From a professional standpoint, having a presence on LinkedIn is a good idea. Leah Lambart of Relaunch Me explains why.
In my work as a career coach, I get asked time and time again whether it is really necessary to have a LinkedIn profile. The short answer is yes.
While I understand why everyone may not want to be on Facebook or Instagram, LinkedIn is a vital tool to help parents stay connected and manage their professional network. There is never a more critical time to do this than when you are planning to go on parental leave or take an extended career break.
But why is it so important? And what do you need to know about it?
Let me share my top eight reasons for being on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a fabulous tool for networking, particularly for introverts who avoid it like the plague. LinkedIn allows you to build your connections in a subtle way. Creating a LinkedIn profile allows you to reconnect with friends, colleagues, ex-colleagues, old bosses, clients, and others working in your field. If you experience a sudden redundancy, job loss, or are returning to work after a career break, it’s these relationships that will often be instrumental in helping you find your next role.
In my experience, it’s far easier to send a LinkedIn request as an initial point of contact rather than putting in a cold call to someone who may or may not remember you. Establishing contact via LinkedIn allows the person to at least try and remember you before you make that first call.
To build your brand internally
You can use LinkedIn to raise your profile within your current organization. LinkedIn allows you to publish your own articles or share other articles to add value to your coworkers and clients. By writing or sharing useful information, you might just start being noticed by the people who matter.
Wealth of content
There’s a huge amount of content on LinkedIn that’s written or shared by LinkedIn members. Obviously, not all content will interest you, but you may find relevant articles that are useful on a personal or professional level. There’s also the option to follow LinkedIn members who regularly publish articles that you’re interested in reading.
Keeping up-to-date with changes in your industry
LinkedIn is a fabulous way to stay up-to-date with changes in your industry, whether it’s a new appointment, a company takeover, or an update on a client or colleague changing jobs.
Opportunity to join industry interest groups
Another feature of LinkedIn is the ability to join groups with like-minded individuals who are in a similar occupation or share a particular interest. This can also be helpful to build networks outside your current organization and is particularly important if you’ve been with one employer for a considerable amount of time. You can join up to 50 groups or you can even start your own!
Recruiters and employers use LinkedIn extensively to source candidates either via advertising positions on the LinkedIn Jobs page or actively searching for suitable candidates who match keywords. If you’re in the market for a new position, then you really should be on LinkedIn to maximize your chances.
In addition, you can use LinkedIn to contact employers directly to seek out potential opportunities. Many employers are keen to build their talent pool with direct applicants as it reduces their advertising and recruitment costs.
To get discovered
LinkedIn has very much become a hunting ground for recruitment agencies and employers. Therefore, if you have a LinkedIn profile that is keyword-optimized for your ideal next role, then there’s the chance that you might actually be tapped on the shoulder.
Over 90% of recruiters now check to see if you have a LinkedIn profile as part of the recruitment screening process. If you have a strong profile that outlines your relevant experience, key skills, and strengths, whilst highlighting your strong network, then you’ll have a better chance of landing an interview.
For research purposes
It doesn’t matter if you’re self-employed, a freelancer, a small business owner, or working in corporate, LinkedIn is fabulous for researching potential clients to build your business.
LinkedIn Premium is an added feature that you can pay to use on a monthly basis and offers greater search capability. If you think LinkedIn Premium may be useful, you can try it for the first month at no cost, which I highly recommend.
With over 700 million members globally, LinkedIn is now the world’s largest professional network. Can you really afford not to be on LinkedIn? If you don’t have a profile yet, I suggest you join up and give it a try.
Written by Leah Lambart, founder of Relaunch Me. Leah is an experienced career coach offering specialized return to work coaching programs through her business, Relaunch Me. These programs are tailored for the individual but may include career counseling, interview coaching, LinkedIn coaching, and job search coaching.