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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Don’t let your LinkedIn profile get dusty and out of date.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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Meet the ambassador to the future

Tilly Lockey, 14, lost her hands as a toddler, but sees it as a massive opportunity to embrace technology. She chatted with ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK about the human of tomorrow.

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Picture by Arthur Goldstuck

It is a description that defines 14-year-old Tilly Lockey: She lost her hands at the age of 15 months, and now uses bionic hands to show the world how to overcome disability.

That could easily read as an advertisement for a prosthetics company, but Tilly refuses to be defined by marketing messages. She has not only embraced what is supposed to be a disability, but wants to become nothing less than an ambassador to the future.

Picture by Arthur Goldstuck

That is in effect what she is achieving by pushing the boundaries of what is possible with artificial hands. It means that, eventually, she will have more capabilities built into her body than most able-bodied humans can imagine. She collaborates closely with Open Bionics, a start-up that is using 3D printing to create low-cost prosthetics with high-tech capabilities.

“I have very high hopes for the future,” she said during a chat on the sidelines of the SingularityU Summit at Kyalami north of Johannesburg. From Newcastle-on-Tyne in the United Kingdom, she was at the Summit as a guest speaker, chaperoned by her father Adam and sister Tia. 

“When I started working with Open Bionics, I wanted it to include lighting, music, Bluetooth, a projector in my palm, all over-optimistic things. But then I feel that is not too far away, and then a disability would turn into and enhancement of normal human hands. I’m really excited about it.

“I know there’s a couple of things they are working on right now, like trying to get the built-in battery thinner, because it’s hard to get overcoats and jackets over it, so they are trying to get the hands slimmer. They’re working on haptic feedback, to give a sense of touch of vibration, which tells me of I have a good grip on something. It could be coming soon. These hands I’m using now were made in the past five years. In another five years, I think we’ll have all of it.”

The hands in question are called Hero Arms, which its creators, Open Bionics, say is “the world’s first clinically approved 3D-printed bionic arm, with multi-grip functionality and empowering aesthetics”.

Click here to read more about the development of Open Bionics’s Hero Arms.

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How Tilly Lockey became a Hero

Part 2 of ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK’s interview with Tilly Lockey explores her amazing career.

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Picture courtesy SingularityU South Africa 2019 Summit

This is the second part of this series of articles. To start from the beginning, click here.

Tilly Lockey was diagnosed with Meningococcal Septicaemia Strain B when she was 15 months old.

Her mother spotted the tell-tale signs one day in 2007: a fast-spreading skin rash that looks like pinpricks, along with symptoms like lethargy and bruising. She was rushed to hospital, but the bacterial poisoning spread so aggressively, doctors gave Tilley no chance of survival. They had to make a quick decision to amputate her hands to save her life.

Twelve years later, her future truly came into focus: “I was surprised with really cool Alita: Battle Angel bionic Hero Arms and went on the blue carpet at the world premiere of the movie with Rosa Salazar and director James Cameron.”

That pivotal moment in her life would not have been possible without the intensive efforts of her mother, Sara, to raise funds to buy something better than the metal prosthetics issued by the National Health Service in the UK. She increased Tilley’s profile with a campaign to “Give Tilley a Hand”, and today works as a fundraiser and events organiser for the Meningitis Now support group. Her involvement in an event meant she was unable to join Tilley on her trip to South Africa last week, when she spoke at the SingularityU Summit. After coming off stage, Tilley told us that Sara was her biggest inspiration in her life, and the closest to a role model.

“I’m usually a speaker at her events. I tell everyone my story and what I’m doing now and give these kids inspiration, because they often feel they can’t do anything because of what Meningitis did to them.

“I am home schooled now, which is pretty cool, because I’m able to have a career and get educated at the same time. I feel I can do a lot of things that friends can’t do. I can take a whole class on an aeroplane. I have a great time traveling and meeting so many inspiring people who are making a difference in the world.”

The form of Mengingitis that attacked her leaves hidden scars and issues that only become apparent years later. She is almost absurdly cheerful about the challenges that have faced her.

“I personally figured out that my left leg had stopped growing. I’m still finding out things it has caused, but you survive. At least I’m here and I’m alive.”

It does help that she’s comfortable in the spotlight, happy to give interviews, and eager to show what she can do with her bionic hands.

“I want to go into public speaking a lot more, and it could be an option as career. I want it to continue because it’s a lot of fun, and I feel I’ve got a story to share. If I can inspire people to change the world, I will. “

Her travels this year will still take her to Barcelona, Jakarta and New York. In the Big Apple, she will accept a humanitarian award, and intends “to give a funky speech”.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, she will take part in a fashion catwalk and do a makeup tutorial live. She learned to do makeup with one of her bionic hands when she fractured her right elbow in a fall at school

“I got makeup for Christmas and wanted to play with it, and got the idea of doing it with an open hand. It took a lot of perseverance and patience, but after studying how to do it, I was able to recreate a full makeup routine using one hand. It wasn’t a great situation at the time, but now I’m happy it happened because it got me into doing what I do now.”

What she is doing with makeup is remarkable in its own right. She gives tutorials on YouTube, where she says she is “kinda new”, as she has “only around 16,000 followers”. That may well soon expand into cooking videos.

In other words, everything is an opportunity: “I could be sad, just sit on my bed and cry, or I can live my life and realise what I’ve got: these amazing bionic Hero Arms.

“All I want to do is help give people confidence in themselves, accept who they are, accept their scars and everything about them. That they don’t have to impress everybody and just be themselves.”

Read more in the third article of the series about how family remains at the centre of Tilly’s life.

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