I joined LinkedIn years ago before anyone really knew what it was. Now I’m on it daily, as a recruiter it is a vital tool for researching, finding and connecting with potential clients and candidates. In addition, it’s possible to contribute to key discussions relevant to your profession, building your status as an influencer and an expert. It’s a no brainer if you are serious about your career, your business or profession.
I have been impressed by two recent invitations to connect from 18 year olds. Both were known to me as offspring of friends, but both are obviously serious about their career prospects and already understand the importance of networks.
So why you shouldn’t be on it? It’s more damaging to make a half hearted attempt to dabble with LinkedIn, to provide minimal information about yourself, no photo, few contacts and no contribution to any discussions. It suggests one of a few things – you didn’t understand it and gave up, you just wanted to be on there to see what everyone else is doing or you simply couldn’t be bothered. You wouldn’t do this with your business website. Best not to be on there at all rather than give out these messages, maybe you’d be more comfortable with Facebook or Twitter?
At the risk of repeating myself, I do believe that CV’s will eventually become a thing of the past. Your online CV can be populated with input from 3rd parties endorsing and recommending your skills and experience, giving greater weight to your job applications and making it easier for prospective employers to find you. Saying you’re not comfortable with social media and don’t wish your details to be out there is like saying you don’t like using the telephone and refusing to have your business in the Yellow Pages (if you can remember what that is). Better to take control of your online profile and make it work for you than pretend it doesn’t apply to you.