I work with job seekers all the time, and while some (a small minority) are firmly entrenched in LinkedIn and understand the importance of using the site during a job search, far more job seekers are either there in name only or are completely clueless. So do you really need a LinkedIn profile? The short answer is a resounding YES. The longer answer follows.
Recruiters Look for Employees on LinkedIn
It’s true: LinkedIn is the #1 site for employers and recruiters to seek out potential employees. They can post jobs there, either in the jobs section or in groups, and they can search for you based on the keywords that are in your profile. This is the major reason you need to be on LinkedIn AND have a complete profile.
You Can Research Companies and Key Players
If you’ve been coveting a job at a specific company but haven’t yet figured out how to reach anyone behind those corporate walls, LinkedIn provides the key you’ve been looking for. Using the site’s impressive search engine, you can reach out to see who works in a company. Better yet, once you’ve built your network of connections, you can gain access to those key decision makers through people you already know! This is an excellent way to build relationships and learn how you might be able to add value to the company in which you’re interested.
You Will Build Credibility
There is a group on LinkedIn for just about anything, and they are all accepting new members. Join a few groups and then start (or join) conversations. Share your knowledge and how you can help people, and what you’ll find is that those people will head to your profile to learn more about you. Bada-bing, bada-boom … you’ll end up with people following you and possibly offering you opportunities.