At a recent talk on the benefits of using social media for job search purposes I asked the 30 attendees if anyone had a LinkedIn account. Not one hand went up.
One reason could have been that my audience was college freshmen. Regardless, at least one hand should have went up.
Below are three simply reason for you to use LinkedIn, if you are not doing so already.
Consistency with Résumés
LinkedIn approaches the formatting of résumés with a great deal of simplicity. Around 99% percent of the information that you would put on your LinkedIn profile is plain old text. The 1% is just your head-shot. And yes, unlike a paper résumé, it is proper LinkedIn etiquette to upload a professional (looking) picture.
The bare-bones approach to how the data is input and viewed by hiring managers allows new users to set up a profile in minutes.
Connect with the Professional in Your Network
LinkedIn is a hub that focuses on professional connections, something that falls outside of the realm of Facebook and Twitter (although you shouldn’t discount Twitter when you’re looking for a job).
Ideally, you would want to use tools that allow you to import selected contact from your contact in Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL, Hotmail, etc. However, if your list of professional contacts is short, don’t neglect your friends and relatives.
LinkedIn is not only great for seeing who your parents (in the case that they have joined LinkedIn) are connected to professionally, so that you can start building networking. But, through the free job listings that are offered by LinkedIn you are able to see if the person that had posted a particular position falls within your network of contacts, allowing you to get an introduction from a mutual contact (but more on that aspect later).
Each LinkedIn job post is active for 30-days. It is rare, although not out of the question, for a hiring manager to make a decision quickly. The odds are that the job that you are seeing on LinkedIn has not been filled. It would be a shame not to take advantage of the connectivity that LinkedIn allows. So, click that Apply Now button!