Thursday, May 16, 2013

Think You Don’t Need LinkedIn? 10 Reasons Why You Do

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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:

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 .

  5. 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.

    Reasons 6-10 and the complete article

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