A couple of people have asked me recently, “Why should I use LinkedIn?” or, “Do I really need a LinkedIn profile?”
The answer is YES – even if you’re not looking for a new job – and I’m going to share the top 5 reasons why.
Here’s why LinkedIn is important and why you should join…
Why Use LinkedIn?
1. Hiring Managers look at your LinkedIn (even if you applied via another method)
Yes – even if you applied on the company’s website or a job board, hiring managers are looking you up on LinkedIn.
And if you have no profile or a sparse profile with no photo and not much info, it’s going to make them less likely to interview you.
At the very least, you should have the following sections filled out to be taken seriously when applying for jobs, networking, etc:
- A unique LinkedIn headline
- A professional-looking photo
- Past employment
- Skills (I recommend filling out all 50 skill slots because they serve as keywords to help you get found)
Now, you might be thinking, “I’m not job hunting, so I still don’t see why I should join LinkedIn.”
Well, employers are always looking for people on LinkedIn… so you’re missing out on making new connections and maybe even job offers by not joining.
That brings me to the next point for why you should join LinkedIn and set up a profile.
2. The best companies recruit on LinkedIn
What do these companies have in common? Apple, Google, Disney.
Along with being three of the most in-demand employers, they all recruit on LinkedIn!
And thousands of other employers recruit people on LinkedIn too. So even if you’re not looking actively for a job, you’re still costing yourself the opportunity to hear about new things and possibly advance your career if you’re not on LinkedIn.
There are a lot of benefits of looking for new jobs when you already have one, and it’s what I’d recommend doing, actually.
This is how you advance your career and increase your salary fast. If you wait until you’re desperate or unemployed to job search, you’re going to lack confidence and struggle to get paid what you’re worth.
Employers are also more attracted to people who are currently employed usually. It’s not fair, but it’s true.
Even if you’re not looking for a new job, wouldn’t you accept a new job if it paid tens of thousands of dollars more and was a more exciting position for you?
If so, then you should be on LinkedIn.
3. LinkedIn is an easy way to keep in touch with your network
Networking is the fastest and easiest way to find a job right now (and I explain why here), but you need to maintain connections and build relationships.
Nobody’s going to help you in your next job search if they haven’t heard from you in three years.
And LinkedIn is probably the easiest place to keep your network organized. You can send direct messages, you can give colleagues recommendations, or ask for recommendations for your own profile.
If you leave a job, or if a colleague leaves a job, it’s very easy to ask to add them on LinkedIn. So it’s a risk-free way of staying connected to everyone you’ve worked with or met.
The fact is, LinkedIn is the best way to stay connected with former colleagues.
LinkedIn helps you maintain a record of the last contact you’ve had with each person, as well as their contact info (phone numbers, email address, etc.).
This is so much more convenient than writing people’s phone numbers down, hoping they don’t change their numbers, etc. That’s not a very efficient way to track your colleagues down after a few years. Even email addresses change occasionally, but most people keep their LinkedIn profile for life.
4. LinkedIn is an amazing research & information tool
LinkedIn isn’t just a networking site or job search site (although it’s great for both).
Many smart/successful people write articles on LinkedIn and you can follow them and comment/discuss their posts. You’ll be better informed about what’s going on in your industry which will impress your current boss if you want to ask for a promotion, or impress any future employers you talk to if you decide to job hunt.
So not only is LinkedIn a way to keep all your contacts in one place, it’s a way to get all of your information in one place, too.
Hopefully that convinces you why you should have a LinkedIn. If not, here’s one more reason…
5. You’ll never see what you’re missing if you don’t have a LinkedIn
If you don’t have a LinkedIn yet, it’s probably because you’re not seeing everything you’re missing out on.
Here’s what I mean…
No employer emails you and says, “We got your application but decided not to interview you because we couldn’t find you on LinkedIn.”
They just don’t respond.
Nobody notifies you when a past colleague searched for you but couldn’t find you. Maybe they wanted to tell you their company has great opportunities. Maybe they wanted to ask if you could be a reference for them, and then they’d offer to provide a great reference for you in the future.
One more example…
Maybe a recruiter searched LinkedIn yesterday for your EXACT skill set for a job that pays $20,000 more than you’re making, but you weren’t there.
You’re never going to know these things.
The only solution is to go spend a few hours and create a LinkedIn profile.
If you’re serious about your career, there’s no good excuse for not having one.
Now you know the top reasons why you should use LinkedIn. To get started making a great profile, I’d recommend reading my top 11 LinkedIn profile tips here.
And here’s an article with every section you should put on LinkedIn.
Those two articles will help you set up a great LinkedIn profile that you can use for networking, job searching, following industry news, and more.