With over 400+ million global users, LinkedIn is an amazing platform used by millions of professionals around the world and if you aren’t active on LinkedIn, sadly, you’re missing out on a free (yes free) resource to connect you to people in your industry that may be out of reach in everyday life.

LinkedIn is best described as the Facebook for the business world. Every professional should have a LinkedIn profile – a strong profile; one that showcases their achievements and sells their value. Don’t just think you can copy and paste your mediocre résumé into your LinkedIn account and call it a day – that will get you overlooked every time.

As a brilliant professional, you now have the opportunity to let thousands of recruiters and hiring managers know more about you than your résumé ever could.

So, what’s all the hype about? What makes LinkedIn just as important (if not more important) than your résumé?

Reason #1: LinkedIn allows you to be found for job opportunities.

According to LinkedIn expert, Viveka von Rosen, 98% if recruiters and 85% of hiring managers use LinkedIn to find candidates.

So…that’s seems like a pretty strong argument to why you need LinkedIn. Here’s the thing. Your résumé is only effective when it’s being read by people in a position to hire you. If you’re like most, you aren’t very good and getting your résumé in front of hiring managers or recruiters. Unless you have a very strategic self-marketing plan, it is very likely that your résumé doesn’t get read by the right people at all.

With LinkedIn on the other hand, you can actually show up in recruiter searches based solely on your skills and the way you design your LinkedIn page. I know I’ve had countless clients call me up and say they have recruiters calling them for interviews because they found them on LinkedIn.

It’s an easy way to job search “passively” where you aren’t hitting the pavement everyday searching for what’s out there. With an intriguing, keyword optimized profile, the opportunities start presenting themselves to you. You can achieve this with the help of a professional LinkedIn profile service.

Reason #2: LinkedIn allows you to find PEOPLE not jobs

When you send out your résumé in a job application, it enters the abyss of nothingness that is the Internet. You have no idea where it lands – in someone’s inbox, on someone’s desk, in the cyberspace junkyard…you haven’t a clue if anyone saw it at all.

Days go by and even weeks without a mumbling word of progress. LinkedIn is a refreshing alternative where you can actually connect with REAL PEOPLE. This is perfect since more than 80% of jobs are found through people and not online job applications.

WOW, you can actually see who posted the job opening and reach out to them directly with questions instead of hitting an “APPLY” button blindly?

It’s brilliant!

With LinkedIn, you have the power to start a conversation and network your way into your next role. How empowering!

Reason #3: LinkedIn allows you to establish yourself as an expert.

One thing your résumé doesn’t do for you is allow you to have a living breathing billboard that can highlight your brand and showcase your industry expertise. From posting portfolios, presentations, videos and documents to publishing articles right into the system, you can create a layered expression of your expertise and easily establish credibility and respect among your peers and colleagues.

The more valuable information you add, the more your LinkedIn stock will grow. The world can read what about your opinion on a trending topic and you can build a following who love your insight. You have full control over how you want to be perceived in the online world and have a full canvas for you to become a sought after leader in your field.

You can also join industry groups, or better yet – start one of your own. You can leverage your group to start meaningful dialogue with like-minded people and share information relevant to your field. It keeps you in the loop of changing trends and allows you to network with people who share similar interests.

Reason #4: LinkedIn allows other people to endorse and recommend you.

What better way to build your credibility than to have others endorse you. By having a stamp of approval from colleagues, past bosses and team members, you gain a competitive edge and validate your awesomeness.

Think about it. When you are looking to hire someone for a service, wouldn’t you want to know that other people can vouch for them on a job well done? It’s the same thing for when companies are hiring.

They love to see that you aren’t only blowing your own horn, but that others appreciate your work ethic and can back up your achievements with a good word of faith in you as a professional. It goes a long way.

Reason #5: LinkedIn allows you to show your personality.

Even though this is a business platform, you can loosen the reigns and not be as rigid in your content as in your résumé. I suggest speaking in first person to add your own personal flair.

Unlike the opening summary of a résumé, you can include a call to action for readers to explore the rest of your profile. Try adding phrases like “Connect with me!” or “Check out my articles on {your industry} below!”

It shows that what your craft is not just a job and showing a little bit of a personal side transcends to the things you do when you aren’t getting paid. You can add what charities that interest you. It doesn’t have to be industry related of course, it’s simply an added layer of your personality that folks typically can’t learn about you from your résumé.

Reason #6: LinkedIn allows you to expand your reach and heighten your visibility

Ever hear of the 6 degrees of separation concept? LinkedIn is a perfect example. Your “friends” on LinkedIn are your connections, but the thing is, you can actually reach the connections of your colleagues which make up your personal network. It’s amazing to know that you can gain access to thought leaders in your industry, VPs of companies, and believe it or not some celebrities!

When you make a connection with other industry professionals and decision makers, you are allowing them to see all that you offer without adding to the possible dozens of résumés sitting in their inbox daily. You are able to follow their careers or comment on their posts, taking part in their experience, and vice versa.

Just by taking the time to comment or like someone’s post, you are now taking an active interest building a relationship, which may end up leading to your next career opportunity.

Look, if you’re not convinced that LinkedIn is a vital part of your professional life, then maybe it’s simply not for you. But, there have been multiple people who have been actively recruited on LinkedIn just for having a strong profile that turns heads.

You want in? Check out the details about our LinkedIn profile service.

Want more free resume writing tips, cover letter help and LinkedIn training, visit resume-evolution.com/blog.

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