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Learnings from a Future17 LinkedIn Webinar with Elena Sabry (Part 1)

About the author: Albert Andemir’irenge Gubanja is the President of QS ImpACT DRC. He is also a software engineer and a Masters student in Information System Security at Strathmore University. He is a social and community leader, who believes that “if I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”. 

Albert attended the LinkedIn for Young Professionals Webinar for Future17 students and alumni last March 29, 2023. Future17 is a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary program for undergraduate & postgraduate students that focused on developing 21st-century skills and addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more about the program here.

According to employment professionals, LinkedIn is among the best social networks to find job opportunities worldwide. Many employees have already given their testimony of finding employment on LinkedIn, some during and others just at the end of their academic journey. However, there are a large number of qualified and expert young professionals who, despite being present on LinkedIn, struggle to find employment. They constantly wonder why employers never consider their applications despite their skills and expertise. 

In this blog post, enlightened by the LinkedIn for Young Professionals Webinar hosted by Elena Sabry on behalf of Future17 on March 29, 2023, I will present how to expand our network and easily connect to the various opportunities available on LinkedIn.

To easily understand this topic, it was important to enhance our understanding of a leader. It is a question that needs to be answered by everyone who needs to progress in any professional career. So, who is a leader? Or what is the main quality of a leader? 

According to Elena Sabry, a Leader is:

  • Someone who stands for something.
    • Here are some questions to think about: What do you stand for? What are your values? 
    • Before writing a resume, it is crucial to know who we want to become, to understand our values, and to understand ourselves. 
  • Someone who has the ability to make powerful decisions that can help others to do something better and/or follow him. 
    • It is someone who has a strong point of view and which makes him powerful to influence his environment. 
    • Think about: how do you make your most powerful decisions? What are these decisions based on? A thing to note is that there is no possibility to influence others to do something and help them to follow us if we are not powerful. 
    • “In many situations, if we want to gain influence, we must become more powerful” (Sally Hogshead, author of How to Fascinate).

Skills in demand in 2023

There are two kinds of skills: soft skills and hard skills. The soft skills are those which are non-technical skills. They are usually common to many fields. They are a requirement for any professional job. Hard skills are technical and related to specific fields like computing, commercial businesses, economy, etc.

According to Elena Sabry , these are the most in-demand skills in 2023:

Before going on LinkedIn for job opportunities, we must evaluate our skills and get more skilled for employers to get interested in our Profile. Learning how to communicate and how to market yourself is key. To know more about most in-demand skills, visit this link: LinkedIn 2023 Most In-Demand Skills: Learn the Skills Companies Need Most

LinkedIn Profile Evaluation

Let us start by a very short but important test. Respond by “YES” or “NO” to the 10 questions listed below. YES = 1 point and NO = 0 point. There is no wrong answer. The aim is to be honest so that we can be able to improve our LinkedIn account.

  1. Do you have a complete, branded, client-focused profile with your services?
  2. Do you have a well-connected network of over 5,000 followers?
  3. Do you publish and share regular content to demonstrate your expertise?
  4. Do you comment on others’ posts?
  5. Do you engage with your connections: like, comment, connect?
  6. Do you have recent recommendations from clients?
  7. Have you been published by respected media sources, blogs, and podcasts?
  8. Do you speak at professional events and industry conferences?
  9. Do you partner with other credible business leaders and organizations?
  10. Do you get clients’ requests and leads for your services?

Sum up your results and compare to this table for interpretation:

How many points did you get? How can you optimize your LinkedIn profile to attract more opportunities? Watch out for Part 2 of this blog.

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