With over 180 million users world wide, LinkedIn has proven to be the premier social media tool for professional networking. LinkedIn is toted as being the most valuable social media channel for making business connections and building professional relationships. Additionally, it’s often a popular place for individuals in search of new employers, employees, or clients.
But, how important is joining and using LinkedIn? Especially if you are content in your current industry or job? Some feel that LinkedIn is crucial for building your career, even if you’re not looking to make a change in jobs. Those in favor of LinkedIn argue that by forgoing LinkedIn, it’s easy to miss the wealth of available professional opportunities.
Others feel LinkedIn is not valuable, and since a number of LinkedIn’s users do not maintain their profile, the quality of candidates and information is poor. Given it’s mixed reviews, let’s consider a few pros and cons of LinkedIn.
- Having a profile on LinkedIn is a great way to get noticed by recruiters, potential employers, business partners. In fact, most recruiters and hiring managers turn to first turn to LinkedIn to look up potential candidates. If a candidate doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile it can appear they are not well connected in their industry. This is especially true for sales, marketing, and business development positions.
- Joining LinkedIn is a great way to stay in the loop with news from your industry. Discussion groups are a great way to make connections with others in your industry while gaining new knowledge and growing your network.
- LinkedIn works both ways in that you have the ability to research different companies and individuals yourself.
- Some people worry that creating, or even just updating a LinkedIn profile could flag their employers that they are looking for another job.
- In the beginning stages, LinkedIn requires a good deal of time and effort to build your profile and establish connections. Users are in a position where they need to ask others to be introduced to new contacts and companies, and that can be slow and tedious process. If you want to get the most out of your LinkedIn account it does take a decent amount of time and attention. It’s also essential to have a profile picture as studies show you’re seven times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have a photo.
- As with all social media networks, there can be a lack of privacy with LinkedIn. Just about anyone with internet access can view your education and work history, along with your connections. While there are privacy settings that can be utilized so that full profiles aren’t publicly view able in search engine results.
Should you join LinkedIn?
Whether you are trying to find new job opportunities or just make new connections, LinkedIn is your best option to expand your network. While the pros and cons of using LinkedIn vary, the one thing experts can agree on is that LinkedIn is what you make of it. If you put in a lot of work to create a profile and make connections you’re more likely to see the payoff than those who do not.
It’s also important to point out that despite the digital age we live in, there is still great value in face to face interactions and in-person networking.
Are you on LinkedIn? Do you find it valuable?