Every day we are bombarded with opportunities to join social networks. There is always a new networking site, photo sharing app, or microblogging platform to join. I admit that it can be overwhelming. How do you know what to join? Is social media even right for you? In this fast-paced, digital world it is no longer acceptable to say that you don’t do social media, don’t get how it works, or don’t understand the point. I’m not going to suggest that you have to Tweet or use Facebook for business communication, but there is one social network that I don’t think is optional anymore. As a 21st century professional you do need to be on LinkedIn.
Many people have the misconception that LinkedIn is only for social media early adopters or people looking for a career change. However, LinkedIn is not only for the go-getters and the job-chasers. It is an essential tool for successful professionals who want to build their network, keep up with industry trends, and stay ahead of their career. Here are the top reasons why you need to be on LinkedIn:
- LinkedIn helps you tell your story: In this day and age we use the Internet to search for information about the people we work with. Think about it; have you ever taken to Google to search for a prospective client or employee? Does it make you wonder if anyone has ever searched for you? LinkedIn gives you a forum to keep an accurate, active record of your education and career. This is likely the information that will come up if someone searches for you. It gives people a place to go when they want to know where you went to college, where you worked in the past, and how to get in touch with you.
- LinkedIn keeps you connected and strengthens your relationships: Think about all of the people you have come in contact with during your career. You probably have various address books and piles of business cards with everyone’s information. Wouldn’t it be great if you could keep all of those contacts in one digital, searchable location? That is exactly what LinkedIn is. LinkedIn allows you to connect with everyone from every job you’ve ever had. You can search for contacts by company, name, or job title. You never have to update anyone’s information and you will be notified when someone switches companies, gets a promotion, or changes their information.
- LinkedIn prepares you for the future: Though you might be convinced that the career you’re in now is your retirement plan, it is still important to keep your resume, skills and achievements up to date. With LinkedIn you can easily add job responsibilities, skills, and promotions as you acquire them. No one can predict what will happen in five, ten or even fifteen years. Keeping an active LinkedIn profile ensures that your resume and recommendations are all in one place in case you ever need them.
- LinkedIn offers you quality industry discussion: The number of LinkedIn industry groups has grown exponentially over the past few years. These groups are full of thought leaders discussing cutting-edge technology, industry current events, and the latest and greatest trends. LinkedIn groups offer you direct access to these quality discussions and ensure that you stay at the forefront of industry knowledge. They even give you the opportunity to join the discussion and provide commentary on your own areas of expertise.
- LinkedIn lets you connect with the brands that mean the most to you: Some of the world’s top brands are delivering their best content through their LinkedIn pages. You can use LinkedIn to connect with almost any brand that is important to you. Boston Financial has an active LinkedIn business page. We see our page as a place where our clients, associates, and industry professionals can go to get the most up-to-date information about Boston Financial. We use our page to communicate our various services, promote our career opportunities, break company news, and share our thought leadership.
Have I convinced you? Are you ready to get started? Stay tuned for my next article where I’ll explain five best practices for maintaining an effective LinkedIn presence.