When looking for employment, one of the best ways to increase your professional ‘footprint’ is to create a LinkedIn profile.
This simple, but effective tool is used by millions around the world and is widely considered to be a must-have platform for people looking to increase their professional networks and develop their personal brand.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is ‘social media for professionals’ and is recognised as a benchmark for professional networking social media platforms. It is intended to be a platform on which a user can promote their skill sets and workplace experience, and build professional networks.
It’s not a new platform – in fact, it’s actually older than Facebook! According to the We Are Social Digital 2019 in Australia report, there were approximately 11 million registered members on LinkedIn in Australia as of January 2019, and approximately 604.4 million registered members worldwide. That is a lot of professionals you can connect with!
LinkedIn is particularly popular within the 25-34 age demographic, with 228.76 million registered members of the global total falling within this age group. Clearly, for people entering the workforce after completing their studies, this is a very important platform.
Why LinkedIn is an important employment tool
Creating a LinkedIn profile is a simple way to invest in your future employment prospects. By taking just 15 minutes out of your day to create a comprehensive profile, you are increasing your visibility to potential employers, building your professional networks, and developing your personal brand.
Increasing your visibility
Recruiters and employers use LinkedIn to search for candidates before they advertise positions on job-seeking websites.
Similarly, once recruiters are narrowing down candidates for interviews, they often check LinkedIn profiles to ensure the information corresponds to the job application. You can even upload your resume (or CV) to LinkedIn.
Building your network
It’s so easy to make connections on LinkedIn. Once you have made your profile, LinkedIn suggests ‘people you may know’ on the ‘My Network’ tab, based on connections you have already made, and your skills, and employment history.
You can simply scroll through this page and send invitations to connect, or if you already know who you want to connect with you can search for them.
Every potential connection also shows you how many mutual connections you already have in common – similar to Facebook’s mutual friends. LinkedIn also has a messaging platform so you can direct message potential or current connections.
Searching for jobs
By using LinkedIn’s job search function (found under the ‘Jobs’ tab), you can find roles that are suited to your skills and future aspirations and are in your preferred location. LinkedIn even provides suggested job searches based on your experience.
You can also use LinkedIn to research potential employers. Many businesses have a company LinkedIn page, so you can use this as one of the resources you use to learn more about a business when you are preparing your job application.
Many people use the free version of LinkedIn to create and manage their profiles, however there is also a Premium (paid) version which provides extra benefits such as: • Additional information on posted jobs • Additional salary information • Access to learning videos and courses • The ability to see all the people who have viewed your profile over the last 90 days (the free version only shows the last five people).
If you are serious about building your profile and increasing your exposure to potential employers, a Premium account may be the best for you. Learn more about LinkedIn Premium here.
Next month, we will provide tips on building a great LinkedIn profile.