The power of LinkedIn in your job search


Like so many aspects of daily life now, the internet plays a huge role in your job search. There are many elements to this, you might find the job you want to go for advertised online, and now in many cases you might even have your interview online, via a conferencing platform like Zoom or Teams. However, possibly the most useful part of your online job search is LinkedIn.  This powerful professional social medium allows easy access to networking as a key part not only of job search but continuing to communicate with like-minded people who you want to stay in contact with.  It can also use its algorithms to alert you to suitable roles for you to apply to online.

Connection almost 35 million people in the UK

Gone are the days when LinkedIn’s biggest role was to act as a glorified address book. Today it has become a hugely powerful and influential platform for many elements of working life. According to Statista, in September 2022, there were around 34.9 million LinkedIn users in the UK alone, which was up from 34.7 million in the previous month. LinkedIn user numbers have steadily grown throughout 2022 and the platform has witnessed a 17 percent growth in users since September 2020.

Keeping up-to-date with your industry

Users are using the platform to keep abreast of what their colleagues, partners and competitors are up to. Sourcing latest news and best practice from their industries and keeping in touch with their network. This is why it is such an important tool when it comes to job search. You never know who knows who, or who may be looking for someone to join their team.

To make the most of the potential job opportunities on LinkedIn, you need to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and shows you and your work achievements off in the best light. Make sure you are connected to your business contacts and engaging with their posts and comments online – showing interest and expertise. The platform has introduced new icons that you can easily add to your profile now if your business is hiring or if you are looking for work. These provide a quick visual check, but don’t forget, not everyone will want to use them.

Reaching out

You can use LinkedIn to speak to your connections directly too, rather than in the public forum. And if you are particularly interested in working for a certain company or in a certain sector, it is worth reaching out to people individually to see if you can have a chat. It’s amazing how many people are happy to have a conversation, and this softer approach can sometimes lead to solid offers of employment.

The power of LinkedIn – and the networks you develop on there – should never be underestimated. Spend some time on your profile today.



Minding your Ps and Qs


Good manners are an aspect of life that people entirely take for granted. They are also noticed by many people by their absence. People who are gracious do it without really thinking. It’s politeness, it’s the done thing. You say ‘thank you’ when someone serves you in a shop, or gives you a present. You even thank someone when they make you a cuppa. So why not retain that level of thanks for the little things in life, such as the receipt of an email?

Manners matter

In this blog post I’m going to look at something I feel strongly about – the importance of saying thank you and acknowledging what people have done for you, however small. One of the most infuriating things for me is sending off emails (particularly if it’s an important piece of work, or a document) and being left in the dark as to whether the recipient has received it. You wonder if it’s been read and dealt with, when with the unreliability of technology, it’s probably fallen through the cracks and been lost in space – or rather spam or junk.

A simple thanks is all it takes to allow the sender to rest assured that it had landed. It takes seconds to send off a quick acknowledgement – there’s even an ‘autosuggestion’ reply, so you only have to select the reply you want to send.  It’s most worrying, I find, with emails that are time-sensitive. Is your request being acted on? Have they acknowledged that there’s a deadline in place and will soon be looming? It’s sometimes the case that when you follow up your email, they’ve never received it, or they have and are working on what’s required, without having the decency to let you know.

Acknowledging effort

It’s easy to say people don’t notice these things in their busy everyday lives. But some people are so pleased with a genuine thank you, that they will invariably say ‘thank you’ for the ‘thank you’. Part of the need to send a thank you is the importance of being appreciated – there’s nothing worse than feeling taken for granted. Being valued, having your effort acknowledged, is a great morale booster and also creates a great atmosphere at work. Little things like a quick thanks may seem trivial, but being polite also helps with the company’s profile as a whole. A good reputation in this area can lead on to recommendations, and the forging and establishing of future relationships.

In a formal public forum such as LinkedIn, contacts are much more inclined to be seen to be polite and courteous. Why not in all areas of their lives? It’s not something that can be taught, but you can encourage people to be a bit more aware of the issue. If you really want to know that your email has arrived, for example, ensure you include a simple prompt that requests a ‘receipt of message’ reply. When it comes to building a successful business, it’s all about the little details, of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. And you can add to that the good manners of minding your p’s and q’s.


