Over the past week, I’ve talked to three acquaintances who are actively on the hunt for a job. They all have resumes (whether they’re professionally done, and of sufficient quality, is debatable). But when I mentioned LinkedIn, much to my dismay, their responses were dismissive.
“Oh, isn’t that like Facebook? I already have Facebook. I don’t need more pictures of people’s dinners.” “I’ll just see what happens after I send my resume to a few places.” “I’ll get around to that one of these days. I promise!”
Now, if you’re on a hunt, wouldn’t you want to use every dog you can get your hands on?
Then there are the folks I know that are already on LinkedIn. They have their name, their current position, and no photo. Oh, and they have exactly one connection: me.
There are a lot of very good reasons to invest a little time on LinkedIn. Here are just 10 of them. Trust me, there are many more. This is just for starters:
- It’s 2013, not 1993. Seriously. Times have changed. Nothing will prevent the need for a strong resume, but you need to be online. Before an employer calls you to set up an interview, they WILL Google you. If your competition has a fully-loaded LinkedIn profile that shows up on page one of their Google search, and you have nothing, guess who gets the interview?
- LinkedIn is much more than a Facebook for business types. Folks don’t use LinkedIn for meaningless tidbits of information (though who am I to say your cat is meaningless? She’s really cute). LinkedIn is a way to locate and communicate with people via your computer, but there the similarity ends. LinkedIn is the place where professionals go to talk (it used to be the drinking fountain). It’s a place where you might find out about new jobs, and where companies seeking new talent can find out about you.
- Not looking for a job? Still have a LinkedIn account. Plenty of useful business-related information is exchanged there each day. Join a group, answer a poll, and find out what your savvy peers are up to. By participating in discussions, you can demonstrate your leadership ability, and that’s always a good thing for your career management.
- Get the inside scoop on companies you’re interested in, for whatever reason. Company profiles can display lists of present and former employees (hint: someone who used to work at a company might have some valuable information for you), the most common positions in the country, even the ratio of male to female employees. You can learn about products and services, too, like on Profession Direction’s company page here .
- Brag a little where it will be noticed. Keep your profile up to date by highlighting your expertise. Even if you’re not seeking employment, you never know where sharing this information will lead: consulting or speaking arrangements, for starters.
- Hang out with the big cheeses. All 500 of the Fortune 500 are represented there. Shouldn’t you be too?
- Bring your website or blog higher in search engines by listing it’s url in your contact section. Who wants to hide their light under a bushel?
- Meet your interviewers before the interview. Because it better to start by saying, “That’s fantastic you went to Marquette. I lived in the area and my nephew is in school there now,” instead of “Well, the rain really sucks today.”
- Get as much info as you want. Are you a little scared of joining LinkedIn because you will have a barrage of emails and contacts when you’re already in over your head with Facebook and Twitter? Don’t worry, there are controls. LinkedIn won’t bother you unless you ask it to.
- Because LinkedIn is awesome. And so are you.
If you are still dubious about the benefits of LinkedIn, I have one question for you. What do 200 million professionals know that you don’t?
If you are a LinkedIn aficionado, what are your favorite reasons for being on LinkedIn? Next time you are logged on, remember to connect with me! And, if you need help with your LinkedIn profile, you might want to check out my services for writing or for a tutorial by the hour.
Kristin S. Johnson CARW, CCMC, CJSS, COPNS, CG3C, 360Reach Analyst Profession Direction, LLC
Have I convinced you yet? Why you need LinkedIn? Social Media is where it is at now and my
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Sidney Meet Up Womens Networking Group and anything else I want. I LOVE IT
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