“Stop Thinking Local, Think Global”: How Social Networks, Especially “Linkedin”, Can Help Liberians Gain International Employment

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As a panelist at a recent career fair held at the Executive Pavilion, I urged the audience to “stop thinking local, and begin thinking global” in their search for jobs. I told them that it was time Liberians divorce themselves from the notion that their only option for seeking employment is local, and start leveraging modern technology to seek another option; GLOBAL EMPLOMENT.  We are in a time of the Internet where all geographic barriers and boundaries have been broken; where possibilities have become many; and where anyone with the right skills and qualifications can garner employment in any nation. As I told one of the participants, if a Nigerian can leave his country and come to Liberia to be a manager, then why cannot a Liberia leave his country and go to Nigeria to be a manager. I then recommended to the audience, Linkedin, a professional social network that houses employers, recruiters and other information and groups that can help an individual in his/her career pursuits.

According to the literature, “Linkedin is a social networking website for people in professional occupations.” Founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. “As of June 2013, Linkedin reports more than 225 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories.” Linkedin is not as popular in Liberia as is Facebook, Youtube, etc. In view of this, I will use the subsequent paragraph to detail some of the benefits of Linkedin. Note that apart from placing my profile on Linkedin, I have ABSOLUTLEY no connection with the company and this article is only being written for informational purposes.

To begin, Linkedin allows companies to find you when you post your professional profile on the network. Today, a large number of organizations look for talented candidates on social networking platforms like Linkedin. Hence, if you have created a good and detailed professional profile, chances are you will attract employers’ attention.

With a professional profile posted on Linkedin, your chances of landing international jobs are great. Linkedin is a global networking platform that gives you access to both local and international recruiters. You can connect with all the major international employers and find jobs in foreign countries through this social network.

You can also set email alerts to receive notifications of recommended jobs. This will enable you to see notifications of job vacancy on your homepage as soon as you log into your Linkedin account. You can use Linkedin to connect with other professionals because Linkedin provides a huge repository of professionals, who choose to connect with others as well. These professionals include your friends, co-workers, colleagues, classmates and family members.

When looking for a job, you will need to do some research on the company or entity at which you are applying. Linkedin allows you to do this as well. Linkedin offers the opportunity to view the pages of targeted employers. By visiting the company’s pages, you can conduct a research on the whereabouts of the company, the hiring process and what people have to say about it. This kind of research can always help you stay ahead of your competition and increase your chances of gaining employment.

There are many other places to go to seek international and local employment. Devnet.com, for example was reported recently to have posted 1500 NGO jobs, while ODESK.com offers the opportunity to work as a freelancer. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking for jobs in the local dailies and other traditional media. There’s also absolutely nothing wrong with seeking employment on the global spectrum.

Finally, college students and other Liberians should focus on garnering and building the skills necessary to give them a better chance for global employment. It is time to stop focusing on getting a degree just for the sake of getting a degree, and focus on obtaining the skills that can help them compete globally, and not just locally.

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