LinkedIn announced the "LinkedIn Top Voices" for Germany, Austria and Switzerland for the fifth time on Wednesday. Selma Kuyas, an expert in job applications, was the only Swiss woman to receive an award in the "Job and Career" category - for the second time in a row.
"I interpret the renewed appreciation as appreciation for my commitment to job applicants. It quickly became clear to me that I needed to support the LinkedIn community even more after the outbreak of the pandemic and the precarious situation on the labor market. Among other things, I volunteered to organize online events for job seekers with up to 1,600 participants in collaboration with Social Switzerland," says Kuyas.
Pandemic put fingers in open wounds of the labor market
According to Kuyas, the pandemic has revealed many things that have been going wrong in the labor market for years. For example, home office work has finally been recognized as an employee need, and identification with the employer has taken on a more important role. How did companies deal with staff during the crisis? How were employees supported and promoted - or not?
The pandemic caused many people to lose their jobs because entire industries were paralyzed or certain job profiles were no longer in demand virtually overnight. As a side effect of the pandemic, Kuyas recognizes the tendency for many employees to suddenly become more aware and more intensively concerned with their own career planning.
LinkedIn is the most important professional network in Switzerland
The social media platform LinkedIn has seen strong growth in recent years and now has 3.4 million members in Switzerland alone. In the DACH region as a whole, there are around 18 million. However, the power of LinkedIn is still underestimated in Switzerland, Kuyas emphasizes. For job seekers and those looking to change jobs, Kuyas believes the platform offers direct access to the open and hidden job market. Just how helpful a strong network can be is particularly evident in times of crisis, such as when a job is lost.
"There are big gaps in knowledge, and I can fill them."
On Wednesday, Selma Kuyas was named "LinkedIn Top Voice" for the second year in a row for drawing attention to important issues, such as discrimination in the job application process. Werbewoche.ch talked to the job expert about knowledge gaps, the perfect resume and the job seekers of the future.
Werbewoche.ch: Selma Kuyas, how did you become a job coach?
Selma Kuyas: I worked in the telecommunications industry for ten years before I ventured into a career as a Job Coach Integration in 2015. As a job coach, my mission was to integrate young people and young adults with physical or mental disabilities into the labor market. I quickly noticed that there was also a great need for specialists and managers in terms of job applications and self-marketing.
Why is that?
There is still a huge knowledge gap on how candidates can convince companies of their merits and suitability for the job. Here I offer proven assistance with the goal of shaping one's own career in a self-determined way. I regularly organize free events for job seekers from German-speaking countries.
Are there any tricks or secrets that lead to success?
There are no tricks when applying. The important thing is to convincingly communicate your added value as a specialist or manager to the outside world. For me, an application is only perfect when it is authentic and shows the reader what he or she will gain with me as a new employee.
How important are pictures in a resume?
A professional photo in the resume is not mandatory, but I still recommend it. A picture is part of the overall impression of the application. Chances are high that an application without a photo will be ignored. Until that changes, I would always place a photo on the resume.
What exactly do you offer in your coaching sessions?
Most people - especially women - have trouble putting together a convincing application. There is a lack of professional know-how on how to present myself as an applicant to companies. Who likes to write about themselves? The application is the entry point and decides on the professional future. As an application coach, I find it fatal to leave such an important decision to luck or the hope that things will work out. Nobody teaches us how to apply well or which job profiles we should apply for that really fit us. With a trained, experienced coach, you take the shortcut and can ultimately plan your own career in a self-determined way.
Why is LinkedIn a good channel for job search?
Digitalization stops at nothing and no one - not even the workflow for assigning open roles or jobs. Learning how to target LinkedIn for your job search will save you valuable life time looking for a new job. If I dare to take a look into my crystal ball, I see that LinkedIn will take on unimagined dimensions for the world of work. It is already possible to apply to companies with a one-click application. The classic resume is becoming obsolete and digital profiles are the new standard.
What is meant by a "hidden labor market"?
The results of a study by the Institute for Labor Market Research in Germany show that only 35 percent of vacancies are actually advertised. So you don't hear about the other 65 percent of vacancies. They are found through contacts, online and offline networks, personal contacts and recommendations. Increasingly, companies are also using active sourcing to find new talent themselves. The potential to be found digitally is huge. Professional networks like LinkedIn in particular can help. More than Three quarters of the recruiters regularly use the network to actively search for candidates.
A perfect resume is only the first step. At the interview, candidates have to present themselves personally. How do you help there?
With my coaching method, the job interview is a walk in the park. Because the main work takes place beforehand. The intensive examination of one's own strengths, talents, successes, professional history and personality are the basis to be convincing in the job interview. Of course, a job interview should be prepared intensively. Here, too, I support my clients with my experience as a job application coach.