Does being on LinkedIn really make a difference?

Written by: Noelle Gross
Published on: 24 Apr 2014

Linkedin chocolates

Photo: Nan Palmero, via Wikimedia Commons.

I get asked this question all the time..."Does being on LinkedIn really make a difference?"

Most people tend to think of LinkedIn as being similar to Facebook or Twitter - just another privacy invading social network. Like any of us need one more social network to manage!

The truth is, being on LinkedIn is a huge benefit for both your current online presence AND your future access to great opportunities.

Here's why... We've all googled someone. And chances are, someone has googled you. Now, before you panic at the thought of being googled, know that if you are on LinkedIn, your best "professional you" is amongst the top results to appear. That's because LinkedIn affects how you appear online, boosting your LinkedIn profile to the top of the search results page, when searched on Google (SEO for my tech-savvy audience).

Alternatively, if you resist LinkedIn and all forms of online real estate, you risk having nothing appear in the results when searched. Not appearing online is kind of like saying, "Hi, I am not up with the times" or even worse, "I'm out of touch with the networking community."

If this isn't reason enough to be on LinkedIn, the second reason is one that affects your future. I don't know if you realize it but 100% of recruiters are on LinkedIn. Before you tune out at mention of recruiters, hear me out! Recruiters (those you know and those you don't) hold the key to great job openings.  Even in the event that a company is not working with a recruiter, you can be sure the hiring manager is searching LinkedIn for talent as well.

When recruiters or hiring managers have a job, the first place they go to find talent is (you guessed it) LinkedIn. If you are not on LinkedIn and you are the right fit for the recruiter's opportunity, guess what? You aren't getting contacted because they can't find you!

But, if you do have a presence and are found, your life will be changed. You will have set yourself up for a potentially great job without putting any effort whatsoever into the job search!

So there you have it. Take some time to digest. I promise you - it's worth it. LinkedIn takes no time at all to set up and only requires minimal maintenance. Even a very basic profile with beefed up privacy is better than nothing at all!

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