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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Don’t let your LinkedIn profile get dusty and out of date.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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Money talks and electronic gaming evolves

Computer gaming has evolved dramatically in the last two years, as it follows the money, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK in the second of a two-part series.

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The clue that gaming has become big business in South Africa was delivered by a non-gaming brand. When Comic Con, an American popular culture convention that has become a mecca for comics enthusiasts, was hosted in South Arica for the first time last month, it used gaming as the major drawcard. More than 45 000 people attended.

The event and its attendance was expected to be a major dampener for the annual rAge gaming expo, which took place just weeks later. Instead, rAge saw only a marginal fall in visitor numbers. No less than 34 000 people descended on the Ticketpro Dome for the chaos of cosplay, LAN gaming, virtual reality, board gaming and new video games. 

It proved not only that there was room for more than one major gaming event, but also that a massive market exists for the sector in South Africa. And with a large market, one also found numerous gaming niches that either emerged afresh or will keep going over the years. One of these, LAN (for Local Area Network) gaming, which sees hordes of players camping out at the venue for three days to play each other on elaborate computer rigs, was back as strong as ever at rAge.

MWeb provided an 8Gbps line to the expo, to connect all these gamers, and recorded 120TB in downloads and 15Tb in uploads – a total that would have used up the entire country’s bandwidth a few years ago.

“LANs are supposed to be a thing of the past, yet we buck the trend each year,” says Michael James, senior project manager and owner of rAge. “It is more of a spectacle than a simple LAN, so I can understand.”

New phenomena, often associated with the flavour of the moment, also emerge every year.

“Fortnite is a good example this year of how we evolve,” says James. “It’s a crazy huge phenomenon and nobody was servicing the demand from a tournament point of view. So rAge and Xbox created a casual LAN tournament that anyone could enter and win a prize. I think the top 10 people got something each round.”

Read on to see how esports is starting to make an impact in gaming.

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Blockchain unpacked

Blockchain is generally associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but these are just the tip of the iceberg, says ESET Southern Africa.

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This technology was originally conceived in 1991, when Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta described their first work on a chain of cryptographically secured blocks, but only gained notoriety in 2008, when it became popular with the arrival of Bitcoin. It is currently gaining demand in other commercial applications and its annual growth is expected to reach 51% by 2022 in numerous markets, such as those of financial institutions and the Internet of Things (IoT), according to MarketWatch.

What is blockchain?

A blockchain is a unique, consensual record that is distributed over multiple network nodes. In the case of cryptocurrencies, think of it as the accounting ledger where each transaction is recorded.

A blockchain transaction is complex and can be difficult to understand if you delve into the inner details of how it works, but the basic idea is simple to follow.

Each block stores:

–           A number of valid records or transactions.
–           Information referring to that block.
–           A link to the previous block and next block through the hash of each block—a unique code that can be thought of as the block’s fingerprint.

Accordingly, each block has a specific and immovable place within the chain, since each block contains information from the hash of the previous block. The entire chain is stored in each network node that makes up the blockchain, so an exact copy of the chain is stored in all network participants.

As new records are created, they are first verified and validated by the network nodes and then added to a new block that is linked to the chain.

How is blockchain so secure?

Being a distributed technology in which each network node stores an exact copy of the chain, the availability of the information is guaranteed at all times. So if an attacker wanted to cause a denial-of-service attack, they would have to annul all network nodes since it only takes one node to be operative for the information to be available.

Besides that, since each record is consensual, and all nodes contain the same information, it is almost impossible to alter it, ensuring its integrity. If an attacker wanted to modify the information in a blockchain, they would have to modify the entire chain in at least 51% of the nodes.

In blockchain, data is distributed across all network nodes. With no central node, all participate equally, storing, and validating all information. It is a very powerful tool for transmitting and storing information in a reliable way; a decentralised model in which the information belongs to us, since we do not need a company to provide the service.

What else can blockchain be used for?

Essentially, blockchain can be used to store any type of information that must be kept intact and remain available in a secure, decentralised and cheaper way than through intermediaries. Moreover, since the information stored is encrypted, its confidentiality can be guaranteed, as only those who have the encryption key can access it.

Use of blockchain in healthcare

Health records could be consolidated and stored in blockchain, for instance. This would mean that the medical history of each patient would be safe and, at the same time, available to each doctor authorised, regardless of the health centre where the patient was treated. Even the pharmaceutical industry could use this technology to verify medicines and prevent counterfeiting.

Use of blockchain for documents

Blockchain would also be very useful for managing digital assets and documentation. Up to now, the problem with digital is that everything is easy to copy, but Blockchain allows you to record purchases, deeds, documents, or any other type of online asset without them being falsified.

Other blockchain uses

This technology could also revolutionise the Internet of Things  (IoT) market where the challenge lies in the millions of devices connected to the internet that must be managed by the supplier companies. In a few years’ time, the centralised model won’t be able to support so many devices, not to mention the fact that many of these are not secure enough. With blockchain, devices can communicate through the network directly, safely, and reliably with no need for intermediaries.

Blockchain allows you to verify, validate, track, and store all types of information, from digital certificates, democratic voting systems, logistics and messaging services, to intelligent contracts and, of course, money and financial transactions.

Without doubt, blockchain has turned the immutable and decentralized layer the internet has always dreamed about into a reality. This technology takes reliance out of the equation and replaces it with mathematical fact.

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