LinkedIn is part of the popular online group known as social media websites. It is used by well over 225 million people and its user base is growing steadily ever year. What sets LinkedIn apart from the other trendy sites is that it is used to professionally network. Namely, it is one of the best tools to personally brand yourself in the business world. As more higher level managers become involved, the research is showing that LinkedIn is becoming commonplace for recruiters to ask for not only a resume and cover letter, but also a LinkedIn profile as well.
The value of having a LinkedIn profile can easily be understood when you are actively looking for a career change or simply searching for a job. With a click of a button you can find internships, job openings, and contacts for companies that you are keen on. LinkedIn also allows you to make connections with employers past and present as well as classmates and potential managers that you may want to follow online and form relationships which could one day serve to your advantage.
However, if you are not currently looking for a job or feel rather comfortable with where you are at professionally, it still pays for you to have an updated and well maintained LinkedIn profile. Your online presence does matter to employers. Here are some additional reasons why.
Get Noticed Through Professional Networking
Because LinkedIn is used by the professional world of business, your goal should be to get noticed in the given circles your education and work experiences lay in. Specifically, find groups which are related to your industry and connect with the people in those groups. When you participate in those groups, i.e. by commenting on articles, giving advice, or engaging with the members, your LinkedIn profile will get noticed.
Secondly, it works to your advantage if you have an updated and polished LinkedIn profile because of search engine optimization. Down the road, the time may come where you want employers to peruse your profile and come looking for you with a job offer. As such, regularly posting new material and showing your activity through updates can boost your rank on search engines when the crucial time comes. The reality is that although you may not be actively looking to leave your current position, having a trail of stellar work that is highlighted on your LinkedIn profile will put you ahead of the game in the long run.
Thirdly, while giving a clear description of your accomplishments and skills is a good habit, what is better and more eye catching is using measurable accomplishments. Employers like to see numbers and how their bottom line will benefit. Therefore, be clear with how much sales were improved while under your watch or by how much production goals were exceeded. Luckily, LinkedIn has tools that can allow you to embed samples of your work into your profile. Use these tools! Make sure to regularly post these activities.
Lastly, remember that every person who either you request to connect with or vice versa will judge you according to how well your LinkedIn profile looks and reads. Subsequently, everything you post must be clear, concise, and show the right image, because perception is reality. With that in mind, each of the professional relationships you have found and fostered may one day turn into valuable opportunities.
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