3 Reasons You Should Be Active on LinkedIn
Since its introduction in 2002, LinkedIn has become the leading social networking platform for established business professionals and active job seekers alike, and rightfully so considering the tools and features they have made available to both their free and premium users. Aside from being able to almost effortlessly document work experience, LinkedIn gives their users the ability to give and receive online recommendations from previous/current colleagues with regard to their professional abilities and skillsets. When speaking in terms of the widespread popularity of the site, it can also be said that a majority (if not all) of recruiting agencies are now using LinkedIn to scout their talent. Some firms have even confirmed that they use LinkedIn exclusively for the purposes of filling open positions. Therefore, it is no wonder why LinkedIn can be thought of as the go-to app for employment seekers.
Because a majority of the features appear to cater to the unemployed, it is a common misconception that registering for a LinkedIn account and actively pursuing a job are one in the same. In fact, it is quite the opposite. A large number of the 380 million users (and growing) are quite fond of their current positions and are not actively looking for a new career at all. But, why? Why would anyone in their right mind have an active LinkedIn account if they were currently satisfied with their profession and income?
I’m glad you asked!
Below, we list our top 3 reasons as to why everyone should be actively promoting their LinkedIn profile, regardless of whether or not they are currently employed.
1. Grow your network now. You never know when those connections might come in handy.
Sure, you might be totally comfortable with your current financial situation, and the thought of moving up to a higher paid position doesn’t motivate you at all. However, from time to time, companies DO downsize. And when they do, pretty much anybody can be on the chopping block. That is where LinkedIn comes in. One of the benefits to proactively networking through LinkedIn is that should you ever find yourself walking out of what used to be your cozy little 9-5 (or not so cozy 2-10), you will already have multiple open doors available to you. Heck, some employers may have already taken a look or two at your profile and reached out to let you know they were interested in your abilities!
Now, on the other hand, say you have just lost your job, so you reactively take to LinkedIn to begin growing your network of connections. And then it happens, “Ah! Yes! There he is!” You found him! It’s your old manager that you used to work for back in 2006. As it turns out, he just so happens to now be the executive VP for a company that provides services in which you are extremely knowledgeable! It’s like it was meant to be! So you click the “connect” button and wait anxiously for him to accept your request so you can reach out for any possible opportunities he might have available. He opens the request, definitely remembers you and would love to catch up and see how you have been! He then willingly accepts your request and heads on over to your profile, only to realize that you have just recently went unemployed. Hmm. You just lost your job, and all of a sudden want to “network” with him. How interested do you think he would be at that point to entertain a conversation with you? What if, you had established that relationship through LinkedIn well before the economy came lunging at you? Moral of the story: don’t be that guy.
2. You don’t find recruiters. Recruiters find you.
Typically speaking, when it comes to recruiters, they are not necessarily looking for people that are unemployed to fill available positions. For the most part, recruiters are hired by businesses to find passive candidates, or, professionals that are already employed (normally with a competing company) with the hopes of stealing your expertise by means of better compensation. That being said, although we initially established that you are totally fine with the position you are in and the money you make, what would you say if someone were to offer you the same position, but with an additional $15k a year to do it (not to mention that attractive 1 month a year vacation package)? Again, without LinkedIn, that possibility is virtually nonexistent. So start thinking of LinkedIn as an opportunity generator, and start using it to maximize your potential earnings!
3. Take advantage of the groups feature.
LinkedIn also offers users access to online groups with other like-minded professionals within specified industries and niche markets. These forum-like environments allow users to exchange information on specific topics, as well as participate in related discussions. Think of these groups as places to learn, as other professionals are constantly sharing their insight on any number of particular subjects. Observe this constant exchange of rich information and apply it to your own professional workflow as you see fit. Something you learn in a group might be something your higher-ups have never thought of.
Taking part in these groups will not only help to grow your own knowledge base and keep you in the know about related trends but also allow you to showcase your own views and knowledge, allowing other users to directly engage with you and possibly begin building lasting relationships (see #1 above).