There’s a hidden online jobs market that your new job seeker with cerebral palsy (CP) needs to know how to tap. The secret to knowing about those jobs is developing an online network and developing that network to do company research.
In fact, getting hired essentially involves establishing a personal relationship with one’s future supervisor based on mutual respect and dignity.
As a job seeker, your son or daughter with CP never wants to be in a position where he or she appears to be begging to be considered as a job candidate or to get hired. To avoid that kind of sinkhole, your new job seeker needs to learn how to effectively build a network of contacts within targeted companies – contacts who represent an informal online jobs market because they are the first to know about new openings within their workplaces.
That’s where LinkedIn can help. It’s an excellent tool for doing company research, building a network of contacts and receiving early announcements of online jobs.
I’m always surprised about how many new college graduates are not actively involved on LinkedIn, where open jobs on not always formally posted but, instead, are part of the online jobs market that relies on word of mouth. Being actively involved on LinkedIn can definitely give your son or daughter a competitive advantage when it comes to finding the right job.
Most of the jobs mentioned on LinkedIn are “go-to-work” type positions. But, if your young job seeker is really looking for online jobs, involving work that can be done from home, LinkedIn is also the place to start because the professionals who congregate on LinkedIn generally offer work-from-home opportunities that are legitimate and are not scams.
To tap into LinkedIn, your new job seeker first needs to use the key words he or she developed as part of personal branding to create a LinkedIn profile. That profile should include fresh stories which illustrate your son or daughter’s skills and which are not duplicated on his or her personal website or resume.
Then, at that point, I’d recommend gradually building LinkedIn connections -- connections with people who are really interested in your job seeker and are appropriate for the focus of his or her job search because they are potentially a posting source of online jobs.
Steve Frederick, partner, Frederick Career Services, suggests setting a goal of obtaining 500 solid LinkedIn connections. In doing so, he says, your new job seeker can be considered well connected online and effectively plugged into online jobs announcements for his or her particular job sector. That doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time.
Here are six
recommendations from Frederick that you may want to pass along to your new job
That saves time and provides an opportunity to respond appropriately with a job marketing focus -- again gaining an online presence in specific discussions with hiring managers who may mention openings for online jobs during their discussions.
Another Frederick tip: If your job seeker uses RSS, be sure he or she adds secondary e-mail addresses for that purpose for segregating RSS material in the inbox.All of these features make LinkedIn a terrific tool for your new job seeker, who may not be as mobile as other people due to CP. LinkedIn allows him or her to do quick, easy and methodical company research and keep tabs on online jobs. It’s another example of how technology is leveling the playing field in job recruitment for people with disabilities.