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'Jobs are passing by': Digital guru calls on public servants to lift LinkedIn game

Bree Winchester

Published: February 8 2018 - 10:35AM

Thousands of public servants in the market for a new job in 2018 need to seriously "up their game" on online networking platform LinkedIn or face missed opportunities, according to a local digital consultant.

Raging Digital chief executive Colin Anstie, said employment opportunities are literally passing public servants by because they don't have a detailed profile on LinkedIn.

Mr Anstie who consults to a number of federal government departments on social media strategy, said rather than "hiding in the bushes", public servants should be telling the stories of the "phenomenal work" they're doing in government every single day.

"When it comes to social media public servants tend to keep their lives very private," Mr Anstie said.

"But many of their roles are external facing so I think they've got an amazing opportunity to engage with the public, engage with their stakeholders post consultation and tell the great stories of the work they're doing in their department or at work."

He said a good profile can quickly show a recruiter or a potential boss that you have moved up the ranks or that you have been able to transition from communications into policy and back again.

"In the private sector, LinkedIn is the place most HR managers start. And this will become the reality in the public sector too."

Fiona Taylor, public sector director at recruitment firm Randstad, said LinkedIn played a significant role in the search for public sector talent.

With more than 1000 government roles currently advertised on job search site Seek, she described digital networking as an important tool for anyone trying to advance their career. 

"[We] like to use a mixture of the human touch and the latest tech, so while we do use LinkedIn to connect with many government employees, we always back that up with the tried and tested approach of a cup of coffee and a face to face meeting," she said.

"My advice [to public servants] would be to seriously consider the value of Linkedin - it's one of a number of platforms which enables you to tell your story and it's a way to be visible and to connect with others like you," Ms Taylor said.

"Government roles can be sensitive, so it's no surprise that many employees don't feel comfortable publishing their career achievements online. But with the right guidance and careful use, LinkedIn can be used by many government workers as a networking tool."

How to pimp your LinkedIn profile: 1. Your photo is everything.

A good profile pic should be well lit, face-on, and feature a smile, says Colin Anstie. Photo: LinkedIn/Colin Anstie

Hair over the face, wearing sunglasses and "nightclub shots" are just some of the faux pas Canberrans are making on LinkedIn, according to Mr Anstie.

"You should be smiling, facing the camera front-on, include your head and shoulders, and make sure your face is well lit. Don't use the photos of you and your girlfriends on your hens' nights at Mooseheads," he said.

2. Include your phone number.

"You should be thinking about LinkedIn as a virtual business card. To stand out as a top candidate, you want people to find you and then be able to contact you instantly for an interview," Mr Anstie said.

3. Be consistent on and offline.

"Make sure your resume matches your LinkedIn profile and make sure you are putting your best foot forward."

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