The coronavirus pandemic has complicated the economies of many countries, including Ecuador. Therefore, the labor area has been greatly affected.

In this context, platforms for professionals have become highly requested and the social network LinkedIn It has received even more attention due to its occupational use and even as a job bank.

Borja Castelar, Director of LinkedIn for South America and spokesperson for the network for Latin America, comments that the difficult situation has made the network a tool that can contribute a lot to the unemployed and unemployed, because in addition to being used by businesses and large companies to search for talent, it also allows training in the most demanded areas of the market.

The network, founded in 2002, already has 690 million users worldwide and continues to grow at about two users per second. In the case of Latin America there are already almost 100 million users and particularly in Ecuador there are around 2.5 million people who use it.

Castelar is also an author and instructor at LinkedIn Learning and will give a overview on LinkedIn and how to get more out of it in a situation like the current one, in a virtual seminar next Tuesday, August 4, organized by the company Seminarium.

What are the most common uses for LinkedIn in Ecuador?

It is similar to what occurs throughout the region. The number of engagement, on how to use LinkedIn, but still very focused on job search. It is still seen as a job bank.

What we are seeing is an increase in interaction. (Users) are discovering and seeing that they can do a lot more than just put all their professional experience. You can see content that is increasingly interesting to consume, give like, interact and connect with other professionals.

LinkedIn was born as a professional contact network where to create a networking important. In the end no one is an island, the idea of ​​the network is that they help you to improve professionally and achieve better opportunities, whether it is finding a job, an alliance to sell more, to learn more about the content. What you define as opportunity.

How is it used in countries like the United States or Europe?

It is increasingly used for content that is relevant to you because of your position or your industry.

You not only consume content but you also have to add value and put content on your expert or write not only a post, but an article like a blog on a topic of interest.

Same with the LinkedIn Learning platform, very powerful for improving skills. It is a part of the network that is increasing dramatically in consumption.

It is an ecosystem where you have job opportunities, but you can also learn what you need to find the opportunity you want.

What use do they give those who work in human resources?

That is a worldwide phenomenon. More and more companies are recruiting only on LinkedIn and stop using job boards or use it as their main source.

If you compare it to an employment exchange, it is the largest there can be and the advantage is that you not only find people who are looking for a job, but also those who are not looking for a job and who are often the best candidates. We call them passive candidates, who are people who are not on LinkedIn to look for a job, but for many other reasons and recruiters have realized that this network is going to give access to those types of people.

They are increasingly searching to find that ideal candidate and contact them.

For recruiters there are services on-line on LinkedIn where they can buy solutions that expand access to have more visibility, better filters to find the candidate they want.

If you want to have more power, there is already a corporate part with more solutions, with tools to reach that ideal candidate in seconds. This is increasing in many countries and Ecuador is no exception.

Another detail is that when LinkedIn is public, the profiles are more reliable because you have a public validation and it is not a hidden PDF that I send you and nobody sees. Even your coworkers see what you wear.

Your profile is going to be your CV, but much more dynamic because you are going to see how that person behaves, what interesting content is published, the recommendations of other colleagues, certifications, you are going to see much more information.

Borja Castelar from Sao Paulo, Brazil, where LinkedIn's headquarters for South America is located.

From the user side, what are the benefits of having a LinkedIn account?

It depends on the objectives you want to achieve. If you are looking for a job it is essential that you have a profile because the companies are there and you are losing that they find you or that you find offers among the millions of vacancies that are already published.

If your goal is to learn, at LinkedIn Learning you can learn skills. There are many free courses – several free as a support measure during the pandemic – that can even help you embark on a new career.

You can also see it as a community that will help you change jobs.

If you want to sell you must also be because you could contact the directors of the companies that can fit with the product that you are offering.

Do networking and expand your network of contacts to consume content that may interest you, like a newspaper.

So, there are many reasons, but it is essential to have a professional identity, just as you have your personal identity in another type of social network.

How do they approach the use of this network in a pandemic scenario and what type of companies have increased job offers?

My recommendation is that they enter and go to the employment section at the top of the screen and search for where they live or other areas or cities.

There are many companies that continue to recruit, especially large manufacturing, logistics, food, technology – especially those that allow working from home as well as from cloud (cloud) and software-, telecommunications, which are even more in demand than ever and are publishing many opportunities.

They should also go to www.linkedin.com/learning because we have mobilized many courses to learn new skills (for free), which can allow you to have more employability in the most demanded jobs on the market and you can relocate as quickly as possible.

These times when we have to recycle a lot can be the opportunity to learn new skills.

Were there any unexpected changes in pandemic vacancy demand?

Not because it is quite predictable. These are sectors that before the COVID-19 issue were already in high demand. Everything related to technology, engineering, programming, sales of software, Proyect Management. There are no big surprises on that side.

What is the work scenario that is coming from the pandemic?

It is difficult to foresee what is to come, but the focus has to be what it has always been: to think about those sectors that are in greatest demand and that before all this situation were already there.

(Think) about professions with more demand and in which they are emerging and that we did not even know existed.

Also my recommendation is that you invest in skills that are always going to be important, such as interpersonal or soft skills. It will always be important to communicate well, so learn to be a good communicator. Creativity, collaboration, adaptability, persuasion will always be important.

Having that continuous learning mindset. It doesn't matter if your position disappears and a new one appears, in the end there will always be common skills.

What role has Microsoft played on the web since you bought it in 2016?

At the company level we are totally independent. What is beginning to be seen are small product synergies.

Many times Microsoft's mission is very similar to LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional network, Microsoft is about how you increase professional productivity, so they fit very well.

In this sense, we have found synergies like in Outlook, since when you send a message in this way you will be able to see the LinkedIn profile of those people to get an idea of ​​it. Another is that when you enter Word and want to write your resume, you automatically remove it from LinkedIn. Small integrations to gain productivity. They are few yet, but in the future they will be more.

What should not a user do on LinkedIn?

The mentality that you must have when entering is that it is a professional environment. You will not behave the same as in other social networks that are personal. The content and behavior is related to that.

Sharing content that is very personal does not fit, but the truth is that we see very few bad uses because it is a network in which you are very exposed, you put where you work, therefore people tend to behave in a very correct way. You do not have that anonymity that you may have on another network.

What advice would you give to those who have an account?

Well, use it more because many times I see that they have a profile and leave it there and do not use it. You have to think that LinkedIn will give you more return when you use it more. It is not magic, not to create a profile a recruiter will contact you.

By using it more you will be able to find that it had more value than you thought. You can say I have found this article interesting, I have found this colleague and I have connected with him.

Interact, give like, comment, show value, give value about your industry and experience. This way you will have more visibility for recruiters. (I)

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