If you still don’t have a LinkedIn account, maybe you should stop reading this and start one right now (and then come back to this article for tips). Yes, LinkedIn has become an essential tool to establish your digital presence. While it is not the main reason that employers will hire you (of course, it will still be your qualifications and experience), your LinkedIn profile is one of the first things they will look for when they do their research on you.
What exactly is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social networking site for the business community. It claims to be the world’s largest professional network with more than 400 million members. It is a tool to stay in touch with colleagues, connect with other professionals and possible employers, discover employment or business opportunities, and acquire and share information. Most importantly, because it is also a search engine, it is where the professional world can find you and see what you have to offer.
Ways LinkedIn can help your career:
- Establishes your digital presence – nowadays, employers consider it a red flag when you are not searchable online. A clear and concise LinkedIn profile is usually what they will look for. Aside from showing that you have digital skills (which are increasingly becoming a requirement in most jobs) and you are tech-savvy, having a LinkedIn profile also says that you are up-to-date on current trends in the professional world.
- Builds your network – networking is LinkedIn’s expertise. Growing your contacts is easy with this tool because of its extensive membership base. When you join, it suggests people you may know and may want to connect with based on the information you supplied on your profile. You can also search for people or companies using advanced search (a great way to search for a prospect for an informational interview!). You can even connect with your former classmates and colleagues using the “Find alumni” feature or join Groups (under the Interests menu). To ask people to connect with you, you can send an invitation (just click “connect”) or send a short message. Need other ways to network? Here are great suggestions from LinkedIn.
- Amplifies your credentials – If you have just applied for a job, having a resume synchronized with your LinkedIn profile will help employers verify what you wrote and check what you said during the interview.
- Keeps you in the loop – there are various ways by which LinkedIn keeps you up-to-date with current events and trends in your field and in your network. You can regularly interact with members of the Groups you have joined by participating in conversations, asking questions, or starting a new topic thread. You can see posts, event announcements, and ads on the homepage. LinkedIn also sends email updates about job opportunities; recommended news, articles and blogs (via LinkedIn Pulse); and your connections’ career milestones.
- Opens up more job opportunities – surveys show that more than 90% of recruiters use social media in their recruitment efforts. And because it is focused on business, they search LinkedIn first. Not only is it possible to have job offers from headhunters via LinkedIn but through your connections as well. The bigger the network you build, the more job leads can be available to you.
LinkedIn is not only the second copy of your resume. It has features and functionalities that help you showcase your experiences and qualifications better. You can add photos, videos and links to make it interactive. It has sections such as awards and achievements where you can provide a more detailed description of your successes. It has an endorsement section that shows your skills, as attested to by your professional connections. In short, you have more leeway to highlight your professional achievements because you are not limited to telling your story only on one page.
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1. The term “red flag” means:
2. A tech savvy individual is someone who:
3. You can build your professional _______ with a LinkedIn account.
4. Select the correct definition for the word “amplify” as used in the article above.
5. Prospective employers can use LinkedIn to double-check that the information given by an interviewee is accurate.
6. The phrase “in the loop” means:
7. Select the correct synonym for the word “leeway” as used in the article.
8. Social media is used for recruitment purposes by more than 90% of recruiters.
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