LinkedIn is the place to find and be found in the workplace. With a reported 200 million users in more than 200 countries and territories and two new members every second, this professional networking site is becoming harder and harder to ignore. So if you haven’t already, why should you now?
Be connected and glean the benefits
As a viable online business tool, LinkedIn can keep users in touch with their professional contacts in an informative and work related way. It represents a structured forum where individuals, business leaders and innovative companies post information about themselves, their progress and interests. LinkedIn allows other social media sites like Facebook to remain separate and private for family, friends and your personal life.
Used as a tool for career management, LinkedIn can be a place to showcase your skills and make strategic contacts with mentors, industry experts, local businesses and business people.
A LinkedIn profile that’s up to date, well written and informative can benefit the modern job hunt, whether you’re actively looking, or keeping up to date by simply being present in the marketplace. Recruiters and prospective companies often use LinkedIn as a resource to educate themselves on potential employees or head hunt working professionals. Sourcing potential clients and leads from like-minded individuals, or reading up on new acquaintances made at business events is also a plus. The uses for LinkedIn are many and varied.
A showcase, or security risk?
But what about security, precious personal information, online resumes and contacts that could potentially lead to identity theft? Here, personal choice comes into effect. Settings can be configured so that contact with other professionals requires an existing relationship, or the link from a known contact. Personal details can be hidden except to authorised users. Admittedly, some time and investigation may need to be undertaken to set these preferences and a “dummy guide” might be useful to decipher the rules of engagement; but all in all safety, comfort and security can be relatively easily achieved.
Will there be peacocks fanning their feathers making grand claims about exciting contacts and stellar careers? Of course. Do you need to link with them? Well no more than if you were given the choice at a party or networking event.
Will there be some effort to keep profiles current, informative and up to date? Yes but once you’re up and rolling, it’s essentially simple maintenance. Besides, work and career wise benefits are potentially worth the investment of your time.
Plus, where else can you ask business focused questions to such a large audience, present articles that you have published and read those of industry professions for free?
It might be yet another app on your phone, or log in and password to remember, but in the modern working environment where presence and presentation is everything, can you, or your career, afford for you be without it?