LinkedIn has become a staple in job and internship searches. It gives employers a way to check out your experience and internet presence before you even step foot into an interview. This can be a great opportunity for you to make a statement about your professional self. It can also be a way for you to lose points with an interviewer.
I was recently told by a family member that they knew of a company that wouldn’t hire someone if they didn’t have a LinkedIn profile. My family member was shocked. They don’t have a Facebook or a Twitter or a LinkedIn simply because they don’t feel the need to share so much information with the public.
I explained that there are many benefits of LinkedIn, but only if it is used properly. I’ve had a lot of classes that require you to make a LinkedIn and all too often after the class is over students neglect their profile. That sends a negative message to potential employers. I think LinkedIn is a great way to connect with the professional community, but if you’re going to have a profile it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
Use it. Don’t just let your profile sit with a blank picture and out of date information. Even if you don’t check it every day, make sure you’re updating your content and interacting with people once and a while.
Join groups. There are tons of groups on LinkedIn that talk about job postings or just advice for young professionals. They are a great resource.
Connect the right way. It’s important that you’re personalizing your messages when asking to connect with someone, especially if it’s someone you’re interested in getting a job with. That little message is your first chance to show someone who you are.
So whether you have an up to date and well used LinkedIn or you’re just considering getting a profile, keep these tips in mind!
Do you think it is wrong for companies to disregard interviewees because they don’t have a LinkedIn? Share your thoughts!