Why You Need LinkedIn… Even When You’re Not Job Searching

LinkedinAlthough some are in transition, many of the clients and colleagues we work with are blessed with successful careers. Whenever we bring up LinkedIn and how they should really consider sprucing up their profile, they kind of look at us and say, “Why would I need that? … I’m not looking for a job.”

Fair question.

We can also ask, “How will LinkedIn help me further my career?” and “What can I do to get started if I’m completely new to LinkedIn?”

Let’s get started answering those questions!

LinkedIn is the Professional’s Online Identity

Most people think of LinkedIn as a job networking site, when it’s really so much more. For millions of professionals, it’s their online identity…whether they planned it that way or not.

The first thing I do when working with a new client, hiring a new employee, or investigating a new partnership is to Google that person’s name. And guess what often shows up near the top of the results? That’s right, your LinkedIn profile.

To demonstrate, I Googled myself and sure enough my LinkedIn profile was the first thing that popped up.

LinkedIn-is-Important

What’s shocking is that out of LinkedIn’s over 150 million users, half of them don’t even have a completed profile. Yet your LinkedIn profile is quite likely one of the first things to show up on a Google search.

People Google other people for all kinds of reasons outside of just hiring them. Do you really want an incomplete LinkedIn profile representing you? If you are an executive, director, or manager this is a great way to leverage your personal branding and to be an example to the teams you lead.

Who’s Finding Me On LinkedIn Anyways?

Have you ever been contacted on LinkedIn with an opportunity, job prospect, or recommendation? If not, is that something you would like? To show you what’s possible, here are just a few of the opportunities that were brought my way because of LinkedIn:

LinkedIn-is-Important

Even without actively job searching, I’m hit with several opportunities, jobs, and connections without much effort on my part. In this economy, having a passive stream of opportunities is extremely valuable for any professional, whether it’s job related or not.

In case you’re wondering, “Well, how good can those opportunities even be?” Here’s some fascinating statistics about the users of LinkedIn.

  1. Average Age: 41
  2. Average Household Income: $109,708
  3. 95% of users are college grads
  4. 49% of users are business decision makers

As you can see, LinkedIn isn’t just a place for recent college grads looking for their first job. It’s a network worth connecting with. Maybe you haven’t been directly contacted through LinkedIn yet, but that’s okay. LinkedIn makes it easy for you to see who is checking out your profile.

When you go to LinkedIn and click profile, you’ll see on the right a spot where it says how many people have viewed your profile in the last “x” days.

LinkedIn-is-Important

Clicking on that will show you a list of people who have come to check out your profile.

What can you learn from looking at this list? Look at the industries of the people reading your profile. Are they relevant or odd? If you’re a marketer but accountants keep popping up on your views then maybe there’s some optimization you can do to attract the kinds of people you want looking at your profile.

How often are you showing up in search? You never know who is looking for your skill set but can’t find you because your profile isn’t optimized well.

LinkedIn’s Groups…Quite Possibly the Best Way to Network Without Networking

Another special part of LinkedIn even if you aren’t job searching is their groups. There is literally a group for any industry, interest, or hobby on LinkedIn. If you have a question, you can get it answered quickly and for free from people who know what they’re doing. If you enjoy helping others and sharing your wisdom, LinkedIn makes that possible here as well. Posting helpful articles and contributing to the discussions happening on these pages can quickly make you a stand out expert in your field. As you’re doing this, you’re making valuable connections you would have missed otherwise.

So, What’s the Best Way to Get Started?

Hopefully I’ve been able to help you see the value of LinkedIn and motivated you to get started. Getting a profile set up is simple and LinkedIn does a fantastic job of walking you through the process for making your profile complete. Do your best to get your profile to 100% since that will also give you better chances for being found in LinkedIn’s search.

Get started… and get found, even if you’re aren’t job searching!

 

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For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Careertopia!

 

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bryce-christiansenAbout the Author: Bryce Christiansen is the Editor-in-Chief of Careertopia and co-creator of the free eCourse, “How to Find the Perfect Career Fit For Your Personality”.  He’s on a personal mission to help people find the career fit that’s right for who they are as a person. Connect with Bryce on Twitter!

 

 

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  • Dana Leavy-Detrick

    One of the best things about LinkedIn is the way they streamline a lot of their functionalities – asking for recommendations, requesting introductions to a common connection, connecting with someone who share the same group as you. It takes a lot of the awkward feeling out of networking by giving you a lot of user-friendly, streamlined tools to introduce yourself and make those connections. Great article Bryce!

    • Bryce Christiansen

      Thanks Dana,

      I think that’s one of LInkedIn’s greatest strengths too. I’m not typically the type of person who just goes out and introduces myself to others, but LinkedIn makes the process of connecting painless and successful.

      Bryce

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  • http://www.careershift.com/ CareerShift

    LinkedIn is a good resource, no matter if you’re fresh out of school, employed, job searching, or just want to amp up your professional image. The trick is to customize your profile to whatever need you have. So if you’re a job seeker, it needs to be stated in your profile so employers are aware of your status.

    • Bryce Christiansen

      Yep, I know of several users who have done this and benefited as a result.

  • http://www.ericpbutts.com/ EB

    The point about passive opportunities is invaluable. In my current position, I wasn’t actively looking for an opportunity but one found me. I followed through on it and now I’m living back on the west coast. Not everything pans out but clearly having leads is better than not having any leads. I never understand how some don’t see the value/upside in this context. I’ll keep spreading the word to anyone who will listen though.

    • http://youtern.com/ Dave Ellis – YouTern

      You are living proof of the expression “Chance favors the prepared mind.” It’s always good to have connections, whether it’s to learn from, to consult with, or in the event that you find yourself with a chance for a career change.

      Happy for your new opportunity!

    • Bryce Christiansen

      Totally, with you on this as well. What’s the harm of having leads and possible opportunities, versus not having any at all?

      • http://www.ericpbutts.com/ EB

        This whole thing seems pretty straightforward to me too. Maybe someone reading this will have the answer! I’m genuinely curious how people justify not using LinkedIn.

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