I’ll admit it: it took me a little while to get LinkedIn. What is it? I wondered. How does it work? Is it a job search site? Is it a social media platform? Is it an online resume? The answer, I realized, is that it’s not ONE of those things; it’s all of them at the same time.
Setting up a LinkedIn profile is an absolute must for any job seeker. It provides a place for you to put EVERYTHING: your work experience, your objectives, your achievements, your publications, and maybe most importantly, your profile picture.
Why is something as simple as a profile picture so important? Because it makes everything personal. You can pour over Adobe InDesign for hours, making your resume look as cool and unique as possible, but in the end it’s just words and formatting. With just a few pixels, your profile picture turns a simple list of skills and experiences into the story of Professional You, Real Live Human Being.
But it won’t just you adding things to your profile; your connections can also go in and write a recommendation, or if they don’t have time for that, simply endorse you for skills. This is another great thing about LinkedIn: it allows for different levels of commitment. You can write posts, share articles, and get involved right there on the site. Or you can just maintain a straightforward informative page for potential employers to see. Both are totally viable options.
Speaking of those potential employers, they’re on there too. LinkedIn allows you to search for jobs right there on the site (some of which are only posted on LinkedIn) and use your profile to apply. Other online job application platforms can also connect to LinkedIn and pull your information over, saving you time that would otherwise be wasted filling out the same text fields (name, previous experience, etc.) over and over again.
Basically, what I’m getting at is that LinkedIn is super practical on SO MANY different levels. So do yourself a favor and sign up for a profile if you haven’t already. If you have already, please let us know about your experiences using it in the comments!