Recently, a surprising number of people have been asking me the question “why should I sign in to Linkedin?” With a whopping 120 million members and more joining every day, it definitely holds the position as a leading professional social network worldwide.
Simply put, Linkedin is a must for your professional future, whether you are a job seeker, happily employed, an entrepreneur or a consultant. By not joining, you are letting potential professional opportunities pass you by every day.
After reading the following six fundamental reasons for joining, I hope that every non-member out there will give it a second thought.
1. Personal branding.
Have you Googled yourself recently? If you do, and you have a Linkedin profile, it will usually come up as one of the first results in the search. Therefore putting relevant career information on your Linkedin profile means that you can control what other people see about you. It’s the source that most interests recruiters and business people and is probably the easiest way to give a good first impression online. But of course, only if your profile is 100 % complete: those profiles with little or no information, no photo, no activity and few connections are of little value. Focus on filling in all the possible information relevant for your career.
2. Storing your resume online.
How many times have you been approached by a recruiter, potential client or company, asking you to send them your updated resume urgently because they have a project that could be of interest to you? And then you have tried to search for the latest version of your CV, without success, and had to write everything from the start in a terrible hurry? Amongst the other benefits, Linkedin is extremely useful for storing and sharing your professional experience. Your resume is online wherever and whenever you need it - and it’s easy to keep up-to-date.
3. Managing and growing your professional network.
After leaving a company, you may still like to keep in touch with your ex-colleagues in the future but the idea of adding them as Facebook friends does not feel comfortable. Nor do you feel like going for a drink with them. In this case Linkedin is everything you need. As its primary purpose is to serve as a professional network, no one thinks it’s weird to add a person you worked with ten years ago, even if you haven’t had any contact with them since then. It also enables you to get to know new people in a professional way. By asking to be introduced, you can access more people and companies through your 1st level connections. The more connections you have, the bigger group of people you can reach.
4. Building an expert status.
Do you know a lot about your niche, but never had a chance to let the world know? LinkedIn is the opportunity you have been waiting for. One of its main purposes is to facilitate the sharing of knowledge. You can easily build your expert status by posting content and participating in discussions in relevant groups with other people interested in your area of expertise. In the Answers section, you can ask questions and give advice to others in your knowledge area. To further boost your leadership status, you can create your own group in your niche or start a networking event. And the best part? Everyone is interested in what you’re saying. Over time, as they start to recognize your name, you will see an increase in professional opportunities.
5. Spying on others.
It’s not embarrassing to admit that you are a bit nosy about what’s going on with your ex-boss or how the company your friend works for is doing. However in addition to satisfying your curiosity, Linkedin is extremely useful for finding information for business purposes such as background information about the prospective company before your interview, work experience of the recruiter you are going to meet, countries in which the decision maker of the potential client company used to live before and hundreds of other details which make your life easier. As you can access others’ profiles easily, even if you are not connected with them, there’s a vast amount of valuable information at hand for free.
6. Getting yourself headhunted.
The main purpose of Linkedin is to bring you more opportunities: new career possibilities, new clients and new business ideas. After building a complete professional profile, developing and growing your network and becoming an expert in your niche, add a final touch and ask for recommendations. You can ask for them both from colleagues and from clients and select the ones you want to show in your profile. Recommendations make you credible and more interesting: if there are two candidates or potential partners with similar qualifications but the other one has been recommended publicly, it’s obvious which one gets selected.
When Expertise requests and Career opportunities begin to arrive to your inbox, you know that your efforts have started to bear fruit. To create a profile, go to http://www.linkedin.com/. After it’s done, you are most welcome to add me to your network!