I am regularly asked, by colleagues, job seekers and friends, for my thoughts on whether they should be using LinkedIn and if it is any good. Similar to ‘how long is a piece of string’ there is no straightforward answer to this question. The usefulness of LinkedIn is determined by what you are looking to achieve.
And so we come to my latest blog, To LinkedIn or not!
What began as a brief overview grew and grew and the resultant blog has been broken into a series of three…my first series!
The first, published below, provides an overview of LinkedIn, including some insightful stats that may help you to make your decision. The second, targeted at those that decide to take the LinkedIn route looks at setting up a profile, and the third and final one will look at what to do next to get the most out of your profile.
So….if are you still sitting on the fence about LinkedIn… ask yourself these questions: Am I looking for a new job? Would I like to receive updates in relation to companies of interest? Would I like to increase and develop my professional network? Do I have current and ex-colleagues I would like to stay connected with professionally? Do I have contacts internationally that I would like to keep in touch with easily? Would I like to generate awareness to help grow and develop business?
If your answer is yes to any of these, LinkedIn provides a platform that can help you with this and more.
I use LinkedIn daily, and have experienced its benefits first hand – so yes, I’m in the pro-LinkedIn camp. Of course there are pro’s and con’s to everything, and no, it’s not all smelling of roses, but yes there can be some serious value-add, when utilised correctly and effectively.
It is not something I would use in isolation but rather to complement and enhance what you do and what you are looking to achieve. Like any tool, it is only as good as you make it.
So what is LinkedIn exactly? LinkedIn is a professional networking site, it is not like, nor should be treated like, other social networking sites. When considering to use and/or using LinkedIn and trying to maximise its effectiveness for you, keep this in mind.
LinkedIn is a tool and if used correctly it acts as your own personal, professional advert telling the world about your career history, professional experience and capabilities. It allows you to network and keep up to date with industry trends, interests and connections.
For example, I have developed my profile to build my professional network, promote myself, my company, our vacancies, and to share and see industry insights that I feel are relevant, helpful and of interest to me and my connections.
My profile not only allows me to connect with other likeminded and industry related contacts but for others to contact me for advice, guidance and query potential roles of interest in a discrete and confidential manner.
I also use LinkedIn as my first port of call if I get a call from someone or receive a CV and like what I am reading. I am straight on to the site seeing if the candidate has a profile and if the experience matches up. If you are looking for a job, visibility is key and LinkedIn is your best friend.
The Facts and Figures: (LinkedIn)
- Total number of LinkedIn users = 300 million (Jan, 2014)
- 40% of users check LinkedIn daily
- 41% of users check LinkedIn daily via Mobile
- There are over 3 million business pages
- 65 Million+ LinkedIn users in the EU
- 1+ million LinkedIn users in Ireland (Nov, 2013)
- Irish members are some of the most engaged in the world
- The biggest sector in terms of employment in Ireland is the hi-tech Industry
- Top 3 most popular entries for Groups:
LinkedIn is not something to be overlooked and its network is continually growing. At this stage, it has managed to become a near professional necessity with profile links having pride of place on resumes.