Why Should I Create a LinkedIn Profile?

You might be asking yourself this exact question. When you think about it, it makes sense if you view LinkedIn only as a tool for active job seekers. Regardless, yes, you should care, even if you have a job. Here’s why…

LinkedIn is a professional social media network. Users turn to LinkedIn for many reasons. Professionals in a variety of fields engage in business related discussions to feel a part of something bigger.

“But, what if I’m not looking for a new job? Doesn’t being on LinkedIn send the wrong signal to my employer?” Absolutely not! We can’t argue that job searching is often the main reason people choose to become active on LinkedIn. This platform is your digital resume to show employers what you know, but simply being on LinkedIn is in no way an acknowledgement that you’re looking.

It’s important to understand a few main reasons companies might go on LinkedIn to view your profile. You’ve already applied for a job, at some point during the interviewing process they’ll visit your LinkedIn page to vet you. Not only do they want to see you have a page set up, but also what others might be saying about you. The employers may use LinkedIn as a recruiting tool as well. Many recruiters simply search LinkedIn to discover people who match the job criteria and you want to be found in that search. A 2016 Jobvite Survey found 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to source and vet candidates.

Sure, some might assume you’re a job seeker, but having a strong profile is in your favor to showcase your experience even if you’re employed and are not job hunting.  Current and potential customers might want to check out your credentials and look at your profile to assure them you’re capable and qualified.

Here are a few things you can do to elevate your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Review your work history to ensure your profile matches your current resume. Your job titles, dates of employment, and accomplishments need to be current. Recruiters and hiring managers don’t want to find discrepancies. This implies you are either untrustworthy or not attentive to details.
  2. Get recommendations from people in your LinkedIn network. Reach out to your connections and ask for a recommendation. It’s okay to let the person know a few specifics you would like them to mention. These show recruiters and hiring managers the value you can provide to their company.
  3. Use LinkedIn to network and build your connections. Connect with colleagues and industry peers. Engage with what they share on LinkedIn and post industry related content to your profile as well. Join industry discussions and groups. Keeping current with industry-related topics shows employers you know what you’re doing.
  4. Add your skills and get endorsements. On LinkedIn a skill equals a keyword. If you are seeking a new job, you will appear in search results when people are looking for those skills. Recruiters are more likely to contact you if you have the right skills shown. You can also be endorsed for your skills by your connections. These are a quick way for someone to say you are good at that particular skill. Endorse your connections for their skills and they will be more likely to endorse you for your skills in return.
  5. Be mindful of what you post! You don’t want to share anything that could make someone question your morals or work ethic. If you post negative comments about colleagues or your current employer, the reader will assume you’ll post similar things about them as well.
  6. Make sure you have a complete LinkedIn profile. Start with uploading a photo. Aim for a photo of just yourself in a professional setting. If you have a professional headshot that is great too! Don’t use a photo where it’s obvious you tried to crop out other people. Get dressed up and stand against a simple, uncluttered background to have your friend or colleague take your photo. Be sure you’ve completed all sections of your profile. You don’t want to give others the idea you don’t finish what you start.

Whether you’re looking for a job or not, you are own sales team and branding expert for yourself. LinkedIn is one of many tools you can use. Your profile is a representation of you and your employer, think of how much more positively customers and recruiters would view you if you did have a strong profile?

Even if you aren’t actively seeking a new job, you now have many reasons to care about your LinkedIn profile. It’s worth to take the time to make yourself stand out!

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