LinkedIn is for life, not just for job hunting

Frank Hutton

I think we all know LinkedIn has become an essential part of the job hunting/application process.

It’s often easy to see when someone is gearing up for change - the number of connections they have suddenly increases, they join more groups, they have a flurry of recommendations appearing  on their profile - all tell-tale signs that they are about to start or are already job hunting; all great news for recruiters who have the tools and knowledge to spot that kind of thing. They will find you if you are what they are looking for. That’s all fine.

However, by limiting your use and interaction with LinkedIn only to times when you’re actively pursuing a move, you could be missing out on its true worth. By maintaining your profile’s currency and through building and cementing your network you bring a host of benefits that dramatically reduce your need to job hunt in the future. Sounds good, doesn’t it!

Don’t believe me? Read on....

1. Your profile is your passport to success.

The ways in which we find information have changed. Quiet discussions still take place in shady corners. The boss will still ask around about who people think is good. But they will then look to corroborate their findings. And LinkedIn allows them to do this swiftly, conveniently and often anonymously. So make sure what they find is accurate, positive and paints you in the best possible light. Are all your achievements listed on there? Are you taking an active role in promoting your organisation? Are you participating in groups and forums around your specialist area? Are you well connected? You’ll find it will also alter how your colleagues view you - perhaps you’ll find they treat you with more respect the better your profile. Have a look at your profile now - would you give you that promotion over and above your closest colleague? Make sure you look your best all the time!

2. The old network systems don’t work like they used to.

They say it’s still a matter of not just what you know but who you know. And I have to agree to a certain extent. But these days, it’s much trickier to use the old fashioned methods of asking suppliers and ex-colleagues about people they know in the industry. Companies have procedures and diversity targets. They don’t want to be seen to be going against fair and open competition for jobs. Equally they don’t want to miss out on the best people. So when looking for people outside of an organisation, managers will often use LinkedIn quietly to see who the movers and shakers are as a bench mark against internal candidates and also potentially as possibles to top up a thin list, avoiding costly recruiter fees. Would you want to miss out on hearing about an opportunity where the new boss thought you were a favoured candidate? One where they were pursuing you, putting you in a much stronger position negotiation wise? No, I thought not.

3. There are only so many hours in a day.

We all know the benefits of networking to expand your career contacts and meet more people; but doing it well alongside your day job isn’t easy. Social media offers a brilliant way of making and maintaining connections  You’ll ‘meet’ more people than you’d otherwise meet because it’s not just who you know directly, but also the people they know and they people related to those 2nd degree connections who can see you. If you want an idea of just how many people that is, go to your  ‘Home page’ on LinkedIn and view the box in the right hand column (a little way down) which tells you how many 1st degree connections you have. To the right of that it will tell you how many people you are ultimately connected to. In my case, it’s over 12 million that can see me! That’s a very powerful reason to ensure I’m always looking my best! Numerically the exposure that LinkedIn gives your profile is unmatchable by any other means. Just go and Google your name now. Which sites are coming up? I’m pretty sure (if you have a LinkedIn profile that is) that LinkedIn will be somewhere very near the top.

Make sure you’ll never miss an opportunity - always look your best and ensure you appear a winner in your field 100% of the time. For more help and advice, call us or email. You can downlod our start up guide below for FREE if you're in need of the basics.