August 15, 2023

Optimize your LinkedIn Profile ft LinkedIn Expert

LinkedIn is the single most important tool in your arsenal to find a job commensurate with your experience. Put in time and effort and you will see the results!

Whether you’re a recent graduate, an aspiring professional, or someone looking to make a career transition, there’s one tiny app that can make a BIG difference – LinkedIn! 🌐

Now, you might be wondering, “What’s the big deal with LinkedIn? Is it just another social platform for professionals? I can go to Indeed and other platforms to get a job.”

The answer is simple!

This tiny but mighty app can open doors you never knew existed! It’s not just about finding a job; it’s about connecting with professionals, getting opportunities to network, showcasing your skills and accomplishments, finding jobs (obviously) and creating your personal brand!

Therefore, instead of focusing on being “Like-able”, let’s become “Link-able”.

In this edition of our newsletter, we have joined forces with the one and only LinkedIn expert, HAMMAD SIDDIQUI (CBEMC) (IOM).

With over 61K followers, he’s the OG (Original Guru) of LinkedIn! He knows the ins and outs of the platform like nobody else.

Let’s talk about Hammad’s biography a bit before we focus on how to optimize our LinkedIn profiles and navigate the treacherous waters of job hunting.

(A heads up, all the questions you’ll find in this Newsletter were asked by some of the awesome folks who attended our Wednesday meet-ups. If you’re itching to see your own questions featured here, then join our free online sessions and shoot us your questions.)

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🎯 Nick: Hammad, please tell us a bit about your Journey.

Hammad:I started my career at the age of 18 by offering tutoring. My first formal job was in sales. I liked it and learned the art of customer service and problem solving. I did my Masters in Economics and joined the British Deputy High Commission in the Trade and Investment Department. In 1995, I became the Head of Trade and Investment for Pakistan. In 2006, I was recruited by the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), a global non-profit affiliated with the US Chamber of Commerce. With CIPE, I worked in the whole of South Asia and Asia, including projects in Iran and Afghanistan. In 2019, I returned to Canada, and in 2020, I stated my Global Coaching and Mentoring Programmes that are focused on professionals in career transition and challenging situations, such as newcomers to Canada.

🎯 Nick: Please tell us what are some of the issues that newcomers face in Canada?

Hammad: In my experience, almost 90% of newcomers who land in Canada for the first time get a cultural shock! Which is quite natural. Secondly, the job search dynamics are very different in their home countries. I often say that the Hiring System in Canada is outdated and not focused on hiring for value. Back at home, we had social capital and local knowledge; in the absence of these two, job searching becomes a nightmare. Instead of aggressively looking for a job, we need to develop our understanding of the market, build our network, fix our resumes, join LinkedIn, and do some volunteering to position ourselves.

🎯 Nick: What are top five things you would suggest newcomers should do to improve their LinkedIn?

Hammad: LinkedIn is an opportunity-based platform; job search is just one little feature LinkedIn offers.

First of all, newcomers should start by optimizing their LinkedIn profile, which will act as a stepping stone to future opportunities. This is mainly because, by optimizing your profile, it gets aligned with a specific job market.

The next step is content targeting and building a focused network. I have noticed that many newcomers lack a proper understanding of LinkedIn’s features. A free profile has around 50 features; however, users are unaware of the power of these features.

Come on! 58 million companies are on LinkedIn; they are doing something there!

I consider LinkedIn to be one of the most important part of the job search journey, a tool that is not only underutilized but also underestimated.

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🎯 Ojasvi PawarCould you please provide some tips on professional headshot?

When it comes to professional headshots, it’s important to present yourself in the best possible light. While Snapchat filters may enhance your appearance, it’s advisable to avoid using them for professional headshots. Instead, opt for a high-quality image that accurately represents your professional persona.

It’s crucial to avoid taking a selfie and ensure that there are no distracting elements in the background. Keep the focus solely on yourself to maintain a clean and professional look.

When posing for the headshot, wearing a smile can help create a positive and approachable image. Additionally, looking slightly up can enhance your confidence and give a more engaging impression. Remember, the goal of a professional headshot is to convey professionalism, credibility, and authenticity, so be sure to choose an image that reflects these qualities.

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🎯 Ritu Tiwary, MBA (HRM)Should we include our immigration status on our profile?

When deciding whether to include your immigration status on your profile, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, if you are currently in Canada and have legal status to work or reside there, it is not necessary to explicitly mention your immigration status. Canadian employers are generally more concerned with your qualifications, skills, and experience.

🎯 Hazel DsouzaHow can one make their profile stand out?

To make your profile shine, focus on three key elements: Complete it, optimize it for the respective job and sector, and actively use it.

