There’s no question: relationships enrich our lives on many levels. This is especially relevant in business, since who we know can enhance our opportunities for career development. This ranges from finding employment to networking with peers in search of solutions to problems. LinkedIn is a massive database of professionals and a powerful platform to showcase your brand, connect with people, exchange information, and maintain relationships.
If you’re not on LinkedIn, here’s why you should be. Note: If you are retired, it’s not as essential, but still a good idea if you have the time and want to continue networking.
– LinkedIn is the largest business social platform out there. Highlight your professional successes and future aspirations. Even if you don’t see the immediate benefit, I guarantee that you will find it valuable at some point in your career.
– LinkedIn is a practical way to stay connected with co-workers or reconnect with former ones. As you change jobs and companies, it’s easy to lose touch with your work friends. This is an excellent way to stay updated on professional activities and status.
– LinkedIn is also a great way to connect with people you meet outside of work, as well. Business cards are a good way to exchange contact information but with the convenience of our smart phones utilizing the LinkedIn app, you can instantly connect with people you meet and access their information easily.
LinkedIn and your Job Search
LinkedIn’s convenient, massive search engine is an effective way to find jobs, people, and companies.
Say you meet someone outside of work and have a great conversation. You connect with them on LinkedIn and see that they worked for a company that you’ve had your eye on and, coincidentally, it’s also where you just applied for a job. It’s a perfect opportunity for you to ask this person about their experience and see who they still know there, so you are not just another resume on the pile.
Over 50% of business professionals are on LinkedIn. Today’s growth rate of new users joining is 2 per second, which is more than one million each week. LinkedIn continues to acquire companies and add features. The basic account model is free. For more features (extended search and Inmail capability) LinkedIn offers more premium account models for a monthly fee. My advice: stick with the free version and make the free features and functionality work for you first
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Uli Stewart is the recruiting manager at Vantage Point Recruiting.