The Importance of Linkedin
The Only Professional Directory
LinkedIn was launched in 2002, and since then it has steadily become the number one global directory for professionals. In 2017 the company reached a milestone of 500 million members. This figure accounts for 1 in 3 professionals worldwide, and this network is continuing to grow all the time under the direction of CEO, Jeff Weiner.
Whether you’re a LinkedIn advocate or not, with half a billion members there’s no denying the power of this social media platform. Maybe you’re on the lookout for a new job opportunity or you’re getting back to work after a break in employment. If you’re unsure of your next step, why not start with optimising your LinkedIn profile?
Building your connections will expand your professional opportunities, and who knows what that might lead to? Let’s take a look at 5 reasons you should be on LinkedIn and what you can gain from it.
People often make the mistake of thinking that LinkedIn is only relevant to them if they’re looking for a new job. LinkedIn is all about building relationships. No matter what industry you’re in, creating a LinkedIn profile will help you to reach out to other professionals so that you can grow your network. You can connect with employers, recruiters and others in your chosen industry.
Unlike other social media platforms, it’s perfectly acceptable to reach out to individuals you don’t know and ask them to connect. Send someone a personal message or see if you have any common points of interest to get a conversation started. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the ‘Recommendations’ and ‘People You May Know’ features. These will help you find people who are relevant to you and your industry.
Your Online CV
If you don’t like the idea of being on another social media platform, then take a step back from this thought for a minute. Try and think about your LinkedIn profile in the same way as you would about a CV. With LinkedIn, you’re transforming the CV process for recruiters, hiring managers and employers. Instead of having to keep track of hundreds of hard copies of CVs, they can find your online profile in seconds.
Not only does your profile give potential employers detail about your experience and education, but it provides them with an insight into your personality, your interests and what people and companies inspire you. Depending on your profile’s privacy settings, they can also see how active you are on LinkedIn.
If you publish regularly or share articles about the industry you’re interested in, it might make you a very attractive candidate for that particular company. When you get called for interviews you can also do your research on the interviewers; note anything that stands out to you like a personal interest or person they admire. It might just be the talking point you need to impress them!
Dedicated Jobs Portal
If you’re looking for a new job and you want full visibility of job postings then you need to be on LinkedIn. There are over 10 million active job listings available; that’s a huge number of opportunities to overlook. You can look for jobs by industry and by location; and you’ll get job suggestions based on your previous searches.
Many employers use LinkedIn as a recruitment platform. If your profile has been updated recently or if you’re active regularly you’ll appear more often in employer job searches. Try and carve out half an hour to work on updating your profile so that you know you’re capitalising on every opportunity for professional success.
Getting Closer to Companies and Jobs
One of the main benefits of being active on LinkedIn is that you’re growing your network all the time. If you discover a job or a company that you really want to work for, you can gain an insight into what the company is like from their LinkedIn company page. What are they sharing? What do they care about? If you ever apply for a job here this information could give you the upper hand.
Do you really want to work for someone, but you’re not connected with them? You might have a common connection who’s willing to introduce you to their contact at the company. If you’re up against other applicants who do you think will make the cut? Introductions happen everyday and are invaluable for helping you get one step closer to your dream job or your new career.
Featured Skills, Endorsements and Recommendations
Have you completed the ‘Featured Skills’ section of your profile? This is really important because it showcases all your professional talents. You can list a range of skills here such as ‘editing’ or ‘coding’, and your connections will be invited to endorse these skills. The endorsement functionality is key because employers and recruiters can see that people are willing to stand over your skills.
The ‘Recommendations’ feature is where you can display any online references that you have. All you need to do is request a recommendation from a past employer who you’re connected with on LinkedIn, and they can give you an on online reference which will be featured on your profile. You have the option to approve or decline it before it goes live. Make your LinkedIn profile more attractive with references that are a testament to your professional talent!
The jobs market is a competitive one, so you need to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to maximise your visibility for employers. Create a LinkedIn profile today, and if you already have one, why not implement some of these tips to improve your online presence?
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