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10 LinkedIn tips to get you hired

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A recent study showed that 43% of recruiters use social networks to find suitable employees. HEIDI DUVENAGE of Sage gives a few tips on how to create a useful and professional looking LinkedIn profile.

Most recruiters these days will take a look at your LinkedIn profile to learn more about you if your CV captures their eye and they’re interested in interviewing you. They also often scan relevant profiles on LinkedIn to identify people they think might be a match for positions they are struggling to fill or don’t want to advertise.

A recent study on Global Recruiting Trends 2016 showed that 43% of recruiters use social professional networks as their key source of quality and 42% use internet job boards. As such, a clean, professional and presentable LinkedIn profile can be a major asset for developing your career. It can help you land that great job or expand your network for the future.

Here are key things we look out for when we’re evaluating job candidates’ LinkedIn profiles.

DO

1.     Keep your profile up-to-date

Don’t let your LinkedIn profile get dusty and out of date. Regularly update your experience, job titles, and career activity so that a prospective recruiter can easily see what you’re up to. Even if you’ve held the same job for a while, add a bit of info about your most recent projects and achievements to show that you’re busy and productive.

2.     Highlight your strongest selling points in a prominent manner

A LinkedIn profile should be quite detailed, offering recruiters and business contacts an at-a-glance view of your education, experience, achievements, and your community engagements. But make sure that your most recent and important skills are easy to identify.

Take some time to polish your summary so that it really pops out and sells your strengths to the reader. And ensure that you use the right keywords in your summary and in your list of skills to make it easy for recruiters to find you when they’re searching for candidates with your profile.

3.     Connect with people in your industry

Don’t be shy on LinkedIn – connect with people in your industry. When you seek to connect with someone, add a polite, personalised note asking them to accept your invitation and explaining what (or who) you have in common.

4.     Follow companies, publish content, and join relevant groups

There are millions of profiles on LinkedIn, so you might need to do a bit work to get attention from the right people. Share relevant professional content, write short posts if you have the time, join industry groups and get involved in their discussions, and follow companies to raise your profile. Companies and groups often post job openings, which can be handy if you’re looking for new career opportunities.

5.     Make your intentions known

Let the other LinkedIn users see what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re a recruiter looking for talent in a certain field, post that information so interested parties can contact you.

Don’t

1.     Use an inappropriate photo or picture for your profile

Profiles without photos don’t get much attention. You don’t necessarily need a professional portrait for LinkedIn, but you should look presentable in the picture you use.

Avoid photos taken in social settings, especially with a beer in your hand; also, don’t put up a pixelated picture, or use ones with distracting backgrounds. A recent head-and-shoulders, taken in your work clothes and with a smile on your face, will be perfect.

2.      Rely on jargon or clichés

Don’t get carried away with industry buzzwords or CV clichés when you talk about yourself. Even if you’re a dynamic problem-solver and team player with an inspirational management style, these words sound empty and insincere because of how overused they have become.

Rather show off your characteristics by talking about your achievements (“I helped Acme Corp. to develop a widget for a new market” rather than “I’m an out-of-the-box thinker”). Consider asking people you have worked with to write endorsements for you so that the boasts aren’t coming from your own mouth.

3.     Fib or exaggerate

This should go without saying, but white lies and exaggerated claims on LinkedIn are effectively as bad as telling fibs on your CV. It’s so easy for someone to check up on your claims and you will be caught out.

4. Use LinkedIn as a social media site

Your profile should reflect your professional persona and not your child’s first steps or pictures from your holiday at the beach.

5.     Have spelling errors in your profile

Typos in your profile create an unprofessional impression. You will lose the recruiters interest if your spelling and grammar isn’t correct.

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Load-shedding leads
local searches

South Africans are searching in the dark, according to the latest Google Search trends.

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With more 1 million search queries generated in the space of 76 hours, load-shedding was by far the top trending search on Google South Africa this week.

Valentine’s Day came a distant second.

