90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates. What makes a great professional profile? What makes your profile stand out to recruiters and managers? We recently had a webinar where talent acquisition experts Gibran Visram (Bridge International Academies), Thuvi Wijenathan (Jumia, Kenya) and Melody Roth-Ng’eno (Kipawa) shared their hacks on creating a winning professional profile.

There isn’t one specific way of building your LinkedIn profile otherwise we would all have the same profile. As you put your profile together, here are some tips to help you create a professional profile that attracts hiring managers.

General guidelines on building your LinkedIn profile

To build a winning profile, the first step is to clearly understand why you are creating it. This will guide your messaging throughout your profile. Ask yourself, “Who is my target audience?” Your messaging is important as it will make your profile attractive to potential employers and recruiters.

A LinkedIn profile has the following key sections that you should focus on:

  1. Profile picture: It is recommended that you should have a professional picture on your LinkedIn profile. This is the image of you that people see when they come to your profile. Your picture should:
    • Be clear with a high resolution.
    • Have a gentle smile as it goes a long way.
    • Have a professional look – dress professionally on your picture.
    • Have a picture of you – avoid pictures of places or other people as recruiters are interested in you, only you.
    • Always aim for straight angled pics, ensure you face the camera.
    • Let your face be the star, aim for photos that capture your face, from shoulders up.

  1. Your full names: The name captured on your profile should be exactly the same as the name captured in your CV. Inconsistency in your own identification is a huge turn off for recruiters and confuses them as well.
  2. Headline (Tagline): Make sure your header is related to what you do. For recruiters, it can be confusing when your header is unrelated to what you do. You can include your current role and where you work, key buzz words around your profession, the value that you add or create or your areas of specialization.
  3. Summary (Brief Bio): This is basically a summary section.  Here, you want to think through the main purpose of your profile, is it for commercial purposes? Is it personal? If it is personal, ensure to highlight your career interests and specializations as well as:
    • A snapshot of who you are;
    • An overall career summary; and
    • Remember that it is not an actual resume. It should not be too long, avoid long paragraphs.
  1. Portfolio: You may choose to add links to your vlogs/ blogs and social media pages if applicable to your field of work e.g. Digital Marketers. Test to see if your links work, you could lose your audience in the event that it doesn’t work.
  2. Your Availability (this is optional): There are several steps to indicate your availability on LinkedIn. Take your time through this, it helps recruiters find you faster. You can choose to activate this feature or not.
  3. Work Experience: Describe your current and previous work experience, including the dates of employment and the companies where you worked. We recommend that you include your outcomes or results as opposed to your list of tasks and responsibilities.
  4. Key Skills: Out of the wide variety of skills that LinkedIn will give you, pick only the relevant skills. This is important because if you fall into the temptation of having a large number of skills, it will confuse recruiters as to what your specific field actually is. For developers/technical background, you can indicate specific technical skills, for example, Python programming language etc.
  5. Education: Indicate your education background, the dates and institutions where you studied.
  6. Languages: It is important to include the languages you are proficient in, this helps recruiters find you on LinkedIn.
  7. Recommendations: You can ask peers or previous supervisors to write a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. It adds value and helps to give recruiters an indication of your experience from a different person.

Some Do’s to help you in creating your LinkedIn profile:

  • Focus on evidence over adjectives, actualise instead of sensationalising e.g. say, “Demonstrated strong track record in sales by boosting revenue by 250% in 2019,” instead of “I have an unmatched world class sales ability with an extra ordinary track record.”
  • Clearly outline all your achievements and interests, previous roles, scholarships, conferences, contests etc.
  • Show your areas of interest, these could be certifications or volunteering programmes.
  • When it comes to your achievements, relevant data can make your profile attractive.
  • You can identify buzzwords that you can use on your profile by looking through job descriptions, roles of interest and benchmarking profiles of people within your field. Check for relevant common phrases.
  • Keep your profile as brief as possible. Your profile is a snapshot of your resume. Too much content can be confusing.
  • Proofread your profile. You cannot claim to be detailed oriented if you have small mistakes in your profile and resume.
  • Data Integrity: Ensure the data in your profile lines up with what is in your resume, name, job title etc.

