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Are you really open to new opportunities?



Should we ever be totally comfortable in our current job?


Is it good for businesses and individuals to experience movement and different challenges on a fairly regular basis? I will leave you to answer those questions.


You never know who might be looking


As a recruiter it’s obviously my role to find candidates for companies that have a specific need. What I have found very interesting is how people who are not actively looking may well be the exact fit for an exciting new role. I find that when a job is just right for a candidate they will consider the option even when they weren’t looking. So the question I am actually asking today is: how does someone let others know they are open to opportunities just in case?


How relevant and recent is your LinkedIn profile right now?


The answer to that question is pretty straightforward. I spend quite a number of hours using LinkedIn and in my experience it’s obvious that many people already in work give no thought to their LinkedIn profile. People secure a new role, write up their latest job title and forget all about it. They don’t add any additional training they undertake or list accomplishments etc.


I work in the Food and Drink recruitment sector.


I use LinkedIn Recruiter and bounce between that and basic LinkedIn candidate profiles. What I have learned is there are quite a few very simple tweaks that could open up your profile to never imagined opportunities. Just recently I have been researching VP level people for a specific role I am looking to fill. Actually I am quite shocked at the lack of attention to detail I see on profiles generally. If you say, I am a dairy technologist surely there should be some brief explanation of what that actually entails. What are your specialisms? Do you have experience in lactose free or ambient yogurt? –(honestly that really is a skill, I promise!)


A few very basic ideas you might like to list on your LinkedIn profile


· Where are you based?

· What languages do you speak?

· What are your professional interests? Perhaps these are something that your current company is not keen to develop whereas a new role might involve developing texturized non-meat or insect proteins.

· Are your skills, keyword rich to aid search? By actually ensuring your LinkedIn profile is keyword rich you will turn up in search. Why would you choose anonymity just because you haven’t tweaked your profile regularly? After all, this is also a discreet way of letting the world know you are open to opportunities should one present itself, without being overt and alerting your present company.

· What CPD have you undertaken? List it.

Be terse and cogent, engaging and pertinent


We probably all agree that it’s always a good idea to try and sell yourself wherever it’s possible, just in case. Hiring a talented copywriter can help. They can ensure your profile conveys the maximum amount of information in the fewest words. Let’s face it, writing a career encyclopedia is not what is required here. The important skill is to communicate salient key points that demonstrate you are a person a recruiter should not overlook.


More things to consider adding to your professional profile


If you are not sure what else you can add have you thought about stating where you would like to be based; that might be Asia, Africa, North America or Europe for example.


· What opportunities might you be seeking in the future as a next career move? Have you incorporated an up to date CV within your LinkedIn profile?

· Have you explained what your job title actually involves?

· Do you manage global teams for example? We want to know what you manage and how you go about it?

· Do you have a specific managerial philosophy?

· Would you be prepared to travel or relocate?

· Do you already have international experience? For example the culture in Europe is different in Latin America.

· Do you have cultural sensitivity? Even within Europe, a business with a base in France will have a very different culture to the same organisation’s outlet in Scandinavia?

· Would it matter if you worked on a Sunday if you took up a position in Dubai? There are so many details that can be extremely helpful to list.

· What if you already manage a supply chain or have responsibility for procurement, can you quantify the savings you’ve made? If you can then outline them in percentages not just figures. If you state: ‘I have reduced expenditure in 12 months by 20%’ this is much clearer than basics sums that make less sense depending on company size.

Sell yourself and promote what you do


I would advise that regardless whether you are looking for a new role or not, sell yourself, promote what you do on LinkedIn and keep it fresh and current. Explain your current role and your most recent other employment. Outline your career progression and how you might see yourself moving forward in future. If you are a commercial person talk about the kind of deals you have negotiated and quote in percentages and yield terms. This is all very helpful to anyone looking to find someone just like you.


Your LinkedIn profile should be always up to date and detailed


The aim for it is to sit ready to receive an unexpected opportunity. Sometimes we get used to our level of skill and think that what we do is not special. However, other companies might be thrilled that someone like you exists as they might be in desperate need of your competencies. You may not see yourself as special but others just might and that may come with a host of benefits you didn’t even know were available.


I want to be able to sell the concept of an opportunity to you


Therefore if I was to give anyone advice regarding LinkedIn I would say that you don’t have to overtly write ‘open to opportunities’ on your profile. What you write and the well-chosen keyword rich detail you include will fill in the gaps. When I speak to someone about an opportunity that may not be actively searching my role is to sell the job, the career progression and the hiring organization. Over 20+ years I almost always find it’s not just about money. People are excited by the fact there may well be a better culture, environment, or the chance to be the equivalent of two years further forward than they might be right now.


My final advice is:


Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Be clear, detailed and professional about what you are and what you do. You never know when a recruiter like me might come calling with an incredible opportunity you might never have thought was possible. Take a look at your LinkedIn profile today and see if it would attract attention.

Do you agree with this approach? Do leave a comment