You already have a solid résumé, several references, and a strong cover letter. So why do you need a LinkedIn profile? As of 2017, LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, claims to have 500 million users in over 200 countries. During the month of January 2017, 227 million monthly active users logged in, and that number has grown monthly ever since, according to Apptopia.
This post provides 11 reasons why you need a LinkedIn profile in 2017.
LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site in the world. Companies can use LinkedIn to search potential employees. Sometimes companies search LinkedIn before posting a job online or during the interview process. Your LinkedIn profile should include your professional experience that is current and correct. In a LinkedIn search, the four parts that show up is your name, title, recent positions, and photo. These elements are crucial for you landing potential jobs!
LinkedIn can help you make a great first impression. Because LinkedIn profiles can also be searched on Google, Human Resource departments actively search out potential employees, even if you aren’t looking.
2. Worldwide Accessibility
According to DMR, 70% of LinkedIn users live outside the US and 30% in the US. Most likely, your LinkedIn profile will be seen before your résumé. This gives you a leg up on the competition, whether you are looking for international or state-side positions.
3. The Details
If you include at least five skills on your LinkedIn profile, you will likely receive 17 times more profile views than those who don’t include skills. But another great aspect about LinkedIn is that you can include details that you wouldn’t typically include in a résumé. For example, hobbies, professional organizations, school clubs, and non-work certifications are all options that you can add to your profile. These details can be great conversation starters in an interview and make you look well rounded.
4. Professional Appearance
Simply having a LinkedIn profile will make you appear more professional. Kathleen Yazbak stated, “For senior folks I’m assuming they have a strong network, cultivate it, and are seen as a leader in their field. Without a LinkedIn profile, I’m not sure how they can say this.” No matter your age, you need a LinkedIn profile to appear competitive in your field.
You will want to get professional photographs for your LinkedIn profile picture. LinkedIn profiles with professional-looking photos receive 14 times more profile views! Because LinkedIn is the most professional of social media platforms, you want to put your best foot forward and look as professional as possible.
If you add contacts on your LinkedIn profile, it shows that you are actively networking. Michelle Kedem, a partner at search firm On-Ramps, argues the following: “Everyone should have an existing LinkedIn profile, but if you update it, especially if you’re connected to co-workers, it will be noticed. My advice is to be thoughtful when you create your profile—don’t tinker too much. Make all the substantive changes at once so it’s not a tip-off. Adding connections is a different story—that shows that you’re a good networker, which is a positive thing.” There’s no downside to making connections because you will be seen as an active networker.
6. Online Groups
One perk of using LinkedIn is that you can join various groups. On these group pages, you can discuss topics relevant to that particular field. Professionals have the opportunity to share content with each other, find answers to job-related questions, and establish themselves as industry experts. Joining groups is easy; you can use the search feature or look through suggested groups that you might like. After you become a group member, then you can view conversations on the group page, message members, and post your own content and questions.
You can write and request recommendations that will be seen on your LinkedIn profile. Rather than asking co-workers at your current job, start off by writing LinkedIn recommendations for former colleagues, customers, and vendors. According to Liz Ryan, CEO/founder of Human Workplace and author of Reinvention Roadmap, “[t]he best way to get LinkedIn recommendations is not to ask for them but to write them for other people. Whenever you write a LinkedIn recommendation for someone, LinkedIn will prompt them to write one for you, too!” Write recommendations and soon others will write ones for you.
Building your brand takes time, energy, and effort. LinkedIn is a great way to help you brand your company. When someone searches your name, you don’t want it to be boring with no pictures and no indication of what you do. Take the example of searching “Jane Doe” below:
Instead, making an awesome LinkedIn profile means having a description of what you do, a professional photo, and job title. According to Donna Serdula, “Your LinkedIn profile is the place to tout your accomplishments and showcase endorsements and recommendations. If you don’t highlight your accomplishments, I can assure you NO ONE ELSE WILL.” All of these things will help build value for your brand. You can read “Building Your Brand: 14 Tips on Creating a Brand Fit for You” to learn more about the importance of creating a brand that fits you and your company.
If you have a LinkedIn profile, you will look more relevant to potential employers. On the other hand, not having a LinkedIn profile makes you look out of touch with what is happening now. Reading LinkedIn Daily Rundown or reading articles searched under “LinkedIn today” provides professional news that you need to know to stay relevant. This will help you stay up-to-date on what is happening with your connections, companies, and the world.
Did you realize that your LinkedIn profile helps build trust? Your LinkedIn profile validates you professionally. It’s especially important for freelancers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. Jeremy Schifeling explains, “Every time you want to win business, you can bet that [the clients] are going to check you out, look you up and maybe come across your LinkedIn, and so every time they do, the profile is going to work for you.” Build trust today by creating a LinkedIn account.
11. Website Traffic and Leads
If you want to generate traffic for your website, your LinkedIn page will do wonders because LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform for gaining website traffic and leads. Writer Marcus Fergusson reports that LinkedIn is responsible for 64% of all visits to websites, while Facebook has only 17% and Twitter 14%. LinkedIn is an effective way to get people reading what you write and is a great way to market yourself.
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