with universities across the globe to tailor their profiles, improve their online reputations and promote their unique corporate identities. Our professional network extends beyond borders and across continents and we have links to industry, policy and governance, NGO’s, media and academia that keep us current and informed across all aspects of Higher Education. To stay connected use these tips to increase your reach and raise your international profile. To learn more about how Global Academy Jobs can promote your positions and reach the right audience, click here.
*this figure was correct at the time of publication