After news emerged last Sunday of the impending stage 3 load shedding, South Africans had generated more than 1-million load-shedding search queries by the time Tuesday came around:

  • “Loadshedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Eskom load shedding” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding Cape Town” – generated more than 50k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 400k on Monday
  • “Load shedding Johannesburg” – generated more than 20k searches on Monday
  • Load shedding schedule” generated more than 200k search queries on Tuesday

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, South Africans generated close to 300k search queries related to the romantic festival, including searches for quotes and gift ideas:

  • “Valentines Day” generated more than 100k search queries on Thursday
  • “Happy Valentines Day Images” and “Valentines Day Images” generated more than 10k search queries each on Thursday, with “Happy Valentines Day 2019” generating more than 20k search queries on Wednesday
  • “Valentines Day Specials 2019” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Love quotes” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Valentines Day quotes” generated more than 100k search queries and “Valentine messages” generated more than 50 000 search queries on Wednesday

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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Showmax invites
student films

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Thanks to the growing popularity of video-on-demand services, there’s a new opportunity to help kickstart the careers of local filmmakers.

Numerous Hollywood blockbusters (District 9Tomb Raider 2018, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron to name a few) have featured substantial shoots in Johannesburg and Cape Town. While providing great opportunities for SA’s production talent, aspiring writers and directors don’t get the same benefit.

So where can local creatives showcase their work? Broadcast TV isn’t a natural home for unknown short films, and while self-publishing platforms are readily available hosting options, it’s tough to get noticed and get traffic when competing with videos from across the planet.

But with the emergence of video-on-demand services into the mainstream, there’s now a solution. The African film school AFDA has teamed up with the streaming service Showmax to give local talent a much larger platform than ever before. From 18 February, eighteen of the best recent short films made by AFDA students from their Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth campuses will be live on Showmax. Drama, documentary, fantasy, and animation are all represented, in pieces running from under eight minutes to almost half-an-hour long. The full list of movies is included below.

Teresa Passchier, CEO of AFDA, said: “AFDA, Africa’s number-one school for the Creative Economy, is proud to kickstart this exciting and meaningful journey with Showmax and AFDA students, ensuring emerging young African filmmakers’ voices are heard and given a platform. It’s ground-breaking to share young, local, culturally relevant content on the same platform as Hollywood blockbusters. I am certain that this unique initiative will serve to boost and develop the African film industry and the careers of many young South African and African students alike.”

Included in the short films coming to Showmax are the award winners Junior and O-PunchaJunior, directed by Bert Dijkstra, picked up the Audience Award in the Made in South Africa Competition at the shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival Awards 2017. O-Puncha, directed by Adam Hansen, won two awards at the 5th annual Eldorado Film Festival: Best Student Made Short, and Best Editing – Alexander La Cock.

Another celebrated film is Sicela Amanzi directed by Mlu Godola, which talks to the subject of water shortage. The film’s heroine Zoleka is a mild-mannered young woman forced to go to extreme lengths when a small community’s only source of water unexpectedly collapses. The power of films like this is they shine a light on critical topical issues in new ways.

Speaking about working with the film school, Candice Fangueiro, Head of Content for Showmax, said: “There’s immense depth of filmmaking talent in Africa and it’s a privilege to be able to give that talent a home and a platform. Showmax is becoming part of the fabric of film and TV production in Africa, and importantly we’re doing this as a partner rather than just as a consumer. This is a key competitive advantage of being local and something we aim to continue to work on.”

AFDA is an Academy Award-winning institution, founded in 1994, and the first and only African film school to win an Oscar – for the Best Foreign Student film in 2006, the postgraduate film Elalini, directed by Tristan Holmes.

The full list of AFDA short films coming to Showmax is as follows:

Film titleDirectorGenre
Lullaby from the CryptKeenan Lott & Raven DavidsAnimation
Ko Ga CherenyaneSibonokuhle MyatazaDocumentary
IzilwaneKyllian RouxDrama
MallemeuleJaco Van BoschDrama
Canal StreetBrodie MuirheadDrama
On the FenceWarrick BewsDrama
The Righteous FewLindo LangaDrama
Hlogoma PeakLuke AhrensDrama
Frozen FlameCameron HeathmanAnimation
WolfBrett van DortFantasy
The Walk HomeSisanda DyantyiDrama
BearWesley RoodtDrama
JuniorBert DijkstraDrama
O-PunchaAdam HansenDrama
UmngenoSiphosethu NdungeDrama
DoreenLuvuyo Equiano NyawoseDrama
ForeverLindo LangaMusical
Sicela AmanziMlu GodolaDrama

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