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Tell Me about LinkedIn

Image result for linkedin
(Image by Forbes.com)

So what's all this LinkedIn stuff everyone seems to be talking about? 

As a Recruiter, I knew LinkedIn was important. It's been gaining traction for years and I wanted to get a grip on just HOW important and relevant it is for today's job seeker so I could educate my clients with the most up-to-date facts.

I did some heavy research and found one of the best options for training to be a Profile Writer. 3 months, a decent chunk of change, and many late nights spent learning later, I became certified!



The best way I can describe the importance of having a LinkedIn account is to tell you about an interaction that took place at an industry conference I participated in recently.

Setting: large hotel banquet room full of 100+ professionals from my line of work (so basically other resume business owners and career counselors). We're at a mid-day "Lunch-N-Learn" featuring local area Recruiters brought in for a discussion. 

Opportunity: a chance to pick their brains about anything. (Woot!)

I shot up my hand and asked the following: "Okay, so most of us in this room are certified professional LinkedIn profile writers and we're overhauling our clients' profiles and teaching them how to use them in order to get the most traction out of LinkedIn. So be straight with me... are we just blowing smoke up their skirts or are you guys REALLY using LinkedIn to help make a decision about someone applying to one of your jobs?"

The guy turns to me and says "Oh you have no idea... if we like what we see on paper on that resume copy, we set it down on our desk, swivel our chair, click over to LinkedIn (which we always have up in the background) and plug in their name. Depending on what we find, we either feel COMPELLED or REPELLED. Our logic is this: if we see a profile that someone has taken the time to fill out, that means they actually CARE about their career, and that's an automatic translation in our brains that they will professionally represent us as a company. On the flip side, if we see just a shell of a profile or we're clearly looking at something that was created years ago and has cobwebs all over it, that's totally unimpressive. Makes us wonder about them and why they wouldn't spend the time to put their best foot forward."

He also added "We're a very VISUALLY NOSY society nowadays. I want to see what the person looks like who I might be working with 10 cubicles down for the next 10 years of my life. I also want to see what kinds of things they do outside work, like what organizations do they volunteer for? What are some of their interests? I want to get a sense of their personality. You can't do that on a resume copy- it's a very specific voice and LinkedIn has come in as that "added dimension" for us to be able to get a better sense of who they are."


It's that simple. 

Some other important info:
LinkedIn is an EXCELLENT PLACE to search for a new job. It's also rapidly replacing previous industry dominators such as Monster and CareerBuilder for posting available jobs and connecting with professionals. 60% of LinkedIn's income as a company comes from selling their OWN personal job candidate sourcing software. I can tell you as a prior Recruiter who spent a LOT of time posting positions and sourcing candidates on both Monster and CareerBuilder, this is a huge shift. 

Do I think only active job seekers should have their profile looking good? Heck no!

Even if you are completely content with your current employment situation, or if you fall into the category of only being a "slightly disgruntled worker", EVERY WORKING PROFESSIONAL needs to have a good looking profile.
Period.


Nothing in life is guaranteed- that job you think you are secure in could go flying out the window next week... set yourself up for success ahead of time by adding LinkedIn to your "working professional" arsenal!

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