LinkedIn has over 722 million members across the world and is regarded as the leading global business networking tool. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, three people are hired through LinkedIn every minute.
Even though it can sometimes present like any other social media platform, there are career benefits to be had if you utilise it the way it was intended.
According to this Wall St Journal article, there are arguments for and against. The article suggests it’s a waste of time and can be frustrating to use, stating “it’s not fun or user-friendly, it’s a bit ugly, and the site has become bogged down with spam connection requests and users’ attempts to market products.”
These days, LinkedIn can feel less business critical and more social due to the increasing number of personal posts people are making. As Andrew Selepak, Ph.D., director of the graduate program in social media at University of Florida states, “Most people rarely have any professional content to share—we only change jobs so often or appear in national publications or earn new degrees.”
This explains why there is a significant amount of personal content or general commentary on personal LinkedIn profiles and even a substantial number of company pages. In order for LinkedIn to be utilised as important business networking tool, there are a few things you should keep in mind…
What is the purpose of LinkedIn?
The primary functions of LinkedIn are:
1. Finding the right job for you
2. Connecting and strengthening professional relationships
3. Developing skills to help you succeed in your career
How to maximise the benefits of LinkedIn
- You should regularly post content relevant to your profession and career aspirations
- If you’re sharing personal content, it should ideally relate back to your profession
- Ask yourself, ‘who is my audience?’ before sharing
- Ask yourself if the content you share is unique or contributing something new to a discussion
- If you’re a business wanting to present your charitable side, be sure to support what you say with actions
- Consider if there is already a saturation of posts on a particular subject before sharing
- Ensure you have optimised your profile and that it’s professional and up to date
- Although you are wanting to market yourself, try not to be too pushy about your product or services