The short answer is yes, LinkedIn works and is incredibly valuable in your job search, professional development, or if you are looking for clients. Not convinced? Let's work out this problem.
Here is the situation. You could be a student, unemployed, underemployed, a freelancer, or new entrepreneur. How do you make genuine contacts which help you advance your career? You must network, but events, career fairs, and professional organizations are only part of the equation with solid networking. There is a digital component of networking, and that is found on LinkedIn (note, I do not work for LinkedIn or receive any reward for this article, this information is based on research and experience).
I am sure you have been told to have a strong presence on LinkedIn. But why? To answer the question, let's look at objective and subjective data. First, we will start with some stats and then some personal stories.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform. It is the core of where recruiters go to examine candidates along with the main destination for both students entering the business world and high-level executives.
- There are 467,000,000+ LinkedIn members across 200 countries (Source)
- Over 6,500,000 job listings are on LinkedIn (Source)
- 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn when vetting candidates (Source)
- 40,000,000 college students and recent graduates are on LinkedIn (Source)
- Someone joins LinkedIn every 0.5 seconds (Source)
The numbers are staggering. Not only can you find jobs, but it is the one site where you can easily connect with people in your industry or learn about new career opportunities.
Simply put, LinkedIn is the place you need to be if you want to advance your career. Statistically speaking, you have the highest probability of connecting with people in a professional way for job enhancement.
Numbers are helpful, yet let's look at some stories.
I use LinkedIn daily to connect with peers and reach out to current and potential mentors. It has become my preferred destination because social media is something I have grown up with which makes the platform feel natural. Recently, I was speaking with the President of a small organization who does not use LinkedIn frequently. He managed to login to his account and immediately said, "this feels like Facebook."
If you know how to use one social media platform, you can likely use them all.
Now that you are comfortable, what should you do? I highly recommend writing short articles to build your personal brand. We don't have time to get into the value of articles, let's just say they work and if you don't know how to start, check out this quick exercise.
Wait! Isn't this story time, here are two quick ones to show how an article can lead to success.
- When I started my consulting business, I wrote an article on marketing. A contact saw it and reached out as he was about to launch a business and needed help with a marketing strategy. He was one of my first clients. Think about it, he trusted me because of our previous relationship and liked the article which led to a consulting contract.
- Another article mentioned Bauer College of Business where I attained my MBA. An alum from another state happened to see it and reached out. Turns out he is the President and CEO of a boutique consulting firm. We ended up messaging, setting up a Skype call, and now I ask him for advice on my business.
I could go on with how articles have benefited me, but you might not want to write. Well, here is an easy example of how LinkedIn can help with your career advancement. As part of the BizLatte team, I coach individuals. These individuals are usually millennials who are students, unemployed, or underemployed. In our first or second session, I look at their resume. Most of the time it is too long, and I always have the same response.
Use LinkedIn for your long-form resume and get your hard-copy down to one page. There is usually resistance, but let's be honest. Unless you have 20 or 30-years of experience, your resume should be a single page. LinkedIn is where you put in all your professional accomplishments. We already know over 90% of recruiters are going to vet you on LinkedIn anyway. This means you can place all your extra items on the site and keep your resume concise.
Ready to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile?
By now it should be clear, LinkedIn is one of the most important tools for professional development. Now the question turns to, how is your LinkedIn profile? Is it stellar or does it need some work?
Most people do not realize you can have a killer profile fairly easily. All it takes is some strategic steps. This is why the BizLatte team put together "Beyond All-Star on LinkedIn." In this e-guide, you will find step-by-step instructions to immediately boost your online presence. We have spent months putting this together with YOU in mind.
For only $19.95 you can enhance your profile in just a few days. Are you ready to move beyond all-star? If so, click here and begin your journey for increased professional development.