So, my last article was on social media and how it has been one of the major parts of our daily lives however; I felt like I focused on the negatives more than the positive. Therefore this piece is on LinkedIn, and how it’s possibly one of the best professional networking if you use it correctly.
Social media is a great way to connect with clients and keep up to date on what everyone is up to. That being said, social media posts aren’t always the most professional & may contain more personal information than we want clients or potential employers to have access to. This is where LinkedIn comes in to play. It is the social media solution for business professionals. LinkedIn is not the place you post about your cat, your political opinions or about the most amazing cheeseburger in the world. LinkedIn is a place for professionals who want to advance their careers and/or their businesses to connect with each other.
For those of you who don’t know what LinkedIn is, it is the leading professional network on the web. It helps you connect with family, friends, and faculty on a professional level. It helps you find new career and internship opportunities, manage what potential employers learn about you from the internet, and also find key contacts at companies that interest you. I hope these are enough reasons to get you to join LinkedIn and if not here are more; it helps you build your professional market in your field of expertise, connects your career passion to professionals in the same field, allows you to build and maintain professional relationships as well as turn them into opportunities, and for an employer, it allows you to research your potential employee before you interview them or offer them a job.
Learning how to use LinkedIn is no more difficult than learning how to use any other social networking sites. Since LinkedIn is designed for professionals, a businesslike mentality is wise to keep in mind when working on a profile, adding updates, seeking introductions to new contacts and so on. Rather than offer cutesy games and tons of spam, those who learn how to use LinkedIn will find this particular site is geared specifically to professionals.Many Fortune 500 executives, in fact, are on LinkedIn. Many companies are too, and you can add your company profile to LinkedIn just like them, once you've set up your personal LinkedIn account and profile. It will not only help you find employees, but will also help get your company’s name out there in the market.
Now, for those of you, who already have a LinkedIn account; make sure that you have been updating it on a regular basis. Now that LinkedIn is a decade old, most professionals have figured out how to build a network and enhance their professional relationships. With an ever-increasing number of hiring companies and recruiters using the site to head hunt and potential employers frequently checking LinkedIn before making a hiring decision, it’s worth reviewing and editing your profile to make sure that it does you the most good.
LinkedIn also has groups. Groups help you to meet people and expand your professional network. It’s important to join groups on LinkedIn for the same reason it’s important to join groups in real life. The key here is to think about what kind of people you would like to meet & join groups that they would belong to. If you want to meet attorneys, join bar association type groups.
So the bottom line is, if you haven’t already, join LinkedIn, however don’t forget it’s not Facebook hence, be sure to be strictly professional.