Do I really need a LinkedIn profile?
In my work as a Career Coach I get asked time and time again whether it is really necessary to have a LinkedIn profile. Although a large proportion of the population are consumed with social media, there are also many individuals who are not comfortable having an online presence. Usually these clients are not Facebook or Instagram users and can’t really see any need to create a LinkedIn profile either.
So, here are my top 5 reasons for being on LinkedIn:
- Job search
Recruiters and employers now use LinkedIn extensively to source candidates either via advertising positions on the LinkedIn Jobs page or actively searching for suitable candidates who match keywords.
So, can’t I just set up a profile when I need it? This is a common question and it kind of makes sense. The problem with taking this approach is that it can take a little while to grow your LinkedIn connections and to get to the stage where recruiters are starting to notice you. If you create your profile before you actually need it, then you are preparing for your future rather than reacting to a sudden change in your job status.
- For research purposes
LinkedIn is a fabulous research tool if you are exploring new career options, interested in doing further study or researching potential clients for your business. I always encourage my career counselling clients to use LinkedIn to explore new occupations, potential employers and even potentially reach out to people on LinkedIn for a quick conversation.
The privacy settings in the back-end can be easily adjusted to Private Mode so you can research to your heart’s content without anyone knowing.
LinkedIn is a fabulous tool for networking, particularly for the introverts who avoid networking like the plague. LinkedIn allows you to build your connections in a subtle way without putting yourself out there so to speak.
When you create a LinkedIn profile it allows you to re-connect with friends, colleagues, ex-colleagues, old bosses, clients and other individuals working in your field. If you experience a sudden redundancy, job loss or are returning to work after a career break, it is these relationships that will often be instrumental in helping you find your next role.
In my experience it is far easier to send a LinkedIn request as an initial point of contact rather than putting in a cold call to someone who may or may not remember you. By establishing contact via LinkedIn as a first step this allows the person to remember you before you make that first call.
- For personal branding
You can also use LinkedIn to raise your profile within your current organisation. LinkedIn allows you to publish your own articles or share other articles to add value to your colleagues and clients. By raising your profile internally you may also be positioning yourself for an internal promotion should the right opportunity come along.
- To attract clients / customers
A fully keyword optimised LinkedIn profile is proven to attract clients / customers if you a business owner. These days many people use LinkedIn to search for other professionals when they need assistance in a particular area. In addition, your LinkedIn profile is linked to a Google search. If you have a strong LinkedIn profile then your LinkedIn address will actually come up in a Google search.
There are many self-employed individuals and small businesses not utilising LinkedIn effectively to increase business.
If you are interested ingrowing your business using LinkedIn, think about the following
- Is your LinkedIn profile complete
- Is your LinkedIn profile keyword optimised so it is returned in LinkedIn and Google search results?
- Do you know who your ideal audience is on LinkedIn?
- Is your Summary section of LinkedIn talking to your ideal audience?
- Do you know how to find and approach potential clients on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is now world’s largest professional network with over 200 million members around the world and more than 3 million members in Australia. If you don’t have a profile yet, I suggest you join up and give it a try.
If you would like to know how to use LinkedIn more effectively for job search or creating your own personal brand, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leah Lambart, Relaunch Me Career Consulting, provides Career Counselling, Interview Coaching, LinkedIn Coaching, Job Search Coaching and Return to Work Programs.