I talk with many clients who not only don’t know what LinkedIn is but if they even need it. Do you need it? Yes!
It wasn’t too long ago that people looking for positions would contact their friends and family to let them know they were looking for work. They might attend a networking event often sponsored by a local chamber of commerce. But back in 2002, a social professional networking site was created. By 2006, it had 20 million participants and by 2013, it has more than 239 million! So if you’re not on LinkedIn and you are a professional, then you don’t really exist.
The first step is to start your profile. While there are several good resources out there that can give you detailed information about creating a profile, I will simply say that your LI profile should tell a little (professional) story about you. Unlike a resume which is more formal, here is an opportunity to add a little of your personality. Use the word “I” when you write it and share your strengths and a few accomplishments you are proud of in your career.
But more than having a profile, is how to use LI. Here is a great place to list anyone and everyone you know from your professional network. We often forget how many people we actually do know, but once you write a list, you’ll probably be surprised to discover you may have as many as 100 people!
What’s really cool, though, is once you have them on your contact list, you now have access to THEIR contacts. It has been said that most people looking for a job will do best by networking with people you do not already know. Why? Because the people in your own circle already know you are looking for a job. If they haven’t materialized a job for you, then it’s probably not likely to happen in the near future. But by exploring your network’s network, you have access to perhaps, hundreds and even thousands, of other people!
So if you’re not already on LinkedIn, start working on getting your profile up. It’s sometimes hard to write about yourself. I often write profiles for my clients. If I can help you, please contact me for more information.