Think This Professional Network Is only for Seasoned Professionals? Link again!
Prior to joining the world of recruiting, I shared a mindset similar to many college students, recent graduates, and even some twenty-somethings who were already into their career: LinkedIn is for people at senior levels of their career. I was certain of this, of course, at the ripe age of 21 with a solid three months of professional, post college experience and exactly zero visits to the actual LinkedIn website. Looking back, I realize that this was a huge oversight and perhaps one of the biggest mistakes any young professional could make! So, for all of you networking non-believers, I wanted to share some statistics about LinkedIn and why it's the BEST free professional networking hub that exists!
Power in Numbers.
There are over 225 Million users on LinkedIn, a number that grows daily. It's a web of first, second, and third degree connections that enable you to post your professional background-essentially a virtual snapshot of your resume-for free! This means that recruiters and hiring managers who work at the very companies you've always dreamed of joining can access your information and impressive qualifications with one simple search.
Surround Yourself with People You Aspire to be Like
If you're in college, studying to be an accountant, with dreams of working in the Big 4 after graduation, who better to network with than a CPA in the Big 4? I think (most) High Schools and Colleges do a sub-par job of preparing you for 1. Selecting a career path and 2. Finding a professional support system that can guide you to your post-graduation goals. LinkedIn offers a wealth of information about what professionals with certain degrees do, where they work, and what they're involved in. Aren't these things you should know about?
Being in The Know
Not looking for a job? Neither are most people on LinkedIn! But, when you do land a big interview with the company of your dreams, wouldn't it be nice to look up your interviewer and establish an ice-breaker beforehand? One simple skim of their LinkedIn profile and you can learn that maybe you're both Cincinnati Bearcats, or your favorite charity is the SPCA. Either way, it shows initiative and the motivation to do some research on things that are important to you!
Save The Drama For Your Mama... and Facebook
I had equally dim views of all the major social networking sites a few short years ago. They all seemed to be a hub for nothing more than airing your dirty laundry or professing your affection for the 8th love of your life. LinkedIn is a refreshingly professional atmosphere where everyone shares mutually beneficial and informational articles, blogs, and stories. Unlike Facebook, getting lost in LinkedIn has one worst case scenario - professional growth and personal career development.
Start your networking with me. Let's connect!