As we brave through these tough and unprecedented times across the world with the COVID-19 epidemic, the mind always builds a lot of anxiety and fear of unknown. It wanders into an abyss of thoughts and charting a clear and defined path to the future becomes a big challenge in all our lives.
When I heard, that a new batch of PGPM students (class of 2021), who in this tough times have taken a brave decision to proceed with their learning - I was inspired to connect with them. Not just to share my knowledge and experience but also to learn from them & build rapport with future inspired leaders. As an alumnus, we always want to ensure that we create the right legacy for future students to follow and lead. The current batch of students, rightly called ‘Harmonizers’ are a group of bright minds that are eager to learn, experiment and want to create new benchmarks.
Guiding an ensemble of 'Harmonizers'
Interacting with this batch, I found that they have waded through many professional & personal challenges and fought with time to be part of this course. They have a spark to learn and are eager to interact on any topic that is put in front of them. Recently, I started working with them on building a strong social media profile, especially on professional networking sites like ‘LinkedIn’. I'm using my experience to share feedback with them on how interaction within the network should occur, how to write a perfect LinkedIn profile, to follow industry leaders, LinkedIn experts and these have been appreciated by the students.
To build one’s LinkedIn network, the first and foremost milestone is to have a well-branded profile page. My suggestion is to use an engaging profile picture & have a descriptive headline that goes beyond just a job title and says more about your personality. The summary of the profile should highlight your passion, experience & focus on your accomplishments. It is important that the summary should tell a story to the reader and must be written in first person to bring empathy along with personalization.
It isn’t enough to just have a great profile, you need to actively participate on LinkedIn, whether it is sharing your views on topics of interest or following the various articles and posts that many leaders share. The idea is to build interest and begin interaction within the network that helps build brand “You”. Recruiters always have an eye for such high performing individuals, who are active on these professional networks and share their viewpoints actively. You must interact with industry experts across different spaces to build your brand and learn from them. Learning cascades from these interactions as they share best practices and careers lessons. Being active on social media and effectively contributing in conversations definitely aids in building your brand.
These pointers will enable this new batch of students and like-minded individuals to build a good and productive LinkedIn network which should allow them to connect with the right people, leaders, prospective hiring managers in the best and most professional way possible. Thinking out of box, building conversations and having holistic view on key topics - these are a few of the qualities that employers are looking for. Often we hear that companies look closely at LinkedIn and other social media networking sites before selecting candidates - The age old trend of resumes will soon cease to be the only prime focus area for recruiters.
The way ahead is to up-skill and to showcase both character, competence and enthusiasm, which helps differentiate from others. ‘Harmonizers’ have a way to go but have the right mindset and the willingness to try new things to successfully implement these strategies. With the right guidance, hard work and resilience, each and every student of this batch can carve a niche for themselves in the coming year and truly embody the name 'Harmonizers'.
SOIL Alum, PGPM - Business Leadership, class of 2014
Lead Business Analyst & Agile Master at Société Générale