If you are not on LinkedIn or your LinkedIn profile is bad, you are hurting yourself.
This is a bold statement and for several months I have wavered back and forth, wondering if I should say it. As I watched the updates to LinkedIn as a platform and continue to hear smart people talking about the platform’s power, I quickly realized my perspective was not wrong; it was just ahead of what others I work with, including the majority of my clients, think.
They are wrong.
This sounds arrogant so to hedge myself a bit, I will say that LinkedIn is not for everyone. If you do not care about finding and/or sustaining a career then LinkedIn is not for you. You get a pass. Anyone else, you need to be on LinkedIn and your profile needs to be nurtured.
LinkedIn is quickly becoming the go-to source for anyone in the professional world who wants to find out things about other people inside and outside of their professional sphere. If you are a dental hygienist, that can mean a potential employer scanning your profile or it could mean me doing the same thing before a check-up because I want to gain some familiarity with the person about to spend 45 minutes while their hands are in my mouth.
LinkedIn is amassing data in mindboggling amounts and is doing very little with it… yet. (I do not need to hear any B.S. about data collection because if you are reading this, Google or Facebook or Twitter or Amazon are collecting your data and you have agreed, maybe not out loud, that the convenience these companies offer is worth your information.)
LinkedIn is sitting on data and once the play or the market is ready, it will leverage it and that will change how we find jobs and how we market ourselves. I honestly believe this.
Indeed and Monster are in trouble because the value of LinkedIn for employers and job seekers is very much wrapped up in the fact that everything everyone needs is housed under one roof. Things are going to change and soon.
For you, this means you need to be proactive. You need to be on LinkedIn and you need to devote some of the mind-numbing time you give to Instagram to cultivating your professional brand on LinkedIn. It needs to be updated and readable. If it looks subpar or if it is not there, you are now behind the competition when someone Googles you after reading your résumé or when a headhunter searches LinkedIn for qualified hygienists in the area to hire.