LinkedIn might not be as popular as Facebook and Twitter, but it is vital that we do not underestimate its importance: it is still the most popular and largest professional network/business-oriented social networking site out there. The professional presence of companies, CEOs and other professionals makes this the best site for networking online.

Why is LinkedIn so important?

1. Connect with Professionals

The main, and perhaps obvious reason, you should get a LinkedIn account is to connect with other professionals and build a network. This means connecting with people within the company you work, fellow students and peers, and other people that you may know from different industries. These are all the people you know. When it comes to connecting with people don't know, it is smart to ensure that you are strategic and don't just connect with everyone for the sake of it. You should connect with individuals that perhaps work in roles similar to yours, in roles that you aspire to work in, or just people you find interesting.

2. Online CV - Branding Platform

If you are looking to change job roles, LinkedIn is like an online CV where you can build a personal brand. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to create an online profile with different areas of information:

  • Intro - allows you to describe your key skills and qualities and what you have been working on recently.
  • Education - you can detail where you have studied, the year you did it, and what the course was.
  • Work Experience - you can add previous work experience from a variety of industries, depending on your experiences.
  • Skills - you can add key skills that you perceive to be your strengths so LinkedIn's algorithms can detect jobs that might be suited to you.
  • Accomplishments - here you can put anything which is an achievement to you such as published works, certifications, projects or courses you have completed.
  • Additional information - this allows you to include any references you cite from previous employers or colleagues.

This digital CV system allows you to manually change, add or remove information where necessary so that people get an updated view of your personal career progressions. When you go for a job, your potential employer might look at your LinkedIn profile, so make sure you're happy with it!

3. Industry Awareness

Connecting with peers, colleagues and large companies allows you to remain up-to-date with what is happening in industry. You can also follow different news publications to keep up with general affairs. Like most social media sites, who and what you follow allows you to customise your feed to the type of content you wish to see. However, with LinkedIn, everyone has a brand image to portray, so all content is relevant due to the professionalism of the platform. Therefore, your feed will be rich with content you want to see and that can help develop your industry knowledge.

4. Inspiration from CEOs

For well-known individuals, you follow them rather than connecting with them. This is the perfect opportunity to follow CEOs such as Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and John Fallon. Following these thought leaders will allow you to take inspiration from them and get an insight into what it might be like to be the CEO of a FTSE 100 company; not to mention the fact that you will receive first-hand content without the filter of the media!
red Virgin hot air balloon
Photo by laura Wickham / Unsplash

5. Search Engine Optimisation

If someone types your name into Google, it is likely that your LinkedIn profile will come up first or second. This is important because according to a Gravitate Online study of over 8 million clicks, more than 94% of users clicked on the first page results while fewer than 6% clicked to the second page. The first and second positions get 50% of all clicks. This means that due to the fantastic search engine optimisation of LinkedIn within Google, you can be found very easily on here. So, having a profile that stands out is important!
Google sign
Photo by Paweł Czerwiński / Unsplash

6. Lots of Resources are Available

LinkedIn can help you expand your success by offering crucial connections and expertise. For example:

  • sourcing staff
  • solving problems that cannot be solved by the people in your company
  • opening doors with clients and partners
  • service provider referrals
  • researching what the competition is doing
  • observing who is in a prospective client’s network

LinkedIn is a great platform for professional success, so what are you waiting for? Optimise your chances and create a profile!

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