Today we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Bored Panda, Flickr, G+, Tumblr, Reddit and many more. All of those are social platforms we use to connect with our friends and family, relatives, acquaintances and sometimes their friends, family, relatives and acquaintances. All those social platforms have their qualities, their unique view on the communication channels between us and present somewhat customized method to interact between each other. We choose which one or few to use and dedicate a part of our free time to develop our personal and professional profiles, but how is that time best spent? How to choose which is best?
Is LinkedIn the best professional platform? Perhaps it is – we will point out the qualities LinkedIn has as a social platform for professional use and you can decide by yourself after reading the article.
What do you need LinkedIn for?
Indeed we have narrowed down the purpose we need LinkedIn to professional needs, but we must narrow it down even more. What precisely is you need – building new professional links and networks or maintaining our connection to the ones you already have; you might be looking for a job or providing job opportunities at you company; you might need to stay up to date with your industry; you might even steal some ideas whenever your mind draws a blank.
LinkedIn as a social platform to build new professional links
How do you use LinkedIn to build new professional links? The answer is – Easy! – that is the main reason people frequently choose LinkedIn. At the very beginning, after you have just logged in to the platform, you are asked to choose what are you going to use LinkedIn for and “Building my professional network” is the first option. Then you are asked to provide some personal and professional information and soon all your contacts from your e-mail and other networks are automatically added to your profile in LinkedIn.
So instead of spending days in front of the computer searching for and adding your contacts LinkedIn will do that for you. But LinkedIn doesn’t stop there; the platform will kindly ask you many questions, your work experience, education, fields of professional and personal interests and will connect you with people sharing many of the same. Furthermore you will be able to connect with your contact’s connections and that is amazingly useful since those people would most likely work in the same field you do and have similar interests, but also because they are close to you geographically. Sure that wouldn’t matter if you are a huge company such as GOOGLE, but chances are you are a bit smaller and the best connections for you are those in close proximity.
LinkedIn as a social platform to maintain and expand professional links
LinkedIn can be used to keep in touch with your professional connections and to expend you professional circle. The way it works is much like we explained in the previous section. You are probably already communicating with most of your professional contacts by e-mail. Such communication is appropriate when particular information needs to be shared, but for a bit less formal communication – to simply say “Hi” or to follow the development of your professional partners LinkedIn is a much better choice. Once you have established links with your existing professional network it will naturally expend. It is up to you weather to just let the process develop by itself or put some effort into it and be proactive.
LinkedIn as a social platform to search for employment
Where is it most likely for the perfectly suiting to your needs job to be posted? National and local websites for employment and agencies are the most common choice. LinkedIn is not to be neglected in that department, since you are able to be the proactive part, to build your profile constantly and mostly it gives you the opportunity to make a name for yourself. Having a LinkedIn profile makes good impression on your future employer and additionally past employers, colleagues and partners can vouch for you, which gives you additional leverage.
LinkedIn as a social platform for headhunting and recruitment
Never mind if you are expending your company, building a new one, looking for a replacement or just recruiting for a project LinkedIn is the platform, where you can find highly skilled professionals. Posting an ad in a recruitment website or through a recruitment company is the first step, but in order to attract those extraordinary employees you must make an extra effort and build your reputation on a social platform for professionals, such as LinkedIn. Actually most recruitment and HR agencies are well aware of the power the LinkedIn network has and are very active there.
What options does LinkedIn provide?
We talked about what can you do with LinkedIn, but how exactly? In the following paragraphs you will learn how to use the platform to best suit your needs and to achieve your goals.
Building a profile on LinkedIn
There are some differences when building a profile as a professional, looking for employment; as a professional ,who wants to communicate with business partners and share information with fellow professionals; as a company offering employment or as a company building a reputation.
Building a profile as a professional looking for employment
LinkedIn is probably the best platform to do so, because it offers numerous sections to provide full information about your education, previous employment, skills, certifications, values, interests and so on. Sure you can include all of that in you CV, but the let’s be honest – which recruitment agent will be willing to read those 10 pages?
