Lately there has been a rise in the number of people joining the social media site LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a great place to represent yourself, even if you are not looking for a new job. It keeps your name out there, via connections you can help others in their search, and it also focuses you on your career.
- Keeping your profile out there. The job market that’s not advertised, or the ‘hidden’ job market is it’s often called, accounts for around two thirds or more of employment. That’s to say that less than one third of all jobs are advertised. So keeping your profile out there allows you to be considered by recruiters even when you are not looking for a role. Your profile on LinkedIn allows others to check out your skills and experience for roles they have, and who knows it might be right for you. Of course there are lots of other ways to keep in front of the ‘hidden’ job market too, but that’s for another time.
- Helping others connect. There’s some karma here, but by keeping your connections up to date chances are that there will be someone who will find it useful to connect to you or one of your connections. If it helps them in pursuit of their next job then it reinforces the value of you to others and you’ve increased your social karma so others will help you next time.
- Focuses you on your career. This last benefit is probably the most important. Many of us don’t pay enough attention to ‘what’s next’ but by being active with your LinkedIn site you focus in on driving your career forward. By keeping your connections up to date, adding recommendations as they happen, modifying your profile you are consciously thinking about your next role and what it’s going to take to get there.
So, looking for a job or not, you need to link in. But how best to go to market with your career using LinkedIn? You are a brand. What you say and do impacts on your brand equity. So not completing the LinkedIn listing or doing it poorly will reflect a poorly managed brand.
Your LinkedIn profile needs to reflect your brand, it needs to be consistent with your CV and cover letter. Further does your Facebook and Twitter activity reflect you and as the kind of person your ideal next organisation wants to see. Click here for some great tips and tricks that will help you to maximise the power of LinkedIn.
Go 2 Market principle: whatever you do with the brand – that is you – requires investment. Plan it, manage it, and keep it consistent. Use LinkedIn to help you plan and manage your career. Manage your brand or risk being obsolete, fire sale or cheap.