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AI is here. Are you ready?

22 Nov 10:00 By Lawrence Akers

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When people think of Artificial Intelligence, they tend to have images of the Terminator, computers who become far too knowledgeable for the sake of humanity, and the decline of our civilisation as we know it.  

It can tend to be a lot of doom and gloom that is associated with the world of AI and yet many large corporate organisations are already beginning to tap into the potential that it offers.

Will it replace some jobs?   Inevitably. But what often comes with that is the creation of new roles that may not have existed before.  It can often mean that many of the administrative tasks that cluttered our day in the past can be put aside leaving us to do the work that only we can, and this often involves building relationships and being “human”.

In the world of recruitment, AI is being used to search the far reaches of the internet and to find profile matches in minutes that would normally have taken days.  This is an incredible advantage and means that it leaves more time for recruitment consultants to do the meaningful work, like forming relationships and getting a better understanding of both the client and candidates needs.

The problem with online profiles

Many large corporate organisations rely heavily upon the online space to find new candidates.  I can think of a few well known companies that have entire teams dedicated solely to searching LinkedIn to find the best people.  This only highlights how seriously that platform is being viewed now within the corporate People & Culture space.

In many of the organisations I’ve worked with in the past, there has always been the belief that a database is only ever as good as the information that goes into it, and LinkedIn is essentially just one giant database.

For those people who have taken their time to focus on building a decent LinkedIn profile, they’re almost guaranteed to be found and potentially head hunted at some point in time.

For those that haven’t, regardless of how good they actually are, they run a very real risk of being completely overlooked.

Most professional search firms are going to have a handful of searching methods that may extend beyond LinkedIn however it would be foolish to underestimate the impact that LinkedIn has had on the employment space.  

When we break it all down, the easiest way to ensure that you’re always overlooked by AI and human being alike is to have a LinkedIn profile that contains virtually nothing about where you’ve been, what you’ve done, or any of your achievements.

How to work with AI to your benefit

The simple fact is this; whether you like it or not, AI Is happening so you might as well benefit from it, right?

Once we have put aside the Hollywood created myths around what AI will do to society and recognise that the fear mongering is all an extreme reaction, then we can start to ensure we put ourselves out there in a way that will have AI work for us.  

What you’ll also find is that by doing what I suggest, you’ll be more easily found by other humans too.

The answer is simple - if you were to treat your online profile in the same way you would approach SEO and utilise keywords, you’re going to be far more easily found.

I’ve seen LinkedIn profiles that may list the company, their job title and their dates, but nothing else.  The chances of being found and considered are incredibly low.

By simply going through, entering in your responsibilities and achievements (embedding keywords as you go), then your chances of being found will increase dramatically.

While you’re at it, consider other elements of your profile; what is your profile picture like and is it professional?  Do you have testimonials from your past colleagues and employers? Have people rated your skills that you’ve chosen? Have you listed your education and professional development that you’ve done?  Have you CLEARLY listed your niche areas of work and skill sets?

As you sit down and consider ALL the possible criteria someone may search for, you can begin to expand on your profile and ensure that people can find you for what you do well and love doing.

I don’t want to be found

There are some people who don’t want to be found on LinkedIn and the obvious question is, ‘why not?’

It is, after all, a professional networking site.  People won’t be (hopefully) approaching you because they think you’re cute and sliding into your DM’s (or whatever terminology the kids of today use).  LinkedIn should be about your current career and your possible future career.

I have approached people on LinkedIn because I could see that they have skill sets that are clearly going to be of interest to my clients.  While they may not be interested in moving on from their job right now, there is never any harm in building an online relationship that could be beneficial as you continue your career. 

It’s like going to a networking event and sitting in a corner with your friends, refusing to make contact with anyone who approaches you.   You could do that anywhere, could you not? It would seem a little strange to do it at an event that was created with the intention of expanding your professional network though.  It’s the same with online professional networking sites.

If you truly don’t want to be found though but insist on still being online, then simply just remove anything that might interest a prospective employer and sit back, safe in the knowledge that you will be completely overlooked.

The future might be better than you expected

Once we step away from the fear of AI and begin to consider all the incredible possibilities it can bring, it means that there is “an opportunity for more opportunity” in the future.  If you invest the time and energy into your online profile to ensure that it reflects your skills, your achievements and your niche areas of interest, then you’re taking the action needed to benefit from what this technology has to offer.