The personal CV is something concise and up to the point, but you are so much more than that. You never know if a particular skill or interest, not directly connected to the advertised job would be appealing to your employer. Perhaps that year spent abroad in India as a volunteer will tell your future employer that you are a person with high values and will win you the job. Whoever you are, whatever- short or long – your professional history is showing more of yourself usually adds to your benefit. Furthermore you can also use Twitter or Facebook for that purpose, but do you really want your future employer to see you depressed tweets about your bad breakup, your swimming suit photos or your mom’s comments?
Always be up to date with the latest news in your industry
As a business platform, full of professionals it is no wonder LinkedIn is also the place, where you can find the latest trends in your field of work. By providing relevant information about your interests you will be able to filter out the unwanted pieces of information and have handy the data you need. And once again in comparison with other platforms LinkedIn ranks high, because it saves you time. Instead of scrolling through the piles of useless pictures and articles and personal issues you get straight what you need on your wall and nothing more.
Maintain and expand your professional links
Having already found and won the desired position doesn’t mean you have to disappear from the social professional median. Many jobs today presume that you constantly grow on one hand and also gather useful professional links for different company needs on the other. LinkedIn proves to be the right place for that purpose, as well. And once again by choosing to use LinkedIn, instead of other social platforms, you can keep your personal life between yourself and your inner circle and your professional life aside. On the platform you will be able to find and connect with many influencers in your field of work and make useful links for the future. It is highly possible that your classmate, who you lost touch with years ago now is the CEO of the same company you have been trying to reach for months about that partnership!
Improve your skills on LinkedIn with the learning section
You may have reached that point in your career when you need an extra boost in order to rise professionally. Gaining some extra skills is the obvious road to take, though sometimes choosing the right company and the right course can prove to be difficult. On LinkedIn you have an entire section dedicated to learning, where you can go through the latest proposals and often get some great discounts on training.
You may need training for you employees, but not have the necessary manpower to provide it internally. On LinkedIn you will find the best human resources companies and be able to choose among them. In addition you don’t necessarily have to acquiesce with whatever the local companies have to offer – if you want to get better quality training services you can simply choose some online lessons by the best of the best.
Recruit skilled professionals through the LinkedIn Jobs section
We mentioned recruitment is one of the main purposes of LinkedIn. You are well aware that a CV doesn’t give you all the information about a candidate. Is he or she a stable person? What is the impression of the past employers about his or hers performance? Is he or she a team player? Is he or she willing to put in some extra work to improve his or hers skills? Does he or she take pleasure in doing his or hers job?
Those are question rarely answered by the CV or the highly customized and polished Motivational Letter. LinkedIn offers an inside into that candidate’s stimulus, communication preferences and willingness to learn. It also gives you the opportunity to get in touch with former coworkers, employers or subordinates. That way you have the whole picture and you decision is now a properly informed one.
Find the best suiting job through the LinkedIn Jobs section
We already mentioned why LinkedIn is a great place to look for a job and how to build your profile to become wanted by the future employers. Keep in mind that on LinkedIn you will be able to see job opportunities, which haven’t been advertised elsewhere. You will also often be the one of the first to learn about an opening and get that head start. But most importantly you will be able to feel the work atmosphere, your possible future employer offers, through the posts on the official page and also of the current employees. You will be able to learn do they love their jobs; overall is it a good place to be and what to expect.
Share ideas and information through the LinkedIn Interests section
Founded in the faraway 2002 LinkedIn has now the knowledge, opportunity and resources to offer more than just a recruitment platform. What makes LinkedIn such a great and unique place is the combination of job and learning advertisement, social platform and a place where professionals share their secrets. What we are trying to say is that you don’t necessarily have to pay to gain some useful knowledge from the influencers and boost your performance right away.
Advertise your company with LinkedIn
There isn’t a single marketer who will tell you that your advertisement campaign has reached its limits. You will always need more advertisement to both wider and specific audiences. On LinkedIn as a new company you can build your professional outlook. As an established company it never hurts to remind partners about yourself and maintain your professional image. Actually LinkedIn is the place to build and maintain the best professional partnerships. The amazing profiles of Coca Cola, HP, Walt Disney, IBM, UPS, Amazon, Apple and many more serve as a sufficient prove.