LinkedIn is a platform designed to help professionals with career management. With over 600 million users, LinkedIn is also a hunting ground for recruiters and hiring managers. There are many benefits to being on LinkedIn yet some professionals still resist joining. In this blog post we’ll discuss why LinkedIn is different than other social media channels, why it is critical for your career, the benefits of being on LinkedIn, and some of the platform’s most useful features.
Does Having a LinkedIn Account Really Benefit Your Career?
“Does being on LinkedIn really make a difference?” As a career coach and Linkedin workshop presenter, I get asked this question all the time. The short answer is yes. Being on LinkedIn is a huge benefit to your career. It impacts your current online presence, job search, networking, professional branding, and your ability to access great opportunities. In a world where competition for jobs is more fierce than ever, you can’t afford to be left behind. You also can’t afford to be unsearchable – which is what you are if you aren’t on LinkedIn.
You Don’t Have to Be a Social Media Junkie – But You Do Have to be on LinkedIn
Some professionals resist joining LinkedIn because they do not want to be on social media. In my experience, these professionals see LinkedIn as being similar to Facebook or Twitter – just another privacy-invading social network. I don’t blame anyone for feeling this way – social media is not my thing either. I would much rather engage with people in-person and keep my personal details private. While LinkedIn is classified as a social network, it is different than other social media channels. This is one of the reasons LinkedIn is great. You can still achieve great professional results without becoming a social media regular. You just have to do the bare minimum and some basic maintenance. No posting, liking, sharing, or selfies required! However, it should be noted that similar to other social networks, the more you put into LinkedIn, the more you get out.
Why LinkedIn is Important for Maintaining and Advancing Your Career
If you’re still on the fence about joining LinkedIn, you’re not alone. Even though LinkedIn has been around for years, I still regularly encounter job searchers who hesitate to join. It wasn’t until I became an Executive Recruiter that I really understood the value of LinkedIn. It was the tool I used most for networking, and my main resource for finding candidates to fill my roles. I quickly learned that the LinkedIn profile was the gateway to finding a candidate’s resume. Without a LinkedIn profile, I would never have found my candidates or their resumes. Considering this fact alone, should tell you that your LinkedIn profile is way more important than your resume.
The Benefits You Will Enjoy Just by Having a LinkedIn Profile
The benefits of having a LinkedIn profile far outweigh the negatives. Through my work as a recruiter I also learned about these important benefits of being on LinkedIn:
1. You will Secure Positive Internet Real Estate and Establish Your Online Reputation as a Professional
We’ve all googled someone. And chances are, someone has googled you. Now, before you panic at the thought of being googled, know that if you are on LinkedIn, your best “professional you” is amongst the top results to appear. That’s because LinkedIn affects how you appear when searched on Google due to Search Engine Optimization or SEO. There are many tricks and tips for boosting your LinkedIn SEO to make your LinkedIn profile appear in more searches. However, if you are new to LinkedIn, focus on profile optimization before becoming an SEO expert.
2. A Great LinkedIn Profile Makes a Great First Impression for Fifty-Plus and Early Career Professionals
If you resist LinkedIn and all forms of online real estate, you risk having nothing appear when people search you. This may seem like a good thing for the LinkedIn newbie but it can harm your career prospects. Not appearing on LinkedIn is kind of like saying, “Hi, I am not up with the times.” This is not the message a fifty-plus job seeker wants to send especially in light of growing ageism. If you are in the fifty-plus category, you want to appear as tech-savvy. Having a killer LinkedIn profile is one indicator that you “get it.” If you are early in your career you may be thinking that LinkedIn is a social form of adulting. The best thing you can do is throw that perception out the window! LinkedIn is just as important for early career folks as well as the fifty-plus professional.
3. An Optimized LinkedIn Profile Will Ensure You are Found by Recruiters for Job Opportunities
One of the most compelling reasons for being on LinkedIn and optimized is simply that of being found. 100% of recruiters are on LinkedIn and searching daily for the perfect candidate for their jobs. Before you tune out at the mention of recruiters, hear me out! Recruiters (those you know and those you don’t) hold the key to great job openings. Recruiters are gatekeepers for getting into great companies. When recruiters have a job, the first place they go to find talent is LinkedIn. If you are not on LinkedIn and you are the right fit for the recruiter’s job opening, guess what? You aren’t getting contacted because they can’t find you!
4. An Optimized Profile Will Ensure You Stand Out from Competing Candidates
You’re 1 in a million but without a robust, optimized LinkedIn profile you’re doomed to get lost in a sea of competing candidates. The average industry keyword search produces candidates in the hundreds of thousands! If you have an incomplete profile or are lacking SEO and keyword strategy, your profile is not appearing at the top of most searches. In the off chance that a recruiter does find your profile, you also have limited time to capture their attention. Think 6-second resume scan. Being on LinkedIn AND optimized will ensure you are not getting lost in the crowd.
Linkedin Has the Potential to Change Your Life
If you do have a presence on LinkedIn and are found, your life will be changed. You will have set yourself up for a potentially great job without putting any effort whatsoever into the job search! So there you have it. Take some time to digest. I promise you – it’s worth it. Linkedin takes no time at all to set up and only requires minimal maintenance.