In the digital world in which we currently reside, virtually everything applies itself to digital in some capacity. There are very few, if any, aspects of 21st century life that don’t link in some way to the internet. That statement warrants its own article.
The internet is flooded with advice and “how to” blogs on the job search, careers and the CV. LinkedIn, as the world’s premier professional network, has only helped to nurture and develop the online job search and, in turn, revolutionised the way that companies hire. LinkedIn have just celebrated a major milestone in the UK, hitting 20 million users with 11 million of those joining the platform in the last 3 years alone.
It’s not about perusing adverts in your local paper or strolling over to an office with a paper copy in hand, although many may argue that this old fashioned approach can be refreshing. If you’re seriously considering a move, we can't stress enough the importance of adopting some form of online professional presence, and LinkedIn is the perfect place to start. Why?
1. It Broadens Your Search Horizons
Creating a LinkedIn profile gives you instant access to an extensive range of companies who may not necessarily use the likes of recruitment consultancies and job boards. It also provides you with access to employees within your target businesses, and possibly, the member of staff who has posted the job you're interested in. This is great for a number of reasons:
- It hoists you onto their LinkedIn radar.
- You can analyse their career paths (this gives you a good indicator of what that potential employer might value in prospective employees).
- You may hear about opportunities which aren't being advertised elsewhere. This is particularly important if hiring managers take a pivotal role in the recruitment process.
LinkedIn is based around the concept of virtual, social networking. If you’re serious about finding your dream job and you've got burning ambition, you need to establish a presence within your market and consistently build on it.
2. Greater Accessibility
Possessing an online jobseeker profile, whether on LinkedIn or as an extension of a job board, means that you might have access to roles which have no physical location at all!
It is becoming more popular with the growth of digital and the idea of telecommuting, to work entirely remotely. This benefits both employers and employees. It's cost effective for businesses in terms of travel expenses and office rent which means they can technically pay you more (don’t hold us to that one but perhaps you get the gist). It also saves workers thousands of pounds a year on commuting costs. Providing you work well remotely, this can be a colossal money saver, I mean, does anyone really enjoy the amount they pay on travel? The answer to that question is NO.
3. It’s Time & Cost Effective
This is common sense. It costs you nothing to create a basic LinkedIn profile, and it certainly costs you nothing to sign up to a job board's email newsletter. Time costs money, and a comprehensive job search can, at times, be a full time job. Some employers are now offering features on their careers pages, whereby you can apply for a role in just one click, connecting your LinkedIn profile seamlessly with their application process. Easy and painless. A one click solution to your job application is going to be the future…we just know it!
4. Let The Search Cater To You
LinkedIn, as well as job boards, now give you the option to receive daily, weekly or monthly job opportunities straight to your inbox. This is particularly useful if you’re not actively looking, but you’re (rightly so) keeping your ear to the ground. Let the jobs come to you! If you see something of interest, applying, especially through LinkedIn is extremely simple. You never know when your dream job is going to present itself, and sometimes you aren’t always prepared with a ready-made, updated CV. A role which comes through to your email might be the career defining moment you've been waiting for. Don't underestimate that.
5. It Creates A Positive First Impression
Setting up a LinkedIn profile gives you the opportunity to fashion a positive first impression of yourself to prospective employers. It is a chance to expose your skills and achievements, as well as give other professionals in your space an insight into your experiences.Don't be afraid to make it personal to you. If you can convey your personality, you’re going to get approached by like-minded people. If you’re a bit quirky and you're used to a casual work environment, you might not appeal to or enjoy a more corporate setting. This is your best opportunity to align yourself as a credible professional within your industry. If you get approached for a role through LinkedIn, your interview is also likely to be a much warmer experience and you’re hopefully going to feel more at ease.
6. Get Discovered
Having a fine-tuned LinkedIn profile which is well optimised for your industry gives you the chance to get found by hiring employers. You don’t even have to search! Someone may approach you about an opportunity which could be THE opportunity, and having an online profile facilitates this. On another note, if an employer or a recruiter has approached you for a role through LinkedIn, you’ve already jumped the first and at times the hardest hurdle – at least you know they are definitely interested in your existing skills and career history (providing your profile demonstrates these accurately!). An approach through LinkedIn can sometimes dismiss the entire application process altogether. Sound attractive?
Having a profile on LinkedIn is not only good for jobseeking, it’s fantastic for your career in general. If you connect with relevant people and contribute valuable content and discussion, you’re going to get noticed in some capacity. The job search isn’t always about proactively trawling websites for roles during the tiny window of free time you have between 8pm and 10pm. If you have something to say and you’ve got a pretty decent grasp of grammar (don't stress about that though), start publishing on LinkedIn and join in with the wider conversation. Sometimes, it’s not what you know but it’s who you know, and if you have a strong list of relevant contacts who have access to your LinkedIn profile, you’ve automatically opened yourself up to applicable opportunities.