Yes, You Too Need a LinkedIn Profile. Here’s Why.
The numbers don’t lie. With over 320 million members in more than 200 countries, LinkedIn has cornered the market on online professional networking and continues to grow. It’s a hotbed of networking activity, complete with university alumni resources, interest groups, and an intelligent job-search engine.
Despite all these advantages, however, many of today’s most talented professionals still haven’t bothered to create a LinkedIn profile. Below, we outline – and discredit – some of the most common reasons for not joining LinkedIn.
“I’m Too Young.” There is a prevailing myth, especially among entry-level professionals, that their career is too short to adequately fill a LinkedIn profile. But you don’t need more years in the workforce before you can create a great-looking, effective profile. Instead of listing jobs, focus instead on writing a killer summary, including relevant university coursework (Don’t forget to link to published works!), and volunteer work or internships.
“I’m Not Looking For a Job.” Maybe not right now, but it’s increasingly commonplace for professionals to spend less than five years in a given position – meaning that your career goals are likely to change sooner rather than later. A LinkedIn profile can help you stay connected to other professionals in your field and stay abreast of job-market trends, so that when the time comes to make a change, you’ll be ready.
“My Professional Network is Too Small.” You’d be surprised. University professors, old classmates, your supervisor at the restaurant where you worked in college, even your parents’ colleagues can all prove to be invaluable networking contacts, and LinkedIn is the ideal place to organize them. LinkedIn is also the place to ‘add’ contacts that don’t quite make sense for Facebook – for example, a recruiter you meet at a job fair.
“I’d Rather Just Post My Resume on Job Boards.” This is something of an old-fashioned approach to online job-hunting that puts the onus exclusively – and unnecessarily – on you. Many of today’s recruiters utilize LinkedIn Recruiter, a paid service that enables them to set very specific search parameters for exactly the candidates they need. The more accurate and detailed your LinkedIn profile is, the more likely you are to be found by a recruiter looking for someone just like you.
“My Career Has Been Pretty Unremarkable.” It can be intimidating to create a LinkedIn profile when you know you won’t be adding any industry awards, published works, or specialized knowledge. Don’t let that deter you. Make your profile shine with positive recommendations, a great-looking professional headshot, and well-written job descriptions.
Whether you’re a veteran careerist or just beginning your climb up the ladder, you need a polished, up-to-date presence on LinkedIn. Get started today building a profile that showcases your professional worth and networking prowess.