Social media: we love it, we hate it; we cannot escape it. The world has shifted from handwritten letters to emails, newspapers to Internet searches, and word of mouth to… social media. Our challenge, as professionals, is to use it to its fullest for our advantage. So where do we turn? Twitter allows us to put our most telling thoughts into 140 characters, Instagram defines the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and Facebook… well, it pretty much shares all that we would ever want (or not want) others to know about us. There are hundreds of social media sites that grant us a platform to portray ourselves, our lives and our businesses… so what do we choose?
I have found that one of the best social media sites for the professional is LinkedIn.
What’s so great about LinkedIn?
LinkedIn began as a social media networking site in 2003 as a way to connect to others in the professional world. The founders of LinkedIn decided to take a different approach than other social media outlets and develop a site that allowed those in the business world to connect with other professionals as well as offer their qualifications to employers electronically. This approach blended the importance of valuable, resume information and the excitement of social media networking into one. Today, millions of users are connecting to each other professionally through the services of LinkedIn and if you aren’t one of those users yet, here is why you should be:
5 Benefits of LinkedIn
1. It is a fast, efficient way for recruiters/employers to find you. Whether you are fresh out of college and searching for your first real job or hoping to move up in the ladder, future employers have immediate access to your qualifications via LinkedIn. They are able to see your education, volunteer experience, work experience, skills and more all at the click of a button.
2. It’s not what you know; it’s who you know. LinkedIn is all about “connections” and offers an easy way to get virtually connected to others who are in the same field as you or even in completely different fields. It allows you to connect to clients of yours as well as your own employers and employees. It also offers multiple levels of connections in order for you to see if you know someone that your target customer knows. Each person is labeled a certain connection with you based on if they follow the same people, giving you the opportunity to connect with those who know others that you know. Again, LinkedIn is designed to link people together and it does that through its efficient connection process.
3. It is a portrayal of your professional self and not your personal self. Trust me, when an employer considers hiring you, he or she will find your social media accounts. Often times that can be in the form of Facebook where your personal information, pictures, statuses, etc. are completely exposed and share your personal life. Often times, employers will look you up on LinkedIn first but without a profile for them to review your information, they explore your other personal social media sites. LinkedIn offers employers a social media site to see solely factual evidence of your qualifications for their business. It allows your clients to see your past work experiences and educational attainment instead of your children’s soccer tournaments or dinner with friends which builds your credibility.
4. It allows past and present employers and coworkers to write recommendations for you that are visible on your profile for all who view it to see. This further builds your credibility and provides instant recommendations from respected sources.
5. LinkedIn is simple. We all have to love and respect Google as the top search engine and I believe that is mainly due to its simplicity. We don’t have to look far to know where to type in that recipe we are searching for or definition we need to know. It’s easy and accessible. LinkedIn provides ease and accessibility to its viewers without clouding the site with various photographs, links, and status updates. When others view your LinkedIn profile, they get a clear, precise view of valuable information and do not have to go far to find it. People are more likely to read and be engaged in information when it’s easily accessible.
I am confident that as you either decide to sign up for the first time or continue to develop your already existing LinkedIn profile, you will discover more benefits for yourself and for your business. This tool is free and available for your use as a professional in the social media world we live in today; tap into it now!
Click here to sign up today.