Are you “linked in”? If you’ve never heard of LinkedIn or you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you are behind the times and could be missing out on some great employment opportunities. As of 2014, 300 million people use LinkedIn—100 million in the US alone. 40% of users check it daily. Ask any potential employer and they will tell you that looking you up on the Internet is one of they things they do for prospective employees. You want your LinkedIn profile to be one of the first things they find.
Why is LinkedIn so important? Your LinkedIn profile is the modern day resume. You can have more information in an easy-to-view format that many more businesses/professionals can use to view your potential as an employee. You can also use it to find other people for your own business. You can join groups of other people in your field, or a field that you are interested in working in. You can reach far more potential employers than you would with a paper resume and trying to get it submitted to companies you are applying to.
I am not suggesting you get rid of your paper resume. This is an important document that potential employers still expect to see. However, adding a link to your LinkedIn profile gives them the option of seeing more about you, including your photo, your outside interests/volunteer work, all of your skills beyond what might be required of the specific job you’ve applied to, and groups/charities you support. It gives you a little something extra than 1-2 pages can cover.
It’s not hard to make a profile, and paying for the premium service really isn’t necessary in my opinion. If you need help, you can find information on the Internet, ask friends with profiles, or call the number on the LinkedIn website. There are a few things you should keep in mind when making your profile:
- Definitely include a photo, but make it professional looking. According to statistics, profiles with a photo are viewed 11 times more often than those without. A good idea is to get a photo professionally done in an outfit that you would wear to an interview. Do NOT use a picture of you at a party or super far away, for example.
- Make sure you fix your privacy settings. Just like other social media sites, you can decide how private you want your profile to be. Think about who should have access to your profile, and if people should see who you have viewed.
- Edit/update your profile often. None of the information should be out-of-date. If you do new training, or join a new organization, or get a new job, these things are very relevant and should be on your profile.
- Do not use LinkedIn as another social media outlet. Do not link your posts from Twitter or Facebook and vice/versa. LinkedIn needs to remain professional!
There are plenty of other sources that can help you with setting up your profile (links to the two I used for this article below). If you have any personal experiences/advice, please share!
Photo source: http://wersm.com/linkedin-has-a-new-sharing-button/