Jason C. Hewitt SupplyChain Professional / PhD Candidate
One of the earliest lessons that I learned in business is to leave no stone unturned, always network yourself, and never stop learning - it all can be done here!
Showcase your professionalism Despite what I sometimes see on my LinkedIn news-feed (i.e. the funny, sexual, inappropriate content) this is not Facebook! This is a website to showcase your accomplishments, education, and professional interests. Like anything else you get out what you put in. Here is a place to share your credentials and credibility, however you do not always know who may be watching so be protective and obviously use your best judgment.
Profile as an expanded resume Your paper or electronic resume is limited to 1-2 pages; here you can spell out all the details and specifics that otherwise there was not room for. Recruiters find that LinkedIn members are more likely to be honest in what they include in their profile as there are a lot more witnesses to the information. Consider this a great opportunity to detail and justify your abilities and accomplishments.
Publish your knowledge LinkedIn allows individuals to write posts (like this one) that help them showcase their knowledge of a product, industry, process, theory, or perspective on a topic. This too can help you legitimize yourself as a candidate, advocate, or representative. Not just showing that you worked somewhere, or went to such and such university, but actually prove your ability to put pen to paper. These posts are a great way to see in the comment section how your post is received and what the viewpoints of others may be.
Contact info shared & stored When connecting with others you share the contact information that you have added to your profile, and them the same. I consider this the modern day version of a rolodex or business card. If your profile is linked with your smartphone the information is available whenever it may be needed to check in on someone, ask a question, or schedule a meeting.
Apply for jobs with your profile Both on LinkedIn and third party company websites you can apply with your profile for a multitude of jobs. With just a couple clicks the information that is stored in your profile can be shared with the recruiter. Another reason to have completed and accurate information as well as a professional appearance.
Google search results If you are an individual with a concern that you are found when your name or business is typed into Google rest assured that your profile can certainly help you. Google analytics works with LinkedIn’s endorsed skills count to make searching for your name return your profile (and all the good things written and shared).
Hosts your recommendations Interviewers admit that they do not always like to call references, it’s awkward for everyone. When looking at your profile one can quickly see what others have taken the time to write about you. LinkedIn makes it simple with just a couple clicks to ask classmates or co-workers for a recommendation of you as a professional.
Showcase a product or service For those that are not job searching LinkedIn is a great place to showcase the benefits of your product or service and yourself as a professional. Why not take advantage of this marketing opportunity, free to all, and very inexpensive to premium account members.
Learn new things I read several articles a day, visit groups, and view various company profiles – all as an opportunity to learn new things. LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups that peak your professional interest, here you will find fascinating articles and discussions (for the most part that is). If you have never used Pulse, LinkedIn’s news and article portal, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
Networking Last but not least, and maybe I should have mentioned as #1, this is a professional networking website where your next opportunity, job, sale, client, etc. may be coming from. Among all the alumni, interest groups, past, present, and potentially future employers your next opportunity is just a “link” away.