May 11, 2012
“If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you don’t exist”.
Those are some heavy hitting words from Inc Magazine’s latest article on this business/career social networking site. The full article, LinkedIn: Reading Between the Lines, can be found here:
To be honest, I’m glad SOMEONE finally said it in such direct way. When I find that a colleague doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile, or I’m doing a bit of digging on the public LinkedIn site and find that entire companies are lacking a presence I find myself thinking “what kind of rinky dink operation do they have running?” Not sure if that’s a fair thought – but it’s what my inner monologue is saying none-the-less.
For instance, my father is an EXTREMELY successful businessman. He’s built a solid C-level career in an industry that will always have more demand than supply, yet he has no LinkedIn profile. When I’ve confronted him about it, he says he doesn’t understand LinkedIn’s purpose and just doesn’t see the need.
My father is what people would deem “old school” and he’s close to retirement so he can probably get away with never signing up and is no worse for wear. HOWEVER, this old school mentality will become hindering as social networking continues to grow in popularity. And don’t get me wrong; it’s already INSANELY popular.
For those of you who are skeptics – let me give you a quick understanding of the benefit of being LinkedIn.
A) You can connect with former colleagues, clients, vendors, mentors, etc. It’s like Facebook for business – those whom you’ve lost touch with are just a click away
B) You can utilize LinkedIn to research and create sales leads
C) If you find yourself on the job hunt, LinkedIn is PARAMOUNT in a job search. Make your profile public so recruiters and competitors can see you and reach out to you.
D) You become searchable on major search engines like GOOGLE and YAHOO!
E) You’re given the opportunity to brand YOURSELF; not your company, but you – LinkedIn favors the individual rather than the business (in my opinion anyway)
F) You can hook up with other industry professionals by joining LinkedIn’s MILLIONS of industry-specific and skill-specific groups.
As a recruiter, LinkedIn is my lifeline to “softly seeking candidates”, IE people who might entertain a job opportunity but have not posted their resume on Monster or Careerbuilder. As a matter of fact, this week I’m celebrating my 500th connection, which makes me a LinkedIn LION – yes, it’s an official term for someone who is considered an “open networker” – very common in my profession of knowing a lot of really diverse people.
Anyway, this Inc.com article had some great advice for creating a smashing LinkedIn profile. This includes ALWAYS having a photo (make sure it’s professional and friendly), having a decent amount of connections, taking time to create a summary worthy of your experience, making sure to remember to add a chronological list of your experience (almost resume style), and having some recent recommendations posted.
For more specifics on each of these pointers, I encourage you to read the article – it’s a good one!
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