A social media tool that frequently comes up is LinkedIn. People tend to have a love/hate relationship with it. I describe it as Facebook for your professional life. There are certain things I would post on Facebook and others I would post on LinkedIn. Very rarely would I post the same information to both social media tools because the networks are entirely different. Just like you probably have a well-developed personal network on Facebook, you need to take the time to develop your professional profile on LinkedIn. Just to clarify, I’m not saying that you have to become the next person to make the list of LinkedIn Influencers, I am saying that you should be a modest user of the tool and have a profile that is up to date.
Reason 1: It could get you hired (or not).
According to a recent report from Career Builder, 43 percent of hiring managers conduct Internet searches to view the social media accounts of the employees that they are considering for hire. There are many things about an Internet search on your name that you cannot control; however, your LinkedIn profile is something that you can control. Give your prospective employer a chance to reach a positive public profile about you that demonstrates that you care about your public perception and that you make a reasonable effort to be connected with industry.
Reason 2: It could help in your job search.
As a bonus, LinkedIn also includes a job search tool that helps to match you with jobs in your area based on your profile. LinkedIn is currently working on expanding their business in this area. There are also recruiters who pay for a higher level membership that allows them to search LinkedIn for prospective employees.
Reason 3: It can boost your reputation.
Finally, even if you are happy with your company and want to stay put, being on LinkedIn is a valuable way for you to manage your perception within your own company. You can constantly update your profile with your latest accomplishments and build a valuable network of internal and external contacts.
As they say with the lottery, you need to play to win. Putting effort into developing a solid LinkedIn profile is a worthwhile and fruitful effort that anyone seeking to develop their career should pursue.
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