Melbourne Business School News Forget the job title build your skill set says LinkedIns Legrand

Forget the job title build your skill set says LinkedIns Legrand

If you want to advance your career in the modern world, focus on building your skills rather than your job title, says Olivier Legrand, LinkedIn’s Managing Director and VP of Asia Pacific and China.

Speaking at Melbourne Business School’s Dean’s Leaders Forum in Singapore recently, Legrand said demonstrating a strong skill set can help you land the right job, while allowing employers to avoid the dreaded (and expensive) churn that comes from placing the wrong person in a role.

Research shows close to 90 per cent of CEOs in the growing ASEAN region are concerned about not being able to find the right people with the right skills to ensure the continued success of their business, he said.

“The life-span of skills is getting shorter and shorter, and innovation is moving faster and faster,” Legrand said in explaining why job seekers and managers need to think skills to avoid falling behind in a world where artificial intelligence and machine learning threaten to wipe out many roles.

To demonstrate his point, Legrand said only 84,000 of LinkedIn’s 530 million members were much-in-demand demand data scientists, but, with a check of how many members have 50 per cent or more of a data scientist’s skill set, the number jumps to 600,000.

“That is where I see an opportunity,” Legrand said. “All of a sudden, not only have you grown your talent pool by seven times, but you've also identified a very clear group of 600,000 people that can be purposefully reskilled to fulfil a job that is in high demand.”

Lifelong learning

Legrand said the secret to remaining relevant in the fast-changing job market was lifelong learning, or “learning how to learn”, as business academic Peter Drucker famously said.

LinkedIn paid $US1.5 billion for online learning company in 2015, Legrand said, to help people to acquire skills that “will be very hard to reproduce by a machine”.

He said building a network of meaningful professional relationships is also crucial to becoming a well-rounded, desirable candidate, and he provided some tips for perfecting your LinkedIn profile, using the profile of our School’s Dean, Zeger Degraeve, as an example.

Legrand’s LinkedIn profile tips

  1. You might not think having a professional photograph as your LinkedIn profile picture is important, but Legrand says it will increase your chances of the right recruiter or hiring manager noticing you.
  2. You should also spend time writing a summary – explain what you do and what drives success in your role and organisation.“A healthcare marketing manager means different things to different people,” Legrand says, so it’s important to outline your point of difference. A good summary is your hook, he says.
  3. Outline your skill set clearly and avoid buzzwords. “A member with five relevant skills is 17 times more likely to be viewed than a profile full of irrelevant skills and buzzwords,” Legrand says.
  4. Be honest and accurate in your profile. Be sure to include the skills you have and not the skills you want to have.

“We’re increasingly using machine learning and artificial intelligence to process that data to actually point you at the right people with whom you should be building relationships, the right companies you should be engaging with, the right content that you should be reading and the right courses that you should be taking,” Legrand says – which means the wrong data from you will produce the wrong result for you.

You can view our Facebook gallery of the Singapore Deans’s Leaders Forum event

You can also watch other Dean’s Leaders Forums here.