Being the perfect match for a job requires so much more than possessing the right experience from previous positions. Besides having the right qualifications, relevant education and being located in (or willing to move to) the right location, you also need to be a match with the organizational culture, their corporate values and your potential new colleagues.
In a job interview, the chemistry between the candidate and the hiring manager - and perhaps even the rest of the recruitment team - is very important. If you are the joking type and used to be the centre of attention, it may be difficult for you to fit into a team of very serious accountants. Ultimately, this may mean that you are not the best match for the position.
Finally, being able to prove that you have great passion for what you do may be the final detail that pushes you from the “maybe relevant candidates” pile to the “schedule an interview” pile.
For instance, if you 're a very humorous, person, adding a little humor to your profile may be a good idea, but other personal traits may not be showcased as easily through LinkedIn.
Conveying your great personality - by using keywords, a short summary and a (professional) profile picture - is very challenging for most people. All recruiters and hiring managers have seen hundreds of resumes and cover letters filled with empty words, describing the applicant as “positive, proactive, passionate and committed to their work,” without any substance underpinning these assertions. In the initial part of the screening process, when you haven't met your recruiter yet, you need to communicate the right things in order to get to the next step where you show off more of your personality.
Most recruiters search exclusively for "hard skills" or professional qualifications when sourcing candidates through LinkedIn. This, however, does not mean that your personality is irrelevant. Below we have listed a few tips on how to make your personality shine through on your profile, increasing the likelihood of a better match between you and a potential new employer:
1) Join groups related to your industry
Anyone can write on their LinkedIn profile that they “have a great passion for the oil and gas industry”, but how can a recruiter know that you're serious about this? Your employment history may tell a completely different story and it’s your responsibility to showcase this passion if your goal is to land a position at one of the major players in business.
Signing up for membership in groups that share content specifically related to your area of work shows that you have a real interest in keeping up with what is going on within your industry.
Joining relevant groups also increases your profile’s findability in terms of hard skills.
2) Share and comment
Actively sharing and commenting on content related to your industry is also a way of showing that you are engaged and passionate about what you do. Even content not directed towards your specific industry may be worth taking a minute to engage with. For example, if you state on your profile that you are interested in politics, commenting on a post about how a minister handles a specific case, shows that you are dedicated to what interests you. Just remember to keep a professional tone and avoid making statements that are too controversial.
Sharing and commenting on both industry and non-industry specific content both increases your visibility and builds your personal brand – including your personality.
Stay tuned for part two of this blog post next week.