"If you're not on LinkedIn, you don't exist." - Kevin Donlin
That sounds harsh, but I’m afraid it’s true. Kevin Donlin spoke those words in 2011, and it’s even truer now than it was then. Having a LinkedIn profile is no longer a “nice to have.” It’s a “gotta-have.” It does take some work to create a LinkedIn profile that sings, but I promise you: it will pay off!
- Just ask Ken. He got a job in 28 days using LinkedIn.
- Just ask Jennifer. She got a job in just 2 days using LinkedIn!
4 big reasons to get on LinkedIn – and use it aggressively:
- It’s where the recruiters are. 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find and “vet” candidates (DMR)
- It’s where the decision makers are. 74% of B2B decision makers use LinkedIn to help make purchasing decisions. Facebook is the most popular social network on the planet—except with CEOs. Within the 50 largest global companies not one CEO is active on Facebook. (Marketing Insider Group)
- It’s where many of the "hidden jobs" are. Less than 20% of jobs get posted online, which explains why only 12% of people get hired by applying for jobs online (JobVite). The rest? The lion share of them get hired through networking. LinkedIn is one of the easiest ways to find decision makers, as well as friends and new connections who will lead you to the jobs and the decision makers.
- Employers expect to find you out there. So, even if you apply online or get referred to them another way, they are going to go look for your profile on LinkedIn. If they cannot find you, chances are good you will get put on the "maybe later" pile. You do not want to go into the maybe later pile!
What's stopping you from getting on LinkedIn?
If you’re worried about joining LinkedIn because you want to protect your reputation, or because you’re worried about friends and acquaintances without a social media filter making you look bad, believe me: I understand. When LinkedIn first came out, I was skittish, too! As a recruiter, I knew that my reputation was critical to my success – both today and tomorrow. I knew that everything I do online (and everything my friends do online) is public. I was nervous about opening myself up to the unknown because I had seen some terrible things happen on Facebook. On the other hand, I could see how powerful LinkedIn was, and that avoiding it was only going to hurt me professionally.
I’ve been on LinkedIn since October 5, 2005 and I can tell you one thing: I have never been stalked or had one single bad thing happen to me on LinkedIn after all those years. Not one thing.
I’ve got great news: LinkedIn is not Facebook. Nobody can post on your LinkedIn profile or tag you in photos you don’t want to be associated with. When I do see an occasional political post, the author quickly gets scolded and reminded that LinkedIn is not the platform for that. Even so, it's rare to see anything on LinkedIn that is really inappropriate.
Your reputation on LinkedIn is entirely under your control
Your reputation on LinkedIn is almost entirely under your control. You decide what you post, what you like and what you want to be associated with. I say "almost entirely" because is there is one thing we can count on in this world, it's change. Again, in ten years of being a heavy (daily) LinkedIn user, I have never seen my reputation compromised by someone else's behavior. That being said, I certainly keep an eye on what's happening and am mindful about what I post. People can and will share things you post on LinkedIn, so make sure it's professional.