The world has gone to the cloud. Complement this with AI (artificial intelligence) and you have the ingredients of science fiction come true. Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn has taken this in a direction that affects you directly – integration with Office 365. The blend of the largest professional network with the most used office suite being able to connect the dots between resources and project goals, means professional opportunities that in the past would most likely not occur. Are you ready for it?
In the past, savvy companies compiled a knowledge-capital database of their employees, to ensure any need could be filled. However, what if the right talent was not part of the team? This would lead to a hiring or outsourcing frenzy trying to locate the perfect candidate in time.
The Microsoft/LinkedIn integration makes filling this need simpler, potentially saving thousands of dollars in time, advertising, manpower and vetting to find the necessary talent. According to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, Office 365 will have the ability to anticipate a projects goals and needs, look for the most qualified candidates on LinkedIn and make suggestions. This would allow a project manager to make a referral to HR, greatly shortening the process of acquiring the new team member, keeping the project on schedule and in budget.
As a professional, this opens opportunities for those who’ve taken the time to build a strong online résumé, blog and website. The higher your profile, the more professional your presentation and the more consistent your content sharing in your area of expertise – the more likely you are to be flagged by potential AI bots.
Imagine a fortune-50 or above company needing your specific abilities and you had no clue a position was available; how would you compete? However, due to this integration, you may be at the top of the list, entering through the backdoor, bypassing your competition because Office 365 chose you as the most qualified candidate on LinkedIn. This levels the playing field on merit.
So how do you make sure you make the cut? As I see it, there are three (3) things you need to do.
If you aren’t on LinkedIn already, you need to create an account. Make sure it’s professionally done, with a good photo of you, a full profile, linked to your website and blog, and start building connections. No matter what anyone says, size matters. The larger your social-media footprint, the more influential you are perceived.
If you already have a LinkedIn profile, make sure it’s the very best it can be. Check your photo; does it represent you well? Read through your profile and make sure it’s recent. Show any volunteering you’ve done, schools you’ve attended, degrees or certifications you’ve acquired and pertinent projects in which you’ve participated. Also, make sure you are active. Don’t have a dormant account with no activity.
While a LinkedIn profile is a powerful asset, nothing’s more powerful than your own website and blog. On social media, you own nothing. If the rules are changed and your content is deemed persona non-grata, there’s nothing you can do. However, on your own website, you are in control of your message, look and feel, and user experience. Moreover, you not only showcase your skills and expertise for potential clients/employers, you have an asset for public relations. Journalists scour blogs when breaking news occurs, looking for experts to interview. Read, Journalist’s Want Your Blog.
Finally, you position yourself as a thought leader. This kind of positioning adds weight to your viability as a potential candidate for companies looking for your skillset.
While this is not a criterion at this time, Microsoft is nothing if not savvy at growing their subscription-based business model. Hence it wouldn’t be unexpected that to be considered for referral via Office 365 and LinkedIn, one must be using Office 365 and LinkedIn. Since Microsoft Office is THE king when it comes to office productivity, it would only make sense to subscribe to their suite and be ahead of the curve.
Technology has gone in the last five years, where no one would have foreseen. The ability to integrate one’s curriculum vitae to potential employers, has made LinkedIn a MUST for career development and it has poked holes in the wall separating many from potential life-changing opportunities. Well done, Microsoft!