Don’t be afraid of LinkedIn… it just might just be the single greatest resource available to you in today’s digital world. A world where old-school face-to-face intimacy is giving way to the seemingly evolving preference for online interactions. Where else can tell your story and have it visible to the entire world and not look like an arrogant self-promoter? What other platform allows you to communicate your professional experience, personal interests, attributes, academic accomplishments and even provides a place to display a quality photograph of yourself. What other utility indexes as well as any paid SEO with each of the various search engines? Yes, that would be LinkedIn.
With the evolution of LinkedIn, the “network effect” is clearly evidenced in that a quarter of a billion people are part of this growing platform and damn near every major corporation has a line in the LinkedIn pond and sooner or later they will probably be looking for someone just like you! Most professionals are now relying on the personal visibility provided by a well-crafted LinkedIn profile and most recruiters are relying on the fact that most professionals know the benefits of having their professional qualifications on display for all to see. You don’t have to be looking for a new job as a basis for being on LinkedIn, however, we do live in a free-agency society and passive recruiting is rampant! And, there’s not many things more flattering than an unsolicited offer. Particularly one that substantially improves upon your current package and includes what might just be the career supercharge you need!
The most important part of the LinkedIn equation is YOU––your responsibility in terms of how you choose to display yourself. You can be the dressed up digital version of yourself and make every effort to nail the first impression or you can be half-assed in terms of background details with an arms-length selfie and some misguided hope that someone is willing to “buy” the broken product you’re representing. Think about it… if you were advertising or displaying a product that you intended to sell, you would make absolutely certain you represented the product’s best attributes, advantages, benefits and any information necessary to differentiate and advantage your product in the vast and competitive marketplace. The photograph of your product would also show your product in its most favorable light (read: quality photograph). And, you certainly wouldn’t make it hard to find with a boring description that included an amateur snapshot––who would buy that? Yet, when you browse the LinkedIn profiles of friends and colleagues its amazing how many of them seem to have a complete disconnect with Marketing 101.
LinkedIn is the equivalent of a PR person and publicist all rolled into one. It’s like having billboards in all the right places to advertise and promote your favorite product: you! And whether it’s a friend or colleague, your next door neighbor, a recruiter, the person you’re about to meet with or the one you just finished meeting with, you can be discoverable twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week––front and center for all the world to see!