LinkedIn is often maligned for being spammy or ineffective. And that may be well-deserved. After all, most of us have experienced accepting a connection only to immediately see a message in our inbox with a full-on sales pitch.
As a result, as you read Millennial-focused career sites you’re bound to see posts extolling alternatives to LinkedIn, declaring it dead, or suggesting alternatives to “growth hack” your career.
While career networking should certainly include a wide range of tactics and networks, one point is very clear to those in the know: LinkedIn – despite the faults – remains the No. 1 career networking site. Period.
Here are six reasons why:
1. There Are Over 400 Million People on LinkedIn
No, they aren’t all active. No, they aren’t all looking for you. But they don’t all have to be active on it for you to learn about and connect with others who can help your career journey. The key is for you to be active… and make the most out of each connection.
2. Your LinkedIn Profile Is Not Your Resume
LinkedIn is your public profile, accessible to anyone on the internet. Build it properly to say “Who Am I” (not “who I used to be’); use the right keywords, active verbs and positive phrases; and your LinkedIn profile will stand out from everyone else’s.
3. 95 Percent of All Recruiters Use LinkedIn for Candidate Research
Therefore, build a proud and bold LinkedIn profile that clearly tells the viewer who you are. Share the profile public URL in your resume, business card, email signature, etc. And work hard to emulate how others were found on LinkedIn… because success is contagious.
4. Networking Is by Far the No. 1 Way to Find Your Next Great Job
Not just any job, but the job you really, really want. Building a LinkedIn network of people relevant to you and your goals is an important aspect of your overall networking. A bonus tip: don’t settle for a digital relationship; strive to meet the right LinkedIn connections in real life.
5. LinkedIn Search Tools Are Powerful
You can use LinkedIn search to find companies you may be interested in –and people you may want to have conversations with (think influencers, colleagues and alumni). Within almost every page, there are powerful ways to do research that will benefit your career.
6. Engaging on LinkedIn in a Deliberate and Purposeful Way Is Powerful
Engaging in a way that’s relevant to the industry and work you do (or want to do) is the best way to build a professional reputation on LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn groups to your advantage, for example. Or mine the Alumni tool to find potential mentors. The possibilities are endless.
There is no site with as many users that allows you to build a professional presence, relevant network, and a professional reputation. LinkedIn still offers the greatest network to find your next great career opportunity.
No other career transition site brings all of this into one place.
Editor’s note: Join the YouTern team for our Blab session focusing on this issue on January 28th at 12:30 pm PT / 3:30 pm ET.
About the Author: Teddy Burris is a LinkedIn Trainer, Consultant, Coach, Instructor, and Speaker. He specializes in LinkedIn training & social media training in seminars, public speeches and discussions for Business Developers, students, community college systems, non-profit & Business Networking groups.