Have you ever searched your name on the internet? What have you found? Now imagine that you’re a hiring manager trying to learn more about you – would you think they would like what they see? That’s where the beauty of LinkedIn® comes in. Whether you are job searching or happy staying put, having information that you decide to put out on the internet is crucial.
Recently I sat down with a few people and they stated that they’re considering looking for a new job and don’t have a LinkedIn® account. As soon as I question why, they state that they simply don’t need one. Here are some reasons why you should reconsider:
- If you’re looking for a job, why not give the hiring manager information they want to know? You have the upper hand on LinkedIn® because you can manage what your information.
- The great ability to network with past and present coworkers, friends, and family.
- Jobs are listed on LinkedIn®. You can join groups or just check out the job section.
- You have the ability to attract recruiters.
Obviously you have the ability to complete steps 2-4 with or without LinkedIn® with other tools such as you posting your resume on Monster and hoping to get a call from a recruiter, or networking the old fashioned way. I will not argue these points although I cannot imagine why you would not make your life easier!
So, the point I wish to hone in on is the ability for you to manage your professional appearance online – market your professional brand if you will. Your LinkedIn® account will most likely be your first impression with a recruiter/hiring manager because I can without a doubt argue that they will ‘Google’ you! When they search your name in a search engine, most times LinkedIn® profiles rank high in the search. Why not be in control of what they are going to find when they look you up?
There have been countless reports lately of companies looking up people on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. They’re hungry for more information because they want to know who you are and not just what you can do. Your resume is just opening the door and from there they can attempt to paint a picture of who you are, what you like, what you’ve done, and then assume what you can do. When it comes time to interview you they are just looking for validation of their pre-judgment.
Now if you’re not job searching my question is – why not be prepared? Are you truly planning on staying at the company you are in until you retire? Can you guarantee that the company is planning on keeping you that long? Starting your LinkedIn® profile early will just make your job search that much easier if the day comes that you need to start. LinkedIn® is also a great way to network, build connections and possibly sales/new hires/company relationships (need I go on!)
At the end of the day you are doing a disservice to yourself if you do not have a LinkedIn® account and it is not up-to-date. Companies have changed directions and now gathering as much information as they can on you so why not control what they see? If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times – Be prepared!