Why? Because it hosts more than 600 million professional profiles, which means nearly an unlimited supply of network connections and job opportunities. From seeking a new job to maintaining your personal brand, LinkedIn is an important part of being a full-fledged professional in any industry these days. Here are seven important reasons to create a LinkedIn profile — or dust off your long-forgotten one.
What are the benefits of LinkedIn? You’ll find a number of reasons in this list, but let’s start at square one: You can search its robust job board — and even apply to jobs — through the networking platform.
Search jobs by keywords and location. Even if you’re not actively seeking new employment, you can set job alerts based on your career interests to regularly receive email updates and stay in the loop.
You can also be sneaky about it. If you’re connected with co-workers and managers, turn on your “I’m interested” button, which will let recruiters know you’re open to hearing about new opportunities. LinkedIn will hide this open invitation from folks at your current company.
With LinkedIn’s premium account, you can access even more information about job openings. Send direct messages to recruiters, see how you compare to other applicants via insights, and even gain instant access to salary insights. While LinkedIn Premium is free for the first month, it’s not absolutely necessary if you don’t want to splurge on the $29.99 monthly fee.
Just like companies build their brands, it’s important for you to build your professional brand online. How do you stand out from others in your industry? What makes you marketable? Why should someone pay you six figures?
Personal websites are great for this, but they often come with extra costs — and hours and hours of building and finessing. LinkedIn is a simple way to put your name on the professional map. Upload a professional profile picture and write a powerful summary that emphasizes your strengths and showcases your personality. When recruiters, employers, co-workers, and managers peruse your profile, they should be able to gain a strong understanding of who you are and what skills you bring to the table.