Updated: Mar 24
LinkedIn is quickly becoming a staple in the job seeker tool box. With over 800 million users across the world and hundreds of thousands of companies already using it, you really can't afford to ignore it anymore.
Every day on LinkedIn presents a new opportunity for connecting with like-minded individuals, mentors, clients, and potential employers.
Take my own resume writing business as an example, I'm contacted by new clients every week looking for assistance and all I'm doing is keeping my LinkedIn profile up to date! That's tens of thousands of dollars every year in revenue generation.
Below, I'm going to detail some of the reasons why you should create a LinkedIn profile.
#1 It's not the same as just another resume
As far as I'm concerned, the resume is still the top dog in the job search game. Having a LinkedIn profile won't change that. What it will do though, is increase the number of potentially interested parties (think recruiters and hiring managers), who will then ask for your resume, and hopefully offer you a job interview.
Resumes and LinkedIn profiles differ in two key ways:
A resume is a privileged document, a LinkedIn profile is public
There's a reason you don't share your resume with just anyone - it contains confidential information about you that not everybody is entitled to.
On the other hand, your LinkedIn profile can be seen by almost anyone and while there are steps you can take limit who can view it, doing so would probably defeat the purpose of having it.
To get the most out of LinkedIn, you want to cast as wide of a net as you can and attract as many visitors as possible. More visitors makes it more likely that one or more of them are a member of your target audience, such as recruiters, hiring managers, or potential clients.
A resume is a targeted document, LinkedIn is more generalized
When you're writing a resume, you'll typically incorporate different keywords and emphasize different content depending on the target role.
If you were interested in positions as both a software engineer and mechanical engineer for example, you wouldn't use one engineering resume for both (doing so would surely result in disappointment). Rather, you would create two targeted resumes, each one leveraging the industry words, phrases, and your own experiences best suited to the role.
LinkedIn on the other hand is static. It simply isn't feasible to modify your profile for multiple jobs - you only get one profile, but you can have as many resumes as you want.
That doesn't mean you don't need a LinkedIn though. In fact, a polished LinkedIn profile will funnel recruiters and other interested parties to you - that's exactly what you want!
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#2 Recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates
Thousands of recruiters are on LinkedIn trying to fill positions for their companies. If you're not on LinkedIn, you're losing out on scores of potential job opportunities.
As Amy Miller, a senior recruiter at Amazon put it, "LinkedIn is the attractor". It pulls recruiters to your profile.
So what are the most important parts of a profile?
According to Amy and many other recruiters, your 'Experience' and 'About Me' sections are the first things they will look at. Focus on writing high quality content for those sections before you do anything else.
Your LinkedIn experience section will tell the recruiter what kind of companies you've worked for, what kind of projects you've been involved in, and for how long.
The LinkedIn about me section will give them a brief overview of who you are and what you're looking for in your next role.
#3 Companies use LinkedIn to source freelancers
If you're a freelancer, LinkedIn is equally important! You can use your profile to find leads, engage with clients and the wider community, and give visitors a glimpse into your professional life.
An article at Hubspot has outlined some of the seven ways in which both businesses and freelancers can find new clients. In my opinion, these are five of the best ways to generate leads:
Have a strong LinkedIn presence and profile
Have a polished LinkedIn profile page for your agency
Engage with the community by posting content
Join groups that your clients would be in
Leverage connections with current customers and clients
#4 Your LinkedIn profile is indexed on Google
According to Google, indexing is when Google's little robots visit your site and scan the information it contains, and make it searchable, so that anyone looking for you (or something in similar) can find you in Google's search engine.
Why is that important?
If you're a freelance consultant, the benefits to clients being able to find your LinkedIn profile are immense. More traffic means more leads, which translates squarely to more paying customers.
If you're an employee, the benefit isn't as striking, but it's still important nonetheless for recruiters to be able to find you in as many ways as possible.
#5 You can create a profile in minutes
Creating a LinkedIn profile can be done in as little as five minutes. To get started, head over to LinkedIn.
From there, it's a matter of writing compelling content for your 'Experience' and 'About Me' sections.
PRO TIP: Don't copy and paste the content from your resume - you're not trying to give visitors a detailed account of your work experience here. Instead and as I mentioned earlier, you want to give them a birds-eye view of your career and pique their interest.
What can Final Draft Resumes do for you?
We offer tailor-made LinkedIn profile writing services to align with your unique mix of work history and career goals and help you bolster your professional brand.
Check out the full suite of services we offer:
Entry to midlevel professionals with less than 10 years of experience
Established professionals with over 10 years of experience
Executive professionals such as CEOs, VPs, and directors
About the Author
James Cooper is a Professional Resume Writer, member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARWCC) and has been in the recruiting, career coaching, and writing business for almost 14 years. He began his career recruiting for AECOM, a Canadian engineering firm, and he's gone on to work with and help professionals land roles at top Fortune 500 companies.
Have questions about resume writing? Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Haven't been getting the results you want with your current resume? Check out the Resume Writer's Handbook, an A to Z guide to writing a compelling resume.
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