Although there are more than 200 million users on LinkedIn, many job seekers still don’t have an active LinkedIn profile and many more don’t have a profile at all. The fact of the matter is, if you are not using some form of online professional networking, you are not as ready as you think you for this competitive job market, and you might just want to rethink your position on this topic.
According to Assist Social Media Blog, “LinkedIn is a place that produces results. Big businesses connect with and reach out to members every day. All kinds of corporations can be found there”. Frankly, my friend, whether you are a seasoned professional, a college grad or an active job seeker, you need a presence on this particular platform. Don’t confuse LinkedIn with other social media platforms. They each have their special features and uses, but LinkedIn is specifically reserved for professional social networking.
So, if you need some convincing about why you should activate your profile here are 10 good ones for you:
1) Your connections on LinkedIn are and should be professionals you know and have a relationship with. When you connect with them, this opens up a vast extended network of other professionals that they are connect to. This is the perfect way to meet and get introduced to decision makers within companies that you are interested in working for. Now you can meet the people you need to know!
2) Major companies are on LinkedIn, and they often post job openings there too. When you find a job posting on LinkedIn you can quickly scan your network to see who works for the company, or who knows someone who works for the company. This way you can learn about the company, its culture, its employees, and perhaps even learn helpful information about the hiring manager or recruiter.
3) Major employers search for candidates on LinkedIn. However, your profile needs to be properly optimized using the right keywords in your skills, your professional profile, and experience. Keywords are very important so become familiar with the lingo of your industry or field and make sure those words can be found throughout your profile.
4) Recruiters and employers will search LinkedIn for your profile if and when they become interested in you as a candidate. Don’t disappoint them! Keep your profile up to date just as you would your resume and complete it by ensuring all the sections are properly filled out.
5) You can get involved in discussion groups on LinkedIn. This is an opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge in your field and develop subject matter expertise. LinkedIn’s hundreds of groups exist as a way for professionals to engage with each other. Don’t remain silent if you want to be noticed. Join the conversation!
6) LinkedIn is the professional networking hub of the 21st Century. This is where professionals across the globe meet to share knowledge and learn about happenings in the world’s organizations, great and small. Get with the program!
7) LinkedIn helps you stay connected with current and former colleagues and co-workers. Remember that manager you absolutely admired and wish you could work for again? LinkedIn is quite likely the place where you can find and connect with that manager. You never know what doors this connection could open for you!
8) You can ask for recommendations from former and current peers, supervisors, managers, college professors etc., and make those recommendations viewable so that anyone who checks you out can see what others have to say about you! (Oh, by the way, don’t ask someone who does not know you professionally to provide a professional reference! That’s not a good idea!)
9) LinkedIn gives you access to a global network of professionals who can answer specific questions for you. If you need to get an opinion about something, or learn how someone else has handled a particular challenge, or even what tools or systems other companies are using to solve problems, you can post all those questions in a group discussion on LinkedIn. When others in your group see your question 9 out of 10 times someone or a few people will post their answers and you’ll have tons of great ideas to sift through!
10) Last but not least, LinkedIn allows you to develop and refine your personal brand. Get tuned in to your professional self, and position yourself to attract companies that share your values. Learn about causes and determine what you are passionate about and get connected to others who share those passions. You can become the connected professional you were born to be, have complete control over how you are perceived, and take your career to the next level by using LinkedIn efficiently and effectively!
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