8 Reasons to Get Going on LinkedIn

Photo courtesy of Marine Corps Community Services

Still not convinced that you should use LinkedIn to navigate your transition and civilian career? Let’s look at some numbers:

  • 500 million – the number of active LinkedIn users
  • 40% - the number of LinkedIn users who are active on the site daily
  • 44% -- the number of LinkedIn users earning more than $75,000 per year
  • 3 million – the number of active, open jobs currently posted on LinkedIn

Today, LinkedIn has earned the status as the most prominent business networking site online. Professionals are connecting on LinkedIn, business is getting done on the site, and individuals are finding their next career on LinkedIn.

Here are 8 more reasons to use LinkedIn in your civilian career:

  1. Powerful search engine. Today, when we are introduced to a new contact, hear the name of someone we are referred to, or are given an introduction for a job, the first place we go is LinkedIn. While we might still “Google” that person’s name, we go to LinkedIn because we want to learn about that person’s background, interests, connections and insights.
  2. Because LinkedIn is a powerful search engine, it provides opportunities for employers to find you (for job seekers), clients to evaluate you (for entrepreneurs), and referrals sources to learn what you stand for and endorse (for everyone).
  3. Employers are using it. While most job seekers use tools like online job boards and online applications, studies show that “Social media has become an almost universally adopted hiring tool, with 92 percent of recruiters surveyed using it as part of their process.” Furthermore, “…about 95 percent of recruiters utilize LinkedIn as a major sourcing tool to find candidates to present to their client companies seeking top-tier talent.” For job seekers, LinkedIn can be one of the most powerful ways to get the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.
  4. Recruiters are pursuing potential employees even before they are in the job market. If you consider that finding a job means competing against other job seekers, now you must consider that you’ll be competing against fully-employed professionals who’ll get recruited away from their current employer.
  5. You get a mini-website. If you are cutting and pasting text from your resume to your LinkedIn profile, you’re missing the point. Your profile should be consistent with your resume, but the platform is so much more than what you list under “Past Work Experience.”
  6. Networking globally (not locally). As someone who likely toured the world during your military work or deployments, you have contacts outside of your local community. LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to get to know colleagues, influencers, information sources, educators, mentors and many other contacts around the world. As you open up the aperture on your network, the power of LinkedIn becomes realized.
  7. Think of your networking on LinkedIn as you do in person: Be sure you share information and insights, are friendly and approachable, engage with others, and promote causes you are passionate about.
  8. Stay connected to trends, company information, colleagues. Most of the companies, organizations, groups and causes you care about have a page on LinkedIn. There, they post news, happenings, blogs, company hires, open jobs and much more.

To stay connected to trends, information and news, LinkedIn offers many tools. Follow the companies you are interested in. Join groups around causes or issues you’re passionate about. Connect with, or follow, individuals who have tremendous insight or perspective on important topics. The flow of content on LinkedIn is amazing!

Pay attention to every bit of real estate LinkedIn offers you – from your profile photo, to your “caption” or tagline, to the city you want to be searched in – and be sure you are strategic and intentional about how you want to appear. Think of your LinkedIn profile as a website – use the right keywords, images, links and connections to stand out from the competition. LinkedIn also houses an incredible learning platform: LinkedIn Learning. On this site, you can receive instructional videos on everything from salary negotiation, personal branding, introduction to photography, HTML essentials training and everything in between.

Have I convinced you? LinkedIn offers deep and wide resources, tools and learning to help you grow your career in the civilian sector. I hope to see you online!

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