Are you on LinkedIn? If you’re serious about your career then you should be.
For the completely clueless, LinkedIn is the social network for professionals. Your profile is essentially an online resume that connects you to 120m+ people on the site. Connecting with other LinkedIn users (past and present colleagues, classmates and clients) lets you stay in touch and learn about new jobs or business opportunities to power your career.
In this era of free and easily-accessible information, any potential new employer or client is going to try and find out more about you. When I google myself, my LinkedIn profile appears as the number two result. I feel comfortable knowing that anyone looking me up will see info on my work experience, education, skills, design portfolio and anything else I want to show off. And maybe they’ll be satisfied by my LinkedIn profile and won’t discover those regrettable photos from that one college party that somehow ended up on Facebook.
Now a public company trading its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, LinkedIn has been rolling out a host of new features. It has its own job board where you can search for new listings. You can also ‘follow’ companies to see new employees and new positions in that organization. Then there’s LinkedIn Answers (similar to Yahoo! Answers except more business-themed), LinkedIn Polls and new applications to embed your Twitter feed, Amazon reading list, blogs and video creations onto your profile.
Another great feature of LinkedIn is Groups. Join any group that sparks your interest (be it Advertising Professionals, Grammar Geeks or your old college alumni association) and connect with like-minded people in your field of interest. Participating in groups may speed up your job search, give you new ideas for projects and help you get ahead.
While it may not be as entertaining as Facebook or as informative as Twitter, LinkedIn is essential for people at all stages in their career. And it won’t cost you a dime! Get started at www.linkedin.com and be sure to let us know what you think via our Facebook and Twitter buttons below.