Did you know that the professional networking platform, LinkedIn, has actually been around longer than Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat? Another thing you may not realise is that LinkedIn is currently more relevant than ever before. You may be wondering why and the reason is because it houses over 600 million professional profiles, which means an unlimited supply of network connections and career opportunities. From looking for a new role to maintain your personal brand, LinkedIn is an essential part of being a full-fledged professional in any industry these days.
Below are seven crucial reasons to create a LinkedIn profile or polish up your long-forgotten one.
- LinkedIn Allows You to Tap into a Powerful Job Board
What are the benefits of using LinkedIn? You will discover a number of benefits in this list, however, let’s start at square one: You can search its powerful job board and even apply to jobs, through the networking platform. You can search for jobs by location and keywords. Even if you are not actively looking for new employment, you can set up job alerts based on your career interests to receive regular email updates and keep in the loop.
Also, you can be sneaky about it. If you are connected with managers and co-workers, you should turn on your ‘open to work’ button, which will allow recruiter to know that you are open to hearing about new job opportunities. LinkedIn will hide this from people in your current company. With LinkedIn’s premium account, you can access even more information regarding job openings. Send direct messages to hiring managers, see how you compare to other applicants through the insights and even gain instant access to the salary insights. Although LinkedIn Premium is free for the first month, it is not absolutely necessary if you are not willing to splurge on the $29.99 monthly fee.
- LinkedIn Allows You to Build Your Brand
Just as companies build their brands, it is important for you to build your professional brand online. You need to think about what makes you stand out from other people in your industry, what makes you marketable and why should someone pay you highly for your work. Personal websites are excellent for this, however, they generally come with extra costs and hours upon hours of finessing and building.
LinkedIn is an easy way to put your name on the professional map. Simply upload a professional profile photo and write a powerful summary that emphasize your strengths and showcase your personality. When employers, co-workers, managers and hiring managers peruse your profile, they should be able to gain a great understanding of who you are and exactly what skills you can bring to the table.
- LinkedIn Can Help Rank Your Name on Google
Changes are, if you apply to a job, one of the first things a hiring manager will do is Google your name. Although emailing a new client could result in a Google sweep of your name. If you have never Google’d yourself, now is the time. Curious as to what pops up on the first page of results?
This is another benefit of LinkedIn: it helps you to rank on Google’s first page since it is a well-known and powerful networking platform. Because of that, it is generally easier to get your LinkedIn page to rank on Google as opposed to your online portfolio or homemade website. If your LinkedIn profile is the first thing a prospective employer will see, maybe it is time to get one or polish up your existing one to stand out from the crowd.
- LinkedIn Maintains Your Rolodex of Contacts
Remember that great young professional you met at that conference a few years ago? Or that friend of a friend who was interested in freelancing for your business? Honestly, probably no. Rather than stuffing their business cards in your desk or adding their email addresses to an outdated address book, connect with them on LinkedIn when you meet them. Keep them in your connections so that one day, when the time is right, you can reconnect.
- You Can Research Companies and Their Employees
Sure, if you are applying for job positions, you can access openings from other job boards; there are plenty of perks of those out there. However, LinkedIn offers additional perks. These days, most companies maintain their LinkedIn pages where they will share company news and insights, update company information and showcase their current employees. If the company knows what it is doing, you should get a solid, good feel for its people and culture to ensure it is a fit for you prior to diving into the interview process or accepting the job invitation.
- It Allows You to Tap into Industry News
Similarly to other social media platforms, LinkedIn aggregates a timeline when you sign in. There, you will discover news updates from your connections, your company and any groups you are in. It is both wise and fun to keep tabs on industry reports and trends.
- Network, Network, Network!
Can I emphasise this enough? LinkedIn is such a vital networking tool. Even if you dislike networking events and consider yourself more of an introvert, you can still foster meaningful LinkedIn connections. Through LinkedIn, you can create a relationship with mutual connections, people in your field and even your greatest role models.
If you were curious about how many benefits there are to using LinkedIn, we hope this list has convinced you of its powerful professional tools. With this, you can maintain and build your network, build your professional reputation and look for jobs. Additionally, it is free to join. So, why wait?