There are a lot of very good reasons to invest a little time on LinkedIn.  Here are just 10 of them.  Trust me, there are many more. This is just for starters:

1.   It’s 2013, not 1993. Seriously. Times have changed. Nothing will prevent the need for a strong resume, but you need to be online. Before an employer calls you to set up an interview, they WILL Google you. If your competition has a fully-loaded LinkedIn profile that shows up on page one of their Google search, and you have nothing, guess who gets the interview?

2.   LinkedIn is much more than a Facebook for business types. Folks don’t use LinkedIn for meaningless tidbits of information.  LinkedIn is a way to locate and communicate with people via your computer, but there the similarity ends. LinkedIn is the place where professionals go to talk. It’s a place where you might find out about new jobs, and where companies seeking new talent can find out about you.

3.   Not looking for a job? Still have a LinkedIn account. Plenty of useful business-related information is exchanged there each day. Join a group, answer a poll, and find out what your savvy peers are up to. By participating in discussions, you can demonstrate your leadership ability, and that’s always a good thing for your career management.

4.   Get the inside scoop on companies you’re interested in, for whatever reason. Company profiles can display lists of present and former employees (hint: someone who used to work at a company might have some valuable information for you), the most common positions in the country, even the ratio of male to female employees. You can learn about products and services, too, like on Profession Direction’s company page here.

5.   Brag a little where it will be noticed. Keep your profile up to date by highlighting your expertise. Even if you’re not seeking employment, you never know where sharing this information will lead: consulting or speaking arrangements, for starters.

6.   Hang out with the big cheeses. All 500 of the Fortune 500 are represented there. Shouldn’t you be too?

7.   Bring your website or blog higher in search engines by listing it’s URL in your contact section.

8.   Meet your interviewers before the interview. Because it better to start by saying, “That’s fantastic you went to Marquette. I lived in the area and my nephew is in school there now,” instead of “Well, the rain really sucks today.”

9.   Get as much info as you want. Are you a little scared of joining LinkedIn because you will have a barrage of emails and contacts when you’re already in over your head with Facebook and Twitter? Don’t worry, there are controls. LinkedIn won’t bother you unless you ask it to.

10.   Because LinkedIn is awesome.




Source:  By: Kristin S. Johnson