To many people, LinkedIn is a mere social network, where people with jobs comment on certain posts, spend time, endorse each other, and brag about their achievements. That is not a bad way to put it. But imagine this; imagine you walk into a large room through a blue door, and in this room, there are CEOs, top company executives, specialists in various fields, people just like you, and many other people who are more advanced in their careers than you are.
If you can imagine yourself in that room, you will realize that you have a lot of choices; keep quiet and stay on your own, talk to people just like you, network with individuals more advanced in their careers, perform quick interviews with top executives or just leave the room to go do something else.
If career growth is important to you, you will quickly see this as an opportunity to improve your career. LinkedIn is that large room with the blue door.
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools for career advancement. People who stay on LinkedIn are mostly professionals, settled in their careers — which is a good thing because we want them there, so it can continue to be a tool — but the people who need to be there the most are the people who need career advancements. These are some of the reasons you should spend more time on LinkedIn.
1. Job Application
If you need a job, the human resource personnel handling the job you are applying to, has a profile on the same social network you probably ignore the most. When you apply for a job, you can literally, locate the recruiter, connect with them, and send them a mail reaffirming your application. Remember, recruiters get a lot of applications, doing something to stand out, like connecting on LinkedIn, can go a long way to get you the interview. This may take time but will be worth it in the end.
If you are able to sell yourself to the recruiter, they will check your profile, and that is another reason why you should update your profile regularly. Your profile will act as your resume to the recruiter at that point. Be sure not to spam them or pester, or else you will lose favor just as fast.
2. Career Choice & Career Growth
If you look to plan your career, you have thousands of people who have passed the same position you are in at some time or the other. You can compare their career line and figure out if that is what you want for yourself or not. LinkedIn provides a road map for so many people who are not sure where their career leads.
If you ever wonder if a career move is worth it, you can check for people who have made that move in the past, and see if you want to be where they are now. This might not be a 100% determinant for your career results but it gives you an idea. If you are a student, and want to know what to do after you graduate, your starting point would be to check LinkedIn for people who have graduated with your degree and compare their careers.
You can perform informational interviews as well by connecting with top executives or field experts, and asking them questions about their careers. Those answers can help forge a path for your career.
Do not forget that the reason why you go to school is for what comes after school. In that case, the school you go to might have an effect on your career; hence, investigating the school and its alumni will be vital to know if a school is good enough. You definitely want to spend some time researching this! You can also check for people who have graduated from a degree, diploma, or certificate you are considering, and see what they are doing now.
Are they where you want to be? You can ask LinkedIn that question.
4. Employers Are Watching
The biggest mistake anyone will make will be to think that there is a disconnect between organizations and social media. You should know that the employees of these organizations are also individuals and they have social media accounts. The easiest way for anyone to look you up, especially if you don’t have a Wikipedia page, is to check your LinkedIn profile. If your LinkedIn profile is updated, you could spark an interest in the employer and that could lead to good things happening for you.
Entrepreneurs looking to pitch their ideas or sell their products need to present to decision-makers. In the past, communicating or getting the email addresses of top officials can be very daunting. You would either guess the email through their names or try to get to them through constant disturbing. With LinkedIn, you have two choices. Once you connect with them, you could either send them a message on LinkedIn or you could get their email addresses from their ‘contact’ section and shoot them an email. That easy!
Now ask yourself, are you in that large room with the blue door? If you are in it, are you just on your own, or are you actively networking? Staying away from LinkedIn is a bad idea. If you need help with your LinkedIn profile, check out this article on our Step-By-Step Guide: Perfect LinkedIn Profile For The US & Canadian Labour Market.
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