Here are some don’ts:

  • Do not criticize any person or organization.
  • Do not upload or use inappropriate images or videos. Avoid unprofessional settings, or non-business-like environments like parties etc.
  • Avoid posting political or religious rants.
  • Avoid spelling or grammar errors, right from your own name.
  • Do not share or upload confidential/proprietary information such as company reports, plans etc.
  • Do not use mindless language on your comments to other user’s posts and status updates.
  • Do not use 3rd person in your summary. Instead use “I”.

In conclusion, ensure that your profile is presentable especially if you are looking for job opportunities. You have to take some time to create a winning profile so as to position you for your next job opportunity.

Click here to access the webinar as well as the presentation.

 

By Cynthia Omayya, Human Resource Associate at Kipawa

Did you know that 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates? At Kipawa, we have a good idea of what makes a great professional profile and how to make yours stand out to recruiters and HR Managers. Take advantage of this time to work on your professional profile and master the art of personal branding through your online profile.

Join our webinar on June 25th at 1:30pm EAT where talent acquisition experts Gibran Visram (Bridge International Academies), Thuvi Wijenathan (Jumia Kenya) and Melody Roth-Ng’eno (Kipawa) will share their hacks on creating a winning professional profile.

Register here to attend this webinar!

 

Legal guidance for employers and employees

The arrival of coronavirus and its impact on the economy in Kenya was inevitable. With the immediate measures taken in March to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19, thousands of workers were asked to work from home. The subsequent economic recession has rendered employment contracts temporarily or even permanently difficult to uphold for many employers and a new unwelcomed norm emerged. Some employees have been forced to leave their company, some got pay cuts or were asked to take unpaid leave without any compensation.

What does the law say in this situation of Force Majeure? What can employers do and what can employees expect from their company?

Advocates Henry Faraji, specialist in corporate, employment and labor law, and Johnson Kariuki, specialist in corporate and commercial law, answered some of the most asked questions in our recent webinar. Here are some of the main highlights:

  1. Contractual Obligations.

A) ‘Force Majeure’

Force majeure as quoted by Advocate Henry is an unforeseen event where one contracting party is not able to perform or fulfil their obligations due to unforeseen circumstances.

A force majeure clause can be invoked subject to various conditions. However, if an employer intends to invoke force majeure due to COVID-19, they must be able to prove a clear performance impossibility linked to COVID-19, that they could not have foreseen beforehand.

You CAN NOT rely on force majeure if:

  • It is not expressed in the contract in written form;
  • The clause is present in the contract but does not cover the current coronavirus pandemic or governmental actions,

In this context, instead of relying on Force Majeure, the contractual parties should undertake various measures to mitigate potential contractual liabilities that the COVID-19 made temporarily or permanently impossible to perform.

 

B) Frustration

In the absence of a force majeure clause in a contract, employers can rely on the doctrine of frustration, it automatically terminates the contract and neither party will no longer be bound to their obligations.

The main purpose of frustration is to avoid unfairness where there is a momentous change in circumstance and neither party is at fault.

 

2. Employment Contracts.

The current measures that have been taken to fight and control COVID-19 have several effects on the current employment contracts/relationships. Advocate Johnson highlighted the various related legal issues:

A) Leave

Unpaid leave: The Employment Act is silent on the matter of unpaid leave. Advocate Jonhson suggests the employer consult with the employee, and if the employee consents, the employer must issue formal writing on the mutually agreed changes to the employee.

Borrowed paid leave: There is no provision in the Employment Act for leave taken from another year, the law only provides for the current calendar year. Advocate Johnson advised a mutual agreement when taking this approach.

 

B) Pay cuts

An employer cannot unilaterally change the terms and conditions of an employment contract if the change is going to be detrimental to the employee. If an employer decides to implement pay cuts, written consent from the employee is necessary.

 

C) Redundancy

During this period, many employment contracts will be terminated on account of redundancy.

Section 2 of the Employment Act defines redundancy as “the loss of employment, occupation, job or career by involuntary means through no fault of an employee, involving termination of employment at the initiative of the employer”.

