Great…another form of social media that has the potential to occupy your free time. You’re already balancing your professional and social life across online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, and Instagram. The last thing you need is one more platform to obsess over and check constantly.
But let’s be honest. In the vast pool of social networking options, LinkedIn is the most crucial to have, both for professional and personal use. The others are really just to showcase the amount of fun you want your social network to know you’re having. LinkedIn is the one you need to help you get noticed in a professional, career setting.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is currently considered throughout social media to be the “world’s largest professional network”. LinkedIn allows individuals to create an online profile solely dedicated to their professional lives, and career goals and interests. Through LinkedIn, individuals have the opportunity to connect not just with close friends and acquaintances, but also with business professionals and colleagues in their field.
LinkedIn is a multifaceted social networking tool and offers many options for posting professional history. Individuals post their job status, academic and professional credentials, a short bio of their work and interests, a detailed resume, and a list of previous accolades. They can also throw in their personal interests, marital status, and activities that they are involved with to help them connect to people with similar hobbies as well.
What Makes LinkedIn Different?
Unlike other social media platforms that focus heavily on the social aspect of the online presence, LinkedIn concentrates solely on a person’s professional presence. This particular online presence is important to have when searching for jobs or catching the attention of prospective recruiters.
Think about using LinkedIn like going on an interview. In that setting, you are marketing your best professional self, the clean cut version of you that is displayed on the web. While your other social media platforms should be clear of the incriminating evidence of your college years, LinkedIn is the one that stands out the most to employers and should be the most polished.
Can I Use LinkedIn Even When I’m Not Actively Searching for Work?
Yes. Having an online presence is important regardless of your job status. LinkedIn users range from people who need to find work right away to people who are comfortable in their jobs and are looking for like-minded individuals with whom to network or discuss a particular topic.
LinkedIn is important for extending your presence outside of your immediate social circle. It serves as the gateway between job seekers and job recruiters. Because your resume is posted for a wide audience, recruiters, employers, and hedge hunters view your profile and if they see you as a potential fit for their company they will contact you.
Some Things To Remember About LinkedIn
LinkedIn is not the second Facebook. Be mindful that the information you are posting on your profile is available to employers. Leave raunchy pictures to your hard drive. Post a clear, professional-looking photo, similar to something you would submit for a work ID card or a class portrait.
Make sure in the bio to state who you are and what you are looking for so that prospective employers know how to approach you. Make sure your resume is edited and easily understandable. Make yourself look professional yet personable.