LinkedIn: Why use it?

1. To prove you exist. If you are looking for a job, and submit a CV, the first thing someone does is to Google you. That’s the reality of the modern day, social media enabled world we live. You probably want the first thing found to be your LinkedIn profile as opposed to your Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram page, with photos of you having a few happy drinks with friends. If you don’t have any of these social media properties, than an even worse thing occurs: nothing comes up in the search results: you don’t exist. Employers are expecting a level of social media awareness and maturity in their top staff. If they can’t find any evidence of this, than they move on until they can.

2. Validation. Equally as important is to verify you exist and you are actually who you say you are. Someone who has 150 connections, ranking managers and business owners at well known organisations is going to have a much harder time “faking” their experience than someone with no LinkedIn profile. Validating your bonefides to a verified audience almost serves more powerfully than the Curriculum Vitae itself, in some cases.

3. Your colleagues. Displaying what you are expert at, what you have achieved and your background, will allow them to better work with you and be more effective in how they work.

4. Recruiters. I often hear: I don’t like recruiters. I don’t need one, I’m happy where I am. I’m not looking for a job. Like it or not, Recruiters use LinkedIn as part of their filtering and research process. Every. Single. Day. They are used to differentiating between a profile that is mature and established against one that has been cobbled together overnight and put together in a rush.

To put some perspective on it – picture yourself as the recruiter. You have 2 candidates of equal experience and expertise but one has a LinkedIn profile that is polished, has a linear work history, 350 connections, a series of recommendations and endorsements and displays maturity in social media use. Which candidate would you pick?

This type of verified and peer validated decision making is occurring every day. With 300,000,000 people (that’s 300 Million) actively on the network, LinkedIn is by far in excess the largest validated business network in the world. Use it.

Other Reading:
The Ladders: 5 reasons you need to be on LinkedIn even when you have a job
Fast Company: Do you really need LinkedIn Premium?