Why is LinkedIn so important these days? As professionals or business owners, connections are key to our success. Keeping up with our connections, both business and personal, are so important and I think even more difficult to do these days. There are so many online opportunities to connect that it is overwhelming. In addition to that, the question may be, do we really get enough face time with our connections to make these relationships deeper? In all honesty, we all need both, online and offline connections to make a difference in our businesses or job searches. For today, let’s focus on the online tools. We can discuss offline at other time. When it comes to the online world, you need to be picky about which tools you spend your time on. Be as picky as what your weekend plans will be. Choose a tool that will give you the biggest bang for the time. Social media tools can be total time sucks, if we allow them to be. In many ways we reconnect, and can now stay connected, with individuals that we would have never connected with 20 or even 10 years ago. These online tools connect us with other professionals who can promote our companies and consumers who can buy our products or services. I am very picky about where I spend my time online and off. I have two school aged children and a husband with a very intense work schedule. I am a business owner that loves what I do and could do it all the time. I love my community and could volunteer in many areas. I am blessed with many options but with those options comes decisions. Where do I spend my time? In my humble opinion, for online connection tools, LinkedIn is near the top. It is a place to find and be found. I tell all my clients if they are not on LinkedIn, they have to be and now. I work with young to mid-level professionals who are in a career transition or tactical job search. Even if they still have no idea of their job target I tell them to get on it and begin a profile today. I work with them to fine tune that profile. I give the same advice to fellow business owners or really anyone who provides a product or service. There really are few audiences I think LinkedIn could not help. So what does it take to get a good profile up on LinkedIn and searchable? The key is searchable and content rich. More and more individuals and recruiters are searching LinkedIn for future employees, providers, and partners. As job postings shrink more corporate recruiters are scouring LinkedIn for the right people. There are a million, or it seems like that many, of articles telling you what mistakes to avoid etc. I agree with much of it. But let’s focus on getting started and the most important pieces to begin with.
February 26, 2013