Firstly, ensure your profile is comprehensive, providing detailed information about your professional experience, education, skills, and accomplishments. Including a professional headshot and a compelling summary will also enhance your profile’s appeal.

Secondly, optimize your profile for the specific job or industry you’re targeting. Tailor your headline, job titles, and descriptions to align with relevant keywords and phrases. Use concise, action-oriented language to highlight your achievements and demonstrate your expertise in the desired field.

Lastly, actively engage with LinkedIn by participating in discussions, sharing valuable content, and networking with professionals in your industry. Join relevant groups, publish articles or posts showcasing your knowledge, and regularly update your profile to reflect new accomplishments or projects.

Remember, a standout LinkedIn profile will make a lasting impression and will make you stand out.

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🎯 Anam HaleemHow can one showcase their language skills effectively?

To showcase your language skills on LinkedIn, it’s essential to highlight them in the “Language” sections. But remember, your focus should be more on demonstrating your “Communication skills”. Here are a few tips:

Write engaging posts: Share insightful articles, industry updates, or thought-provoking content in your target language. This demonstrates your ability to express yourself coherently and showcases your language skills to your connections.

Comment on relevant posts: Engage in conversations by leaving thoughtful comments on posts related to your field or areas of expertise. Ensure your comments add value to the discussion.

Share multimedia content: Utilize different forms of media, such as videos or podcasts, to showcase your language skills.

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🎯 Hazel DsouzaHow do I highlight my international experience effectively?

International experience is a valuable asset that can set you apart from the crowd. Often people leave the experience section incomplete, complete it. Also, its more about what you can do. Experience is often secondary. If you can show your skills to do a job, you are good.

Here are a few tips to help you achieve this:

  1. Emphasize cultural adaptability: Highlight your ability to navigate diverse cultures and work effectively in multicultural environments. This demonstrates your flexibility, open-mindedness, and adaptability.
  2. Highlight problem-solving and communication skills: Describe situations where you successfully resolved challenges in cross-cultural settings. Effective communication and problem-solving skills are essential when working with people from different backgrounds.
  3. Demonstrate global perspective: Discuss how your international experience has broadened your understanding of global issues and your ability to approach problems from a global perspective.

Remember, it’s not just about listing your international experiences, but also highlighting the skills and qualities you developed during those experiences.

🎯 Anushree (Annee) Sharma, MBAHow do I expand my network and connect with professionals?

Ah, networking, the backbone of LinkedIn! There are various techniques that are given in detailed manner in my course. But to provide a quick response, utilize the search bar to find relevant conversations and engage with active connections in your industry. When reaching out to professionals, it’s essential to personalize your approach. Instead of simply sending a generic connection request, take a moment to craft a short note explaining that you’re interested in networking and learning, rather than seeking immediate job opportunities. This genuine approach will likely yield better responses.

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🎯 Ojasvi PawarShould I mention my credentials and certifications from my home country?

Absolutely! Your credentials and certifications from your home country hold value and can be an advantage in the Canadian job market.

🎯 Ritu Tiwary, MBA (HRM)How do I tailor my profile to the Canadian job market?

To begin, conduct thorough research on the Canadian job market to identify specific industries and sectors that are growing or experiencing high demand. This will enable you to align your skills and experience accordingly. Keep an eye on job boards, industry news, and networking platforms to stay updated.

Highlighting your team skills is crucial since collaboration and cooperation are highly valued in Canadian workplaces. Showcase instances where you effectively worked in teams, highlighting your ability to contribute and adapt within diverse group settings.

Canadian employers value inclusivity and appreciate individuals who can contribute to diverse teams. Highlight any experience or achievements that demonstrate your ability to work with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

Lastly, emphasize your communication skills. Clear and effective communication is essential for success in any role.

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We’ve shared a few questions in this newsletter to get the ball rolling. If you’re interested in joining our exclusive community and staying informed with the latest knowledge, here’s how you can get started:

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We, as a community of immigrants dedicated to supporting fellow newcomers, prioritize creating a secure environment where professionals can come together and interact. Join us by signing up at www.immigrantnetworks.com and gaining access to our exclusive WhatsApp group, where you can arrange personalized one-on-one sessions with our Ambassadors for mock interviews, LinkedIn profile reviews, and so much more. Please be aware that this group is exclusively for users with Canadian cell phone numbers.

So, what are you waiting for?

Let’s become Link-able!

Spread the word about this newsletter and share your valuable feedback with us. In the upcoming edition, we’ll dive further into the art of enhancing our LinkedIn profiles. So, keep an eye out for exciting updates!

Networking to get working! 💪

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