5 Reasons You Need to be Active on LinkedIn!

13 04 2011

LinkedIn is the largest business networking site, now with more than 100 million members, and still growing at a rapid rate.

You need to be on LinkedIn, but not only have a profile, but be actively using the site.  Why?

1. Does Job Security really exist?

If you’ve been paying attention during the past 4 years, then you know that millions and millions of American workers, many of whom thought it would never happen to them, were laid off as corporate America went through the largest down-sizing in recent history.  So, even if you love your job, have no interest in ever leaving your job, and are not interested in a better opportunity, it is advisable to invest in your network, just in case…  My clients can tell you that it is much harder to network when you are looking for a job!

2.  Networking is about learning and sharing with others

LinkedIn is a networking site – yes, there are job search features and job postings, but primarily, LinkedIn provides a platform for people to meet in a business and professional arena, and share their ideas, knowledge, expertise, and products/services with one another.  I constantly share with my LinkedIn network, and they share with me – it is an integral part of our learning and growing process.

3.  Are you participating in the social media revolution?

Or are you ignoring, avoiding, or denying that social media and social networking are now embedded in the fabric of our society, culture, politics, and business processes.  If you are on the younger side, then chances are you are technology savvy, or at least, aware.  If you are on the older (more mature) side, and you want to be able to compete with your younger colleagues, then you need to embrace social media.  Your participation or lack thereof, with LinkedIn, especially, says a lot about your view, knowledge, and experience with social media.  Emerson said “Ignorance is bliss”, but not if you are out of work and lacking the know how to effectively utilize the new social media and networking tools.

4. If you are job searching…

then, you need to be visible and attractive to recruiters and potential hiring managers.  More and more recruiters and hiring managers are searching LinkedIn for potential candidates – for both advertised and hidden jobs.  They are also using LinkedIn as part of their screening process once they’ve received and reviewed resumes.  An incomplete and inactive profile will most likely be passed over in lieu of a potential candidate whose profile is complete, professional, well-connected, and active.  Plus, they need to be able to reach you!

5.  Maintain your network! (within your company, too!)

Build your network, engage in group discussions, stay current on what’s happening with your connections, make comments, send messages, and keep in touch.  Just like your muscles, your network will atrophy if not used regularly and often.  Be proactive, and keep in touch with people you know, and make connections with people you don’t know, yet.  An active and vibrant network can bring opportunities, not only for new jobs outside of your company, but within your existing organization. You can share ideas and learn from others.  You can and will get noticed by others within your company.  LinkedIn is not just about networking outside your company, but within.  LinkedIn provides you the unique opportunity to interact with key people within your company in a way that would otherwise be unavailable to you.

Why you wouldn’t use LinkedIn actively – if …

  • you know for sure that you will never change or lose your job
  • you have no interest in sharing with or learning from others
  • you have no interest in growing in your current job or company
  • you have no interest in maintaining connections with your colleagues, former colleagues, and other professionals in your industry and field
  • you believe that social media/social networking is just a fad and will fade away
  • you are going to retire and do not want or need connections with anyone from your professional past

… then LinkedIn is not a necessary investment for you.  But, make sure you fit with one or more of the above exceptions.  If you don’t, then you do need LinkedIn, and you need to be an active participant with LinkedIn.  Join the parade, or it will pass you by …

What does your LinkedIn profile say about you?

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