Developing the right environment for growth

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Growing a business is something that is part of every company’s strategy – whether they realise it or not! It is also part of every success story, but often is taken for granted, or simply seen as the day-to-day workings of the business, which ‘growth’ is a by-product of. Sometimes it happens naturally. As more clients are engaged or more products are sold, a larger workforce is needed to carry out the work.

Success leads to expansion, which may lead to diversification, which requires greater knowledge in affiliated fields. This too can lead to growth. The other side of the coin is that the more productive and expert a team becomes, growth will occur naturally in this instance as well. But what do leaders need to do to encourage their team to step up, and how do they grow their future workforce?

Grow your own

There are many ways to grow a company. The most obvious and simplest is to employ more people. This can primarily be done with the recruitment of experts, who possess prior knowledge of the roles, business and sector. Or course, this can be a competitive field, with managers and recruitment agencies battling all kinds of issues affecting the pool of candidates available in the workforce. These issues, some of which we’ve touched on in other blogs, are things like the departure of expert talent due to early retirement, better opportunities elsewhere and the long-lasting effects of the pandemic on supply and demand. Engaging with your workforce – making them feel valued, acknowledging their efforts – will encourage them to remain loyal and will also keep morale high. Both of these things will also help growth thrive.

Gaining knowledge

Alternatively, recruitment for growth can be part of an in-house training programme that will strengthen a business. This will make sure that by ‘growing your own’ you retain the vital skills at a time when there is a widespread shortage in all kinds of areas and sectors. Keeping knowledge in-house with promotion and mentoring will encourage talent to remain within the company. Many firms are keen to have staff improving their skills and knowledge, either in refresher or training courses, or with industry accreditation and degrees at all levels. It enhances the company’s reputation and provides staff and management with the right message of self-development and academic improvement.

The right environment

Developing the right environment for growth is a vital part of the process. Positive workspaces can have all kinds of residual benefits. Encouraging staff to use their initiative, to look for new opportunities and find new challenges, itself encourages growth. Expansion and diversification – new markets, new knowledge – will result in growth too, when the opportunity arises. And when it comes to higher level roles, senior teams and first level managers need to provide role models for each other. In this way, the management teams of tomorrow are already in place, as part of a natural progression and onward expansion and success.


Reset your job search and revitalise your CV


The start of the year always brings promises of new beginnings, either from a personal or professional stand point. If 2023 marks the start of the search for a new role – or you have been looking for a while without the success you were hoping for – then now might be a good time to revisit your CV and make sure it’s showing you in the best light.

While there is no such thing as the perfect CV, the one we tend to recommend at Career Evolution, is using the STAR approach. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action and Result – a process that is often recommended to be used to answer interview questions about past employment, but can also be easily transferred into a way of setting out your CV. Using STAR allows you to demonstrate your practical aptitude for the role, with examples of how you have surmounted challenges and approached your work in similar arenas in the past. It’s a great way to show what you are capable of and how you have used your skillset in specific situations.

Using STAR in CVs

The four-part STAR process can easily be applied to CV writing. Before you begin, look at the job description and the requirements the potential employer is looking for. Think about how well suited you are to the role and see whether your CV can be tweaked to show your skills for the role. Think too about instances in your own career where you have shined. Instances that show how you have used your key skills, intuition and experience to address challenges that would be applicable in the role you are seeking.

Then use the STAR methodology in the skills section of your CV. Choose three or four key skills that are essential to the role that you’d like to showcase and create some written responses around them in the STAR style – imagine you’re answering interview questions about yourself and write your responses down. So instead of simply listing out your skills in the workplace, you create a series of bullet points, with illustrative examples.

Demonstrating value

Many people looking for new positions find that STAR allows them to demonstrate their value in real terms, in real-life situations. It also allows you to go into a few specifics of detail, with the context of the details clearly outlined – for example, rather than simply noting ‘good team worker’ demonstrate how you work well within a team.

If you think this practical approach may be beneficial to you, have a go yourself. Choose one of your past job situations and create a STAR analysis of the salient points where you were successful in the role, following the STAR subheadings process. Candidates using the STAR method find this linear approach gives them focus and structure when pulling their CV together, to create a body of writing that both reflects their experiences but will also be attractive to potential employers.