Being a career coach and working primarily with people who are looking for a new job, I often find myself getting shocked to discover how many job seekers, including the ones who work in technology industry, don’t have a complete LinkedIn profile. Most of them will maybe have their name with a few previous employers listed, but no job description, no summary statement, sometimes even no profile picture. Occasionally I’ll come across someone who has no LinkedIn profile and one time I even heard “What’s LinkedIn?” Yes, that happened in 2017! I would say, unless you are retired and never planning to get back into the work force, or working for a top secret government agency a complete LinkedIn profile is a must have. Even if you are currently employed and plan to stay there for years to come, you never know what opportunities you might be presented with and you never know what can change with your current employer.
Reason #1. It is an excellent tool to keep in touch with past colleagues. And you will need to keep in touch with them for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they can introduce you to a key person who can help you get an interview at your favorite company. Sometimes they need your help finding a job at your company – not only will you be able to help out an old friend, there is a nice employee referral program bonus. Other times it is simply nice to catch up.
Reason #2. You can be discovered and presented with great work opportunities you wouldn’t have even heard of otherwise. Recruiters are constantly on the look out for great talent, especially in technology, but other industries as well. They search for specialists with certain skills using specific keywords. They simply wouldn’t be able to find you on LinkedIn if you don’t have those keywords on your profile. Or, if they do find you with incomplete profile that lacks information about your background, they wouldn’t know enough about you to see if you are a good fit for what they are looking for. In this day and age having a complete LinkedIn profile definitely beats posting your resume on job search sites, first of all your private contact information is still safe from spammers and most of the time you are contacted by quality leads.
Reason #3. It provides the best job search strategy available online. If employers are serious enough about hiring someone, they will post job openings on LinedIn. You can apply to those jobs directly on LinkedIn, which by far beats applying through company web site or third party job application built in apps. True, sometimes you have no choice, but even when you are not provided with the opportunity to apply through LinkedIn, you still have the opportunity to reach out to recruiters within the company using LinkedIn.
Reason #4. Network with professional contacts. LinkedIn is an excellent tool to keep in touch with professional contacts you met during networking events, presentations or were introduced to by someone you know. As many of you already know, networking is the most effective way to discover and land ideal job opportunities. LinkedIn provides you with a great platform to follow up with those valuable contacts and continue to build and cultivate those relationships. Sometimes you can even create new contacts using LinkedIn alone by participating in group discussions or reaching out to people directly.
Reason #5. You show up as someone tech savvy and knowledgable. Times change and so does technology. Linked in only started to become popular 10-15 years ago. Many of us have started our careers when there was no LinkedIn or any social media sites available, especially for professional use. Some of you remember the times in the workplace when there was no internet or email and you are still out there in the workplace with no plans to retire any time soon. Don’t be old school, it is your responsibility to keep up with the ever changing technology and be on top of the current trends. Afterall, that is what keeps you employable.