29 Aug 7 reasons people use Linked In
These days having a Linked In profile is essential to your career journey, but profiles can be used for more than just a job search. Today I’m going to look at 7 reasons people use Linked In. If you are in any way interested in your professional development, have a look at these alternative reasons for using Linked In and see if any of them might work for you.
Deciding early on your own reasons for using Linked In will help you set the ‘tone’ for your profile. It will also help you focus on the most important sections of the service for you to focus on, depending on your desired result. Also, knowing how other people use their profiles will show you why other people might be looking at your profile. It also explains why those ‘odd’ connection requests might not be so unusual after all. So without further ado, here are seven of the more common reasons that people use Linked In.
1. Maintaining a Professional Network
Some people use Linked In simply to maintain professional connections. They’re not looking for a job, or for business, but Linked In is an excellent way of storing professional contacts all in one place. You can also keep an eye on what projects people in your network are working on. Its great when you bump into a contact at an event and open a conversation with, ‘That project you’re working on with your office looks really interesting’. It shows you have an interest of the professional development of your connection, and your industry. It is also a really easy way to strengthen loose, professional connections.
2. Current Market Knowledge
Some people use Linked In to keep abreast of their particular market knowledge. In a previous life I qualified as an Estate Agent. A while back, it suggested an old classmate, which then landed me in a ‘Property Corner’ of Linked In. Everyone connected was another Property person from different sections of the industry. Here, people are using their professional network to keep ‘current’, to know what’s going on in other sections of the same industry. The property market is hugely subjective, and massive changes can happen in the space of a few weeks. Keeping up-to-date on market changes is crucial to surviving the industry.
Linked In is one of the primary tools used by people looking to recruit today. It easy to search, easy to follow, and every profile has a similar format so you know immediately where to go to find what you’re looking for. Unlike a CV, Linked In is objective, and not just subjective. Its easy to see by the amount of contacts someone has how genuine their profile is. If someone exaggerates slightly on Linked In, the way we might be tempted to on a CV, a quick look through work records, connections and recommendations will usually highlight any ‘truth discrepancies’. Most full time recruiters will have professional accounts, which allow even more search options, and anonymity when searching. Anyone recruiting will likely check out your Linked In to double check your submitted facts, and maybe see if there are any other advantages to hiring you. Ultimately, if you are on the job hunt, you need to be on Linked In where recruiters can find you.
4. Professional Suppliers and Services
I work in a particularly dynamic industry, Events. Events has a lot of change of both staff and suppliers, and a lot of unusual requests. Finding reliable people for a job can be tough, so this is where Linked In comes in for me. As I’m researching options, I will check the Linked In profiles of the suppliers. As well as giving me a feel for what they’re about through their services provided and connections, I’ll also use it to find out if we have any connections in common. I will then contact that connection and ask if they’ve used their services, or if they know someone who had. A quick phone call usually gets me the information I need for a good professional recommendation.
5. Side-Projects and Side-Hustles
In today’s environment people are not just defined by their job the way they would have been in the past. More people are engaged in side projects that they enjoy outside of their work time. (For more information on developing a Side Hustle see an earlier post I wrote on it here). I Coach, and I also provide training for a number of groups in my spare time. Linked In is a great way for me to highlight these projects, without taking away from my professional life. I use Linked In for both my personal and professional projects. I know lots of people who just use Linked In for their preferred work. Linked In is a great way of highlighting to your wider network that you are more than your job title.
6. Display of your Professional Portfolio
Linked In has loads of great ways of highlighting projects within your career that you are particularly proud of. You can add photo albums and statuses, as well as projects, where you can ‘connect’ other group members of your team. This is particularly helpful when you work on really large projects with people from outside your normal team. I have worked on large conferences with partner organisations in the past and uploaded these events as projects to my profile. Then I connected the relevant people from the other organisations. I also use it to trace down providers from other events I’ve attended. This way I’ve already seen their work first-hand so I’m more likely to get in touch.
7. Job Seeking
Most people starting a Linked In profile are looking for a new role and its a particularly noteworthy tool, as you’re more likely to get a heads up for a role from an acquaintance, not a colleague or friend. Most people fraternise with people within their own industry and if a position comes up in that sector, realistically they’re more likely to go for the job themselves. They’re unlikely to recommend it to you. The same with colleagues, essentially your colleagues are your competition. This is why having a wide, and diverse network is really useful during job seeking.
Linked In Keywords
Using other people in your professional network to help sculpt your profile is really helpful too. What are other people in your industry up to, what are they working on, what events are they going to? One of the best features of Linked In for this purpose is the use of ‘keywords’. When a recruiter is looking to fulfil a role they will use certain words to being their search, ensuring that as many of these words, relevant to your role, are listed in your profile is a great way to ensure you appear top in search results.
Hopefully this has given you some ideas for ways you could get the most out of a Linked In profile. If you are looking to set up a Linked In profile I wrote a post on 10 tips for getting started on Linked In.