Some thoughts on using this challenging time to be in the best possible place once we return to normal life – which of course we will.
I am always keen to press that moving on from policing into the private sector should be given time and consideration to make the right choices. Well, now we have time and you can absolutely use it well.
Companies have been concentrating on setting up their remote working networks but I think now, as everyone settles to this new world, there may be a little more time, and interest, in stopping and speaking.
Just the time perhaps for specialist recruiters to speak via LinkedIn with potential future candidates (YOU) or for you to engage in relaxed conversations with people who work in any of the companies you are currently interested in. This is the ideal time to ask questions (structured and initially closed please) and build up connections with an eye to refreshing these links once recruitment starts again – and it will.
I have been asking around those settling into home working and (with a smile) I am reliably told there is a lot of chatting and scanning of LinkedIn happening. After all, LinkedIn is work isn’t it?
To those who have worked directly with me, you will know the benefits of reaching out and connecting meaningfully across LinkedIn – because goodness knows I am passionate about the benefits of doing so. By meaningfully, I mean do more than just accepting or sending a request to connect – this is not enough. Send that request but add a note as to why you would like to connect – not only does this make it easier to have requests accepted it can set up new conversations – this is so important.
Latest statistics suggest that around 70% of new hires come through connections – this is not ‘jobs from friends’ but through conversations and serendipitous events and without joining any elite groups – just building up your own fabulous network, even from scratch. Just speaking to others and building a positive connection is utterly invaluable – I know this absolutely through nine years of leading this project.
I do know this is particularly challenging for police officers – you are often great at speaking about policing matters but not so hot on asking for something for yourself. I believe this is borne from a long career of being asked to help, resolve, deal with – the wave of need coming your way is a constant. But now, reaching out the other way – asking for advice or guidance can feel so very odd. Take heart – that is what most people on the ‘other side’ are doing; understanding it is a two way street with help offered and help received.
Some other points on using LinkedIn usefully –
- Get your CV and then your profile up to scratch. Working with us is, of course, the best option but if that is not for you do make sure you are presenting yourself really well – no lists of job descriptions, please. Sell yourself to stand out. But know – just having a great CV is not enough – you need to understand what to do next.
- Tread carefully around comments. Do absolutely use them as they can demonstrate your intelligence and energy and so are very helpful indeed – but do not contribute when you are feeling down or frustrated. One of the benefits of LinkedIn is that every comment is attributable – knowing this should make sure people remain polite and helpful. However, when used to vent it tends to backfire. Think of a recruiter looking at a profile and feeling impressed – they might have found the ideal candidate! On they go and take a look at everything that person has said on LinkedIn and perhaps see complaints, negativity and the apparent unfairness of it all! They will move on rapidly to a more positive candidate. Upsetting perhaps (although you will potentially never know it happened) but that is the reality – you would do the same thing in their position.
- Do not just guess how to use LinkedIn – it is now a vitally important component around career progression. Please, do not just take a chance and guess.
We are here, working, as we always have, remotely on all things CV and LinkedIn. Do pick up the phone and speak 01737 831700 or drop us a note – you are not alone and there is much you can be doing to set yourself in the perfect place once the world comes back to full swing again. And I would bet that the energy people will return with will be remarkable with a new found gratitude and enthusiasm. We are keen that you will be a part of that wave.