This is likely the most frequently asked question over the past year. Does LinkedIn really work? Does it lead to job opportunities otherwise not available? Is LinkedIn the future? Although I don’t have all the answers, it is clear by the sheer growth of this popular professional website that it is relevant on several fronts. Let’s review together.
In today’s 24/7 world, where we are connected one way or another to the internet, we have to be ever so more conscientious about our digital foot print. Everything you do online can be seen or retrieved by someone. At least work under this assumption to ensure you censor your own words before harm can be done. This is valid for ALL sites not just LinkedIn.
If you have recently applied for a job, you will have seen that you have the option to submit your LinkedIn profile as your resume. It is a sure bet today that every employer screens your digital foot print if you don’t provide upfront access on your own. It’s a standard screening checklist item on your background check as well.
With this knowledge in hand, I would suggest you treat your LinkedIn account as a digital resume and maintain it regularly ensuring that it accurately reflects not only your current role but also your major accomplishments. Provide enough detail to give a sense of your successes and highlights of your skills, knowledge and abilities. Don’t overlook the section labeled “Recommendations”, it is your opportunity for folks you have worked with over the years to provide a testimony on your character and contributions in your respective roles.
LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool and you should make every effort to identify the circle of professional contacts you need to get to the next level in your career. Spend a few minutes per day to identify aligned professionals and send out an invite to connect. LinkedIn software will start recommending connections once they recognize a trend in your selections. If you are actively looking for opportunities, be on the look out for recruiters in your industry and connect with them via a friendly note outlining your intentions.
Lastly, be mindful of what you like, post or respond too. It is all discover-able and it will provide insight to your strengths and weaknesses for a savvy recruiter or potential employer. Stick with posting professional, informative and learning opportunities to your readers. “Like” or “share” articles that you align yourself too and only follow people you feel can enhance your knowledge and experiences.
LinkedIn is our future and you might as well make sure that your profile reflects who you are as a professional, leader, teacher and team-mate. You will have only one opportunity to a “first impression” therefor if you decide to have a LinkedIn Profile, make sure it reflects who you are as a professional.
Let me know what you think. Has LinkedIn helped you in your job search?