World

I paid a company R400 to update my LinkedIn profile – here’s what happened

After nearly seven years working in the same job position, right out of university, and repeated complaints from my boss updating my work experience, I paid a company to update my LinkedIn profile.

Many recruitment and resume companies now offer LinkedIn profiling services, as companies increasingly choose to hire directly through the platform instead of using more traditional job-matching services. LinkedIn is also increasingly used for networking purposes, with those in similar professions sharing business information and opportunities on the platform.

“Job seekers and hiring managers should consider a good LinkedIn profile as the first introduction for each other, the little ‘hook’ that makes the other party want to know more,” said Advaita Naidoo, Director: Africa at recruitment company Jack Hammer Global.

“While a skilled recruiter or hiring manager should never fire someone who does not have an updated LinkedIn profile, having an active and up-to-date online presence will certainly set you apart from other candidates early on.”

While some people are uncomfortable building a ‘personal brand’ in an overly striking way, a well-rounded LinkedIn profile can provide insight into you as a person, she said.

“If you’re hoping to get noticed by people outside of South Africa, you have to assume that they may not know much about the market in which you are working, so work out your career highlights, and the context in which they were. achieved, gives you an advantage.

“Formal cover letters are less relevant in today’s hiring process, but being able to talk about what makes you a good candidate for a role is still important.”


R400 to update my profile

I chose to use an international company to update my LinkedIn profile because they promised a two day cover period as opposed to a week or more quoted by South African companies. However, this fast turnaround time and international service came at a cost – £ 20 (R399) – apparently high for a social media post update.

Because the whole process took place online, there was also very little feedback on what I would get, whether I would have to submit my login information so that they could edit my account, or that they would create a completely new profile from the beginning and then hand it over to me.

I was wrong on both accounts. Instead, I was offered a closer ‘cookie recipe’, detailing the various areas of my LinkedIn profile to update based on the information I provided.

The point-by-point instructions were taken from my provided curriculum vitae with word changes specifically suited for LinkedIn. This includes a list of keywords to include that are considered necessary in my profession.

By all accounts, the most valuable piece of information was a list of skills that were compiled directly for my profile and will come up in search terms. Recruiters use these terms to limit potential hires, and employees risk missing potential opportunities if they do not appear in searches.

I also received more general advice about my LinkedIn profile, including an optimal picture, what information to leave, and what specific areas to accentuate.

I was encouraged to choose a professional photo in formal wear for my profile photo. Although it was noted that a professional photographer is not necessary, it was made clear that those with a professional headshot tend to attract more views.

When you take your own photo, there are ways you can ensure that the image measures up to the rest of your testimonials, with various internet guides and YouTube videos dedicated to an optimal photo.

I was also encouraged to look at the photos of my connections and others in my career field to see what their photos and overall profiles look like.

“LinkedIn is constantly updating the type of content you can add about yourself and candidates can choose and choose what information they want to share,” Naidoo said.

At a high level, the non-negotiable elements are:

  • A great photo, taken in a professional setting. Humans are visual creatures and a great headshot, with a smiling and accessible subject, will warm your audience for you.
  • An interesting headline. It is a misconception that your header should only reflect your job title. If you want to make your profile stand out, you need to feel free to capture the “essence” of who you are in your head.
  • But make sure you include somewhere in your profile what you are actually doing for a job.
  • A written story of who you are, including what your career highlights have been and what your aspirations are – there is room for that in the summary section.
  • Your work history, including relevant dates and promotions along the way. This shows that your contributions are recognized and that you have progressed at a good pace.

What to take out

While some personal touches, to reflect your personality are fantastic, the things that should not be on your profile are:

  • Inappropriate or risky content. You would think this is obvious, but there are still many profiles that are simply not suitable for work.
  • Criticism of former bosses or companies, even if the tongue is in the cheek. It marks you as unprofessional.
  • Old or irrelevant roles that do not affect your work today.
  • Careless mistakes and typos – this is the first impression of your future employer, so ask a trusted advisor to read your profile update before publishing it.
  • Information that is incorrect or incorrect. While it can be tempting to embellish your performance a bit, make sure everything you record is verified.


What is it worth?

While I am not currently actively applying for jobs or currently seeking to relocate positions, paying for a LinkedIn update gave me better insight into the hiring process and what exactly is being looked for by recruiters.

While much of the advice given was based on common sense, there certainly seems to be value in having skills and search terms optimized for your specific profession. There is also something to be said for paying a professional firm to update your profile – especially if you are unemployed or actively looking for work.

LinkedIn itself has pointed to an ‘unprecedented’ change in jobs in 2021, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated uncertainty.

“Companies needed to step up to attract and retain talent – from offering more opportunities for promotion and acquiring new skills to increasing flexibility,” the company said.

“This was also the case in South Africa, where one survey found that staff turnover had increased by 16% last year in all sectors and that almost a third of survey participants indicated that they had difficulty finding new attracting or retaining their existing talent.Many changes have put employees and job seekers in the driver’s chair, causing them to rethink what they expect from an employer today.


To read: 10 jobs that currently offer the most work-from-home options in South Africa

I paid a company R400 to update my LinkedIn profile – here’s what happened

Source link I paid a company R400 to update my LinkedIn profile – here’s what happened

Back to top button