These are uncertain times. With rising inflation, a slowdown in major economies, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, jobs can be hard to come by.
More so if you’re a Gen Z who is just entering the job market.
Turns out, you can still land a job even during uncertain times, provided you follow these tips by LinkedIn.
- 1 1. Make building a “skills wallet” a top priority.
- 2 2. Highlight skills for the job you want.
- 3 3. Create your professional brand.
- 4 4. Connect with and broaden your network.
- 5 5. No need to focus on just one linear career path.
1. Make building a “skills wallet” a top priority.
In Singapore, companies are moving away from assessing candidates based on traditional qualifiers, preferring to hire those with technical skills (39 percent) and transferable skills (31 percent), over education (8 percent), and minimum years of work experience (12 percent).According to Pooja Chhabria, APAC Head of Editorial and Career Expert at LinkedIn, in times of economic uncertainty, you can find opportunities to learn and collect skills.
“As skills become the currency of the workplace, it is important for you to have a growth mindset and constantly upskill to unlock job opportunities and power your professional growth through learning,” she said to Mashable Southeast Asia.
Young workers should focus on developing both hard and soft skills, she suggested.
“Hard skills are the technical skills required to do your job. For instance, if you are applying to be a sales professional, then you need to have knowledge of sales processes and how to use a CRM platform. You also need soft skills such as presentation skills to deliver a great sales pitch to your customer or communication skills so you can communicate with confidence with your team and the customer. Hard skills can help you get a recruiter’s attention, but soft skills can help you land the job, as they’re also transferrable across projects.”
One of the ways to develop these skills is by stepping out of your comfort zone and by taking on new assignments and projects to improve your ability to problem-solve and provide opportunities to learn how to better handle stress, criticism, and conflict.
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Since 2015, LinkedIn discovered that skill sets needed for jobs have changed by an average of 25 percent.
“This means that your job will change, even if you don’t change your job,” Pooja said.
On LinkedIn alone, 7.3 million of its users enrolled in the most popular courses on the business and employment-focused social media platform between June 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 on its educational platform, LinkedIn Learning, which offers over 18,000 expert-led sessions.
2. Highlight skills for the job you want.
Pooja added that it’s important to know how to highlight your skills to potential employers as it signals to them your ability to perform. Thankfully, there are ways you can go about them.
“Spotlight the right skills for the job: Start with the five most relevant skills for the job you want and think broadly about the skills you’ve gained. Make it easy for recruiters to understand your skills set by aligning them with the job you want.
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“Demonstrate how you used your skills: More and more recruiters want to know how and where you’ve used your skills. On LinkedIn, you can add different skills to your Experience section to show future employers what you can do and the value you can bring to their organization. The listed skills will then appear under your Skills section, and will automatically be surfaced for relevant job postings when recruiters are searching for skills.”
3. Create your professional brand.
Recruiters no longer sift through CVs. According to Pooja, recruiters go through your LinkedIn profile as well.
“Today, resumes are no longer the only thing that recruiters look at – your LinkedIn profile says a lot about your strengths and skills, the kinds of people you network with, how you interact with them, the kinds of topics that interest you, and more. Your public profile gives a well-rounded view of what you bring to the table. More importantly, it helps you to distinguish yourself from your peers.”
This is why it’s crucial to build your professional brand by sharing ideas and joining online conversations about the topics, news, people, and organizations you care about.
“This can range from your insights on industry news to ideas for solving professional challenges. You can also share stories about your personal growth, such as the time you picked up something new or stepped out of your comfort zone. This can illustrate your unique abilities that could attract potential employers and recruiters.”
4. Connect with and broaden your network.
“In tough economic times, it becomes more important than ever to have a network that you can lean on and a community to refer to for help when needed,” Pooja said.
Gen Zs stand to benefit a lot if they join professional organizations or networking groups because they’ll assist you in developing your communication and interpersonal skills while you build a network of contacts who’ll be invaluable in your career journey.
“On LinkedIn, applicants are 4x more likely to get hired through their network. Job seekers can see if they have any connections that work in a company that they’re interested in, reach out, and ask for a referral. These connections could prove especially useful in a difficult job market.”
Pooja said that the most engaged LinkedIn profiles have a strong network.
Here are some ways you can grow your LinkedIn community:
- Start by connecting with people you know (this includes your friends, family, colleagues, and people you know outside of work).
- Tend to your network, and share your experiences and ideas while offering help and support to others.
- Follow people you want to learn from.
You can also follow these LinkedIn personalities:
- Crystal Lim-Lange: Delves into re-skilling, building emotional intelligence, and other tricky topics in the modern workplace.
- Jeraldine Phneah: Helps young workers navigate the job market and shares ideas on how to grow professionally.
- Samira Shihab: Offers insightful advice to help job seekers start their career journey and what career success and career growth means today.
“Join professional groups: LinkedIn Groups allow you to tap into a network of professionals who are in the same industry or share similar interests, to stay up-to-date on the latest conversations, share insights and experiences, ask for guidance, and build valuable connections,” Pooja added.
5. No need to focus on just one linear career path.
In the 21st century, professionals are beginning to re-examine their definition of success. This has led to the discovery of other ways to become successful as opposed to the traditional climbing the corporate ladder method.
“Rather than climbing the corporate ladder in a more traditional sense, focus on finding unique ways to grow, gain new skills, and prepare for the unexpected, through routes like volunteering, external projects, and mentorship opportunities that could help you transform your career trajectory. Our career journey is unique to each of us and we need to learn to embrace the ups and downs that come with it,” Pooja explained.