I’ve discussed the importance of a strong LinkedIn profile in several articles lately. Even though I’ve written resumes and recruited for several years, I’m still stunned by the amount of companies that hire from LinkedIn. It’s 97%! 97%!
With that information let me ask you, are you saying no to your dream job because you don’t have a strong profile? Companies will pass you over as a candidate no matter how solid you are if you aren’t presenting yourself correctly.
Why Get LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the top social networking website for job seekers. As Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, explains it, “Post a full profile and get connected to people you trust. Because if you’re connected to those people and you posted a profile, then when other people are searching for people, they might find you.”
LinkedIn has more than 332 million registered users as of January 2015. The site adds two new members every second, and 187 million people visit the site each month. With so many members, the rate at which your network expands on LinkedIn can be truly amazing. A hundred strategic contacts could mean access to millions of people in a short amount of time. You’d have to attend dozens — or hundreds — of in-person networking events to equal the reach you can get on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn allows you to leverage the power of your network — the people you know, and the people those people know — to help you connect to the person (or people) who are in a position to offer you a job.
Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, put it this way: LinkedIn is about “connecting talent with opportunity on a massive scale.”
Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are on LinkedIn. Recruiters from every discipline and industry are on LinkedIn. More than four million companies have profile pages on LinkedIn.
But author Guy Kawasaki puts it best: “I could make the case that Facebook is for show, and LinkedIn is for dough.”
Why LinkedIn Is Important In Your Job Search
Once upon a time, attending networking mixers, industry events, and Chamber of Commerce meetings were the best way to make new connections and build business relationships. Now, these activities have moved online within the LinkedIn community. Much like networking in person, professionals interact on LinkedIn with the explicit intention of making business connections.
With LinkedIn, you get all the benefits of networking in person, with less of the hassle. Instead of going from business lunch to business lunch hoping to meet people, LinkedIn provides a platform for you to specifically search and research individuals who you know will directly add value to your job search.
Employers and recruiters use LinkedIn to locate both active job seekers and those who aren’t necessarily looking (passive candidates). They also use LinkedIn to vet job candidates before making an interview invitation or extending a job offer. LinkedIn also allows candidates to create an online portfolio of their accomplishments — the latest update to LinkedIn’s profile format (rolled out in June 2014), has a strong visual emphasis, facilitating embedded video, links to content posted elsewhere on the Internet, and the ability to create highly shareable, long-form content in the form of LinkedIn’s “Publishing” feature.
LinkedIn allows you to identify, research, contact, follow-up, engage, and maintain your contacts in one place. Its ability to facilitate business networking is unmatched by any other social network. Essentially, your LinkedIn profile is a résumé, business card, and elevator speech all rolled up into one.
However, your LinkedIn profile is not your résumé. LinkedIn is a personal branding page. You need both a résumé and a LinkedIn profile, and they should be in sync with one another, but not be exact copies. The information on your résumé should match your profile (in terms of positions you’ve held, your educational credentials, etc.), but the content you include on your LinkedIn profile will be different than what is included on your résumé.
Jennifer Owenby offers her combined expertise as a recruiter along with training as a professional resume writer. Please visit ONB Professional Resume and LinkedIn Services for additional information and scheduling an appointment.