LinkedIn has been getting buzz in the professional world since its launch, however, many people aren’t choosing to take advantage of the network. Why should they invest time in another social media tool? Don’t they already use Facebook enough?
Here are 10 reasons why I think people should take advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer.
1.) First off, it’s a great way to network with your friends after college. We go our separate ways after graduation and keeping up with everyone after jobs have started can be difficult. LinkedIn, like Facebook, makes it easy – however, in a much more professional environment.
2.) LinkedIn can help you grow your professional network. You can connect with professors, colleagues, friends, or people you’ve just met at a conference. Either way, y our network is going to prove vital once it comes time to get answers to a question, leads on a new job, or even a reference for an upcoming job interview.
3.) LinkedIn Answers is a great resource for finding answers to specific industry questions. Think of it like Yahoo! Answers all grown up and gone to college. It’s smart, likeable, and everyone’s favorite invite to the party.
4.) LinkedIn isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of resume. It’s a dynamic professional presence that allows for you to bring together references from past and current employers, your social media profiles, your resume, and your personal interests to give employers a good look at who you really are and what you have to offer. The key is to keep interacting on the network, growing your connections, and reaching out to others to give references, answers, and input.
5.) LinkedIn can be a way to get your foot in the door at a specific company. Take for example GE. For a school project, I worked with other students on developing a presentation on the management strategies employed in the company. To get some first-hand accounts of what it was like to work at GE, I turned to LinkedIn. I searched for employees and sent them messages asking for their help. Out of the seven I contacted, I heard back from four. I got answers to my questions, some great insight for my presentation, and I made connections with four people within a major organization – four people who may provide a good word should I apply for a position with GE.
6.) LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to network by joining online groups. These groups can help you find professional organizations, people with similar interests, and even great news articles and blog posts that relate to your industry.
7.) LinkedIn can help you control your online identity. Prospective employers tend to search for applicants on Google before conducting and interview and having a great LinkedIn page can be a strong first impression that can help you land that position.
8.) LinkedIn helps you search for jobs! I know how frustrating it can be to look for jobs and sometimes you feel like you’ve looked everywhere. Luckily, LinkedIn offers a wider network of jobs to pull from, which means more chances for you to find the position that fits your skills best.
9.) LinkedIn helps you prepare for interviews by helping you find out more about who may interview you as well as the company you’re hoping to work with. Profiles of people who work for a specific company may provide useful info on their job history and background, not to mention, their roles within an organization.
10.) LinkedIn helps you stay in touch with your contacts on a more professional platform. You can connect with friends, family, teachers, coworkers, or even that volunteer coordinator you worked with once at a fundraiser. Just keep growing that network!
I’m on LinkedIn and I’ll be your first connection!
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