Moi! (“Hey” in Finnish.) We are so happy to have you back with us for round three! Welcome into the ring:
Step 3. Revamp your linkedin:
LinkedIn announced recently that it has reached over 350 million registered users. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, please create an account as soon as possible.
We are a collage of our impressions, experiences and accomplishments. Regardless of the the job you are targeting, it is crucial to update your LinkedIn to be professional, concise and representative of who you are. Remember that LinkedIn is the public representation of your professional self. Therefore, underestimating the power of its capacity may be counterproductive for the advancement of your international career.
Don’t be afraid to ask previous employers and coworkers to write references for each of your job history entries. In return, you may offer to do the same. Recommendations play an important role in differentiating your LindkedIn from your CV/Resume. It adds a real dimension to your profile. Headhunters and future employers or business partners will rely on it heavily to understand your role and interaction within your professional cosmos.
Next, get an outsider’s perspective by asking someone who does not know you or your background very well to read through it and provide feedback. – If you have a friend who writes well and could spare some time out of her/his day to edit your spelling and grammar, do not hesitate to ask them.
Target individuals of interest that share the same profession that you are interested in. Look for experts in your field. Offer to meet for coffee or to go to their office or workplace to do a 3 question interview. Take your time to research about the person’s professional and personal profile. You would be surprised how generous strangers can be when presented with a targeted and structured request.
Below is a sample of LinkedIn approaches I have done in the past. Also, it may be easier to add someone closer to your in the shared links section (people you both know in common). My colleague Djemila Zouyene, suggested to join a LinkedIn Group to which this person belongs, and then you will be able to send them a personal message without having to update your profile to the Premium option.
Dear (Name of the person),
I hope that you are having a fantastic week so far.
This is Valentina Stoeckler, a recent graduate from the International University in Geneva – Master in International Relations and Diplomacy.
I am contacting you because I noticed that you do not only have an impressive and admiring professional trajectory, but also because I have always envisioned myself doing what you do for a living; helping others to achieve their maximum potential. I know that you are a prolific scholar in the field of gender justice and that you are highly involved with organisations empowering women in diverse areas of the labor market in Europe, and specifically in Switzerland.
I have had the opportunity to work in the empowerment of women area for the past five years (NGO’s, International organisations – UN system, and Think Tanks) across the US, Asia Pacific, and now Europe.. However, since I moved to the Zürich area upon the completion of my M/A studies in Geneva, I noticed that the women empowerment arena can be limited. I would truly appreciate if you would take 20 minutes of your time to share with me some key strategies on how to transition into the Swiss-German market.
I am interested in exploring the areas of diversity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility, sustainability of the human capital, and last but not least, gender justice. Please note that I would love to volunteer my time and assist you with the workshops you do.
Any piece of advise or suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Please kindly advise a convenient date and time for me to reach you over the phone.
I would like to point out that after sending the above message, this person and I held a 40 minute phone conversation and subsequently invited me to participate in a networking event from the Professional Women’s Network – Zug/Zurich Charter where I met my current mentor and two amazing women with whom I work with today.
You can also send messages to headhunters specialised on your field.
This may be seen as a small step, but it holds high importance, as this is the first informational background check on you that can be done by the people looking at your application or searching for someone from your field to work in their company.
LinkedIn is an inimitable resource for expanding your professional network and staying in touch with past coworkers and supervisors. -Use it well.
We are leaving a footprint on this planet, and portraying your agility and resourcefulness is essential for the workplace of the future! 😉