Content is king, and unfortunately for the coming generation of architects and designers, the job market is the same. The current job market is fasted-paced, competitive, and wide-open. Remote work has stretched the talent pool across the globe; visibility is the differentiator determining whether talent sinks or swims.
Social media, particularly LinkedIn, is a crucial tool for young architects and designers to network and find job opportunities and build their brands.It’s essentially a digital version of networking at a conference or industry event, but with a much wider reach.
Here are just a few reasons why LinkedIn is essential for aspiring architects and designers:
Social media is a Crucial Tool for Job Searching.
According to a 2012 survey by Jobvite, 93% of recruiters use social media to find and screen job candidates. LinkedIn, in particular, is a go-to platform for recruiters and hiring managers, with over 20 million companies using the site to advertise job openings. By creating a LinkedIn profile and actively using the platform, young architects and designers can greatly increase their visibility and chances of being discovered by potential employers. My recruiters have LinkedIn profiles and an ocean of connections with industry leaders. Connecting with recruiters can keep candidates top of mind for new openings and offer perspective on the individuals heading the recruitment process.
But LinkedIn isn’t just about finding a job. It’s also a valuable resource for staying up-to-date on industry news and trends, connecting with fellow professionals and thought leaders, and finding opportunities for continuing education and professional development. Without a LinkedIn profile, young professionals are missing out on recruiter visibility, showcasing their work, and furthering their career knowledge.
However, It’s not just about being on the platform – it’s about how it’s used. A well-written LinkedIn profile with a clear, professional headshot and a comprehensive list of skills and experience can make a big impact on recruiters. Information and context make candidates three-dimensional and more human for recruiters, which makes it more likely for talented candidates who may be lacking in one area but vast in another to float to the top of the application pool. Additionally, jobseekers can better position themselves by connecting with other professionals and securing recommendations or referrals which can be publicly displayed on a LinkedIn profile via recommendation comments and skill endorsements.
LinkedIn is a great platform for showcasing work and building a personal brand. A personal brand “is the process of defining and promoting what you stand for as an individual. Your personal brand is a culmination of the experiences, skills, and values that differentiate you (Sprout Social, n.d.).”
By posting a portfolio, creating posts on LinkedIn, and engaging with other professionals, designers can demonstrate their expertise to potential employers and clients. Thoughtful LinkedIn posts can effectively position candidates as thought leaders, therefore giving authority to their knowledge in the industry. Employers are actively seeking candidates who can present a sizable body of this knowledge.
Competition is Fierce & Visibility is Key
As a young professional, it can be tough to stand out in a crowded job market. According to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, there were over 238,000 architects in the United States in 2018, and that number is only expected to grow.
In this crowded field, it’s important to do everything possible to differentiate from the competition. It’s no secret that the job application process can be overwhelming and competitive, especially for entry-level positions.
According to a study by Glassdoor, the average job opening attracts 250 resumes, and only 4-6 of those candidates will be called for an interview (Turczynski, 2016). Not only this but the average entry-level position requires a minimum of 3 years of work experience and a bachelor’s degree or higher. With 67% of millennials having some form of college education or higher (Bialik and Fry, 2019), this means degrees are no longer a unicorn feature and proof of performance is a necessity. What better way to display professional progress, project history, and knowledge than Linkedin?
LinkedIn can help by offering an organized platform to showcase unique skills and experience through a living CV and recruiter-approved skills test. A living CV shows dynamism, and more importantly, listing skills under a specific job title can show exactly how your skill set was acquired and applied. Adding portfolio images and projects can further establish knowledge authority and set candidates apart from their peers.
Young architects or designers should pay attention to the importance of LinkedIn in their career development. Take the time to create a comprehensive profile, connect with others in the field, and stay active on the platform. Networking is a tool that can take applicants further than any application can. This is the primary function of LinkedIn and it may be the key to landing your dream job.
Bialik, K. and Fry, R. (2019). How Millennials compare with prior generations. [online] Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. Available at: https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2019/02/14/millennial-life-how-young-adulthood-today-compares-with-prior-generations-2/.
Miller, L. (2016). A Look at How LinkedIn is Using LinkedIn Referrals. [online] www.linkedin.com. Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/business/talent/blog/product-tips/how-linkedin-is-using-linkedin-referrals [Accessed 11 Jan. 2023].
NCARB (2018). Number of U.S. Architects on the Rise. [online] NCARB – National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Available at: https://www.ncarb.org/press/number-of-us-architects-the-rise.
Sprout Social (n.d.). Personal brand. [online] Sprout Social. Available at: https://sproutsocial.com/glossary/personal-brand/.
staff, S.O. and staff, S.O. (2014). Poll Reveals HR Takes Less Than 5 Minutes to Review a Resume. [online] SHRM. Available at: https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/shrm-resume-poll.aspx.
Turczynski, B. (2016). 2019 HR Statistics: Job Search, Hiring, Recruiting & Interviews. [online] zety. Available at: https://zety.com/blog/hr-statistics.
Whitney, L. (2012). Heads up, LinkedIn users: 93% of recruiters are looking at you. [online] CNET. Available at: https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/heads-up-linkedin-users-93-of-recruiters-are-looking-at-you/ [Accessed 2 Jan. 2023].