It happened three times this week. Prospective clients called asking for my opinion on the current resume as they seek the next executive-level position on their career ladder. I review their file, give my opinion and ask, “Are you on LinkedIn? I’d love to see what your online profile looks like.” Silence ensues. Then, “I don’t have a LinkedIn profile.” It’s 2014. LinkedIn is now considered a standard recruiting tool used by thousands if not millions of recruiters from companies large and small all over the world to source, screen, and identify potential talent. If you aren’t listed on there, you may be missing out on your next great opportunity. Below are the three main reasons to make sure you are on LinkedIn.
Friends and former colleagues can be just as effective as a talented recruiter
LinkedIn truly is Facebook for professionals. If you are in the market for a new role, LinkedIn can automatically send updates to your contact list and alert someone who might know of a fantastic role for you. This scenario won’t happen if aren’t there to be found.
An online presence can add credibility to your brand
Everybody does this: they see a resume, read it, and then quickly do a Google search on that person or a direct check on LinkedIn to see what they can find. It’s vitally important to make sure your digital profile is as clean and consistent as your written, physical resume.
LinkedIn affinity groups share new job listings all the time
Once you are on LinkedIn, the abundance of interest groups—whether it be banking, consulting, media, private equity, hedge funds, or whatever—can be a treasure trove of job listings you may not otherwise be able to access. On top of that, LinkedIn groups send alerts straight to your inbox about opportunities that pop up to give a good sense of who is hiring, when and where.
LinkedIn is an important job search tool – one that should not be ignored or overlooked. Give yourself an opportunity to be found – and when you are, make sure your presence is professional, tailored to your goals and evocative of a positive and professional brand.
Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.