LinkedIn is a social platform, much like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, but it has a distinct edge over those platforms for job-seekers. While Facebook and the like are inherently casual and mostly for wasting time (sorry, Facebook) LinkedIn could help you score a new job.
No, seriously! LinkedIn is a professional networking app that allows you to make connections and make your name known amongst professionals in your field. If you’re not using LinkedIn to expand your professional network, you’re missing out on a huge help to your career prospects.
LinkedIn and Job Prospects
What is It?
LinkedIn is, at its core, a professional-minded social networking app. The stated purpose of the site is to help connect professionals. You can upload your resume, work history and connections and make yourself more well-known in your field.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, profiles on LinkedIn are professional first. Recruiters and employers often first look to a candidate’s LinkedIn profile to see how the candidate stacks up. It’s a quick way to pull someone’s work history and resume without having to go through the formal hiring procedures.
If you’re a freelancer or someone looking to break into a field, then the networking offered by LinkedIn is a huge boon. Hiring managers and recruiters often set apart time of their day to browse LinkedIn connections. By increasing your network’s size, you make it that much more likely that hiring managers can see you in their normal scouting.
You can’t predict just how big of a role networking could play in your job-hunting process. Just because you know someone, you might get an inside track on a job you didn’t even know existed. If you’re gunning for a competitive position, the benefit of knowing someone in the field can be impossible to pass up.
Another big part of LinkedIn is the job listing section. If you’re actively hunting for a job, you can make managing your LinkedIn a full-time job! There are always new listings going live on this tab, so you can rest assured that you’ll find new opportunities on the site every day. In fact, many people get messages about open positions if they simply maintain their LinkedIn.
If you’ve become recently unemployed, LinkedIn can be a huge boon to your job search. It puts you in the loop regarding what jobs are open in your field and gives you a structure to searching for your next career. The listings can be sorted based on pay, field and requirements.
This allows you to stay up-to-date on just what options are available to you. If you’re keeping tabs on your LinkedIn profile, then you make it that much more likely you find the work you’re looking for. It almost acts like a headhunter agency that doesn’t take a cut of your pay when it finds you a job!
In the Know
Another huge aspect of LinkedIn is the active job article section. The articles can keep you in the loop on various industry trends, changes in the company or companies you’re interested in getting work in and showing you what behaviors led to various CEOs and execs getting ahead. It helps to know what got the people at the top to their positions and just how they keep their position in their field. After all, knowing is half the battle!
LinkedIn is also important in managing ones own personal brand. If you apply for a job and the employer looks up your LinkedIn profile, it can help solidify your professional legitimacy. If people who know you have endorsed your skills and put their name behind you, it makes you that much more desirable than the candidates who don’t have such guarantees.
There are numerous skills you can list on your profile, such as Photoshop or Microsoft Excel. Some people list skills like “sales experience,” “customer service experience,” or “writing talent.” Any of these types of skills can be endorsed by your LinkedIn connections, including your prior managers and coworkers.
Is LinkedIn Right for You?
So, you’re looking for a better job and you don’t know where to start to get yourself a leg up. Well, maybe it’s time to download LinkedIn and get your profile up. It’s not that hard to list your skills connect with your coworkers and former managers, and get validation on your personal skills.
When you’re competing for positions in highly sought-after fields, every little bit helps. Put yourself in a winning position by getting a LinkedIn account.