Why You Must Be On Linkedin

News flash! Social media is here to stay.

In the last decade the recruiting landscape has shifted in dramatic and innovative fashion. Every week there is a new platform aiming to ease interaction between individuals and help you find the right job, or an employer find the right prospect.

Most social sites are geared toward social interaction and sharing “news” with your everyday friends, but one separates itself from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest and all the others. That one is LinkedIn.

What’s the difference? Simply put, Linkedin is specifically for professional networking. It’s social media for adults. So why do I say you must be on LinkedIn, and if you already are, why should you optimize your Linkedin profile?

Here are my reasons.

4 REASONS YOU MUST BE ON LINKEDIN

1. Everyone is!

Ok, maybe not everyone. However, those of prominence in their respective industries recognize the importance of professional networking, which is LinkedIn’s bread and butter. Most now have a Linkedin profile, and if they don’t, they will soon. At the end of Q3, Linkedin reached 259 million active users, a jump of 38 percent over last year.

Read our previous post: 4 Ways to Use Linkedin Effectively for tips.

2. Your LinkedIn profile is just as important as your resume.

Don’t believe me? Think about this. If you’re hiring, would you rather pour over someone’s resume on a PDF, or skim their Linkedin profile and immediately see not just where they worked, but who they know, click on links to presentations and projects, or watch a video they produced.

Building your profile on LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to expand upon your traditional resume, which is easily lost in a company’s ATS if they screen for keywords.

While every resume coach tells you to keep it to a page or, at most, two, Linkedin lets you include so much more and allows the employer to choose what she thinks is important. This is one reason a full Linkedin profiles is one of your best job search strategies.

There are various additional areas that you can add to your profile to make yourself more marketable. Not only can you add traditional resume material (e.g. education, work experience, etc.) but you can also receive endorsements and recommendations from your network.

3. It’s all about who you know.

LinkedIn is all about your connections. These are avenues that you can use to gain visibility. At Acquirent our salespeople use LinkedIn to gain access to prospects through connections. For candidates seeking employment, you can use these connections to gain visibility to company recruiters, which is important to get to the interview stage.

4. Develop professionally.

Building professional marketability in the digital space is all about thought leadership.

On LinkedIn, the way to gain visibility is through joining, following, and conversing in your industry specific groups. Not only can you learn best practices in groups via the members’ posts, but you can also get noticed through your comments and individual topic posts.

Stay engaged and you will be noticed as a “Top Influencer.”

Staying up to date on industry trends gives you a leg up if you recognize the trend early and capitalize on the benefits. With regards to LinkedIn, using the various aspects available will give you that visibility for business leads or employment opportunities.

For those in the job market (and even those who aren’t) my advice is straightforward:

1. Join LinkedIn

2. Build your profile completely

3. Build out your network of connections

4. Become a “Thought Leader” through activity on your page, in groups, and sharing your own posts and ideas.

By doing these, you will display your professionalism and marketability to prospective employers.

Happy Job Hunting!