If you’re a young professional hoping to become a top executive and grow in your professional field then you need to sign up for LinkedIn today.
LinkedIn is the professional version of Facebook where people can post their work experience and connect via past jobs, professional interests, and schools. With more than 150 million members from over 200 countries on the network, a new person joins LinkedIn nearly every second. LinkedIn members consist of individuals from all of the Fortune 500 companies and thousands of hiring managers and recruiters from hundreds of different industries.
Many companies are now using LinkedIn as a key aspect of their recruiting strategy, searching for people with the skills and experiences they are looking for. Kay Luo, former Director of Corporate Communications at LinkedIn, explains why: “The main reason that companies are using LinkedIn is to find passive job candidates. Another reason why companies are using LinkedIn, is because referrals from their employees are highly valued because they typically have a higher success rate (hence the popular “employee referral bonuses”). LinkedIn helps companies leverage the networks of their employees.”
First things first, sign up for a profile. It is free and takes less than 2 minutes. After you do that include your past work experiences, your educational background, and keywords and skills so your profile can be found. Next build your network. You can search by school, employer, or email contacts. Based on your profile, LinkedIn will also be able to recommend people in your network.
Even if you aren’t looking for a job right now, it is never too early to start building your professional network. It is also a great way to keep in touch with your old friends and colleagues as they move to different companies.
Are there any other online tools you use to develop your professional network? As always, send us your career and entrepreneurship questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.