These circumstances can occur for example if the employer has ceased, or intends to cease continuing business, or if the requirement for the employee to perform a specific type of work, or to conduct it at the usual, has ceased or diminished.

However, if the termination of employment arises from the above definition or examples, Section 40(1) of the Employment Act provides the 7 procedural legal requirements to be met by the employee.

 

As earlier stated, these are just some highlights, for more detailed information, you can re-watch the webinar hereThe intent of the contents of this article is to provide general guidance on the subject matter. Seek specialist advice about your specific circumstances.

 

Cynthia Omayya, Human Resource Associate, Kipawa.

    

Organizations need to understand the age distribution of the workforce so as to develop strategies that attract and maintain their unique skills. Effective team management is a core skill for high performing teams. In the wake of COVID-19, most organizations have switched to remote working and it is important to understand the different generations to assist them best in this transition.

What is a multigenerational workforce?

Each generation is shaped by their birth years, age and important events that occurred affecting the society.  These differences impact each generation’s work values and ethics and preferences in managing and being managed. Sociologically we count 5 generations in the current job market:

 

Traditionalists: 1927 – 1945, ages 74 and above

The silent generation, habitually equated to tough times, sacrifice and hard work. Yes, they are still working and yes, they are still killing it.

When it comes to technology they’ll simply have to adapt, difficult? maybe, but definitely possible, a little patience with them will go a long way. They are used to early mornings and physically going to work. For them, work is ideally meant for the office and is not meant to be carried out in the house. Most traditionalists in managerial positions use traditional management methods such as observation and ensuring adherence to the office’s rules. Traditionalists that are now working remotely have had to adjust their managerial styles and put more emphasis on deliverable results.

Traditionalists are not accustomed to completing their work on a less defined schedule, they need to know how the management and organization at large will be able to measure their success.

 

Baby Boomers: 1946-1964, ages 55-73

‘First TV’ generation. Often known for their abilities to think big but are also known to be self- centred. Many baby boomers are likely to place themselves in positions that allow them to add value to the organization. They may face difficulties in building strong relationships. In order to support them, the integration of real-time technology (video conferences and real-time chats) is essential because it will provide an engaging experience for all team members.

Baby boomers are hardworking and value recognition for their skills and expertise. They prefer more structured approaches to set and achieve goals.

 

Generation X: 1965-1983, ages 36-54

‘Middle child’ of the generations. Often known for their individualistic tendencies (independent, resourceful and self-sufficient).

They value work-life balance and are the first generation to grow up with computers, technology is inextricably woven into their lives hence are quick to adapt to remote working.  Those in managerially positions are often remarkably effective in managing virtual teams because they adopt a results-based approach. They mainly focus on timely deliverables rather than how and when work is completed.

 

Millennials: 1984-1996, ages 23-35

Often described as ‘high performers’ and ‘overachieving’ generation. They are the most comfortable group in terms of collaborating online. They can form relationships with people that they will probably never meet face to face. They feel great pressure to succeed and have notable meticulous organizational skills.

While managing remote millennials take into consideration that they prefer to be judged based on their results and not based on the hours spent working. They prefer more relaxed setups and value recognition for their achievements and efforts.

 

iGen: 1997-mid-2000s, ages mid-teens-22

Born into technology. The oldest members of this generation are in high school and institutes of higher learning (colleges, universities etc). We have had the pleasure of interacting with them through attachments and internships, they are quickly joining the workforce and soon be a huge fraction of the workforce. This group will be interesting to learn more about in terms of the values and beliefs they will have and what best will most motivate them.

 

Now that we’ve gotten more insight to each generation and how best to manage and support them to work remotely, it is important to note multigenerational workforces are much more similar than they are different. They want the same things, support, recognition and appreciation. The best approach managers can use in managing and supporting remote working is through individualized approaches, simply put ‘meet people where they are.’

Encourage the spirit and practice of willingness to teach and to learn whether in remote or physical workplaces.

 

Cynthia Omayya, Human Resource Associate at Kipawa

 

 

 

 

 

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