An Easy Way to Give Yourself a Strategic Advantage in the Marketplace

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

I hope that the title of this article grabbed your attention, because even though we’ve addressed this topic already to some extent, its importance can NOT be overstated.

An easy way to give yourself a strategic advantage in the marketplace as an Animal Health or Veterinary professional is to have a profile on LinkedIn and to keep it consistently updated.

Even if you have a LinkedIn profile, I urge you to continue reading. That’s because just having a profile is not nearly enough. To position yourself better within the employment marketplace, you must do even more.

One of the reasons that I’m addressing this subject again is because it’s important. Another reason is that I’ve seen it become an issue for professionals time and time again. I have come across numerous candidates who do not have a LinkedIn profile or who have not updated their LinkedIn profile in years. In each instance, this posed a problem for the professional, who was looking to improve their employment situation and grow their career.

Below is just a sampling of some of the situations that I’ve encountered during my time as an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter:

  • A professional has no LinkedIn profile at all, and they’ve never seriously considered creating one.
  • A professional has a LinkedIn profile, but they’ve done nothing with it since the day that they created it.
  • A professional’s LinkedIn profile is different than their resume, either by a little or a lot, causing the hiring manager to doubt the person’s candidacy for the position.

In fact, when a hiring manager doubts the candidacy of an Animal Health or Veterinary professional because of the state of their LinkedIn profile, their most common complaint is, “The candidate is not current with technology.”

This is not just a common complaint, but it’s also an assumption. In some cases, it is a mistaken assumption. However, as I’ve mentioned before in previous articles and blog posts, reality is often not what matters the most. The perception of reality is what matters. Even if you are current with technology, if your LinkedIn profile does not exist or does exist but is outdated, then the perception is that you’re not current with technology. And at that point, it would be nearly impossible to convince a hiring manager otherwise.

As I mentioned in a previous article, “This is Why You MUST Have a LinkedIn Profile,” the assumption that a professional is not current with technology is just one assumption that a hiring manager can make in this situation. There are three others:

  1. The candidate has poor networking skills.
  2. The candidate is not that serious about their career.
  3. The candidate is lazy and/or not very good in terms of managing their time.

When it comes to personal branding, you don’t want to brand yourself in any of these three ways, much less all three of them. Unfortunately, however, that’s what can happen when a hiring manager sees that you don’t have a LinkedIn profile OR that you have a LinkedIn profile and it’s out of date and/or does not match the information on your resume.

More than likely, you fall into one of two categories:

  1. You’re a professional in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession, but you do NOT have hiring duties or responsibilities.
  2. You’re a professional in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession, but you DO have hiring duties or responsibilities.

The reason that I’m bringing this up is because it’s even more important for you to have a robust LinkedIn profile if you’re a professional who also has hiring duties or responsibilities. That’s because not only are you branding yourself on an individual basis through LinkedIn, but you’re also branding your organization. Why is this important?

This is important because in addition to wanting to position yourself for career growth and advancement, you also want to position your organization as an employer of choice within the marketplace. After all, what would a top candidate think if they were conducting research and saw that your organization’s LinkedIn profile didn’t exist or was outdated? What if they were conducting research and came across your profile as a member of the organization and saw that it was incomplete, including not having a photo as part of the profile? That top candidate would be unimpressed and might not consider your organization in their future employment plans.

You may think that’s a far-fetched scenario, but it isn’t. I can say this because I’ve seen it happen. In this current market, top candidates are conducting research to determine which options and opportunities are the best for them.

The fact that LinkedIn is important for professionals with and without hiring duties underscores the critical nature of this topic. It’s all about branding—both personal branding and employer branding. It’s all about the perception of reality as opposed to what might actually be the case. And once again, this is an easy way to give yourself a strategic advantage in the marketplace. You just have to do it!

I’m happy to announce that our firm, The VET Recruiter, will be sponsoring the LinkedIn Headshot Booth at the upcoming 2019 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Convention. This year’s convention will be held on Friday, August 2, through Tuesday, August 6, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

If you’re not planning to attend the AVMA Convention, I encourage you to do so. The convention is a tremendous networking and educational opportunity. It could change your career and change your life. You never know who you could meet there and what opportunities could result from attending. And if you’re already planning to attend, I invite you to visit us at the LinkedIn Headshot Booth so that you can have a professional photo taken for your LinkedIn profile. We would also be happy to discuss your career goals and ambitions and how The VET Recruiter may be able to help you to achieve them. We will also be there connecting with hiring managers about critical hiring needs.

I hope to see you in Washington, D.C. in August!

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1.By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2.By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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