IF you’re not about to go breaking any glass ceilings, be on the fast-track or work in an office, what’s the point of being on LinkedIn?
Career Development Association of Australia advocacy chairwoman Rebecca Fraser says a professional social media profile is a helpful work tool in more ways and to more people than many realise.
If you’re not looking to boost your career:
“LinkedIn is not targeted at people who only want career progression,” Fraser says.
“The reality is, LinkedIn is now a recruitment tool and the focus for people on there is about networking for opportunities – not just presenting yourself as someone seeking to climb the corporate ladder.”
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THE TRADE LABOURER
If you don’t work in an office:
“A lot of individuals will look for a brand reputation through LinkedIn and for this reason, tradie or not, having a LinkedIn profile is beneficial for you,” she says.
“You can use the platform to help with developing your brand if you are self employed; provide advice if you are looking at building your level of expertise; or simply be on there to be available to network for work opportunities.”
If you’re a graduate and don’t have many work contacts:
“Graduate employment is very competitive and being able to build a network within the prospective sector is a great way to get ahead as a graduate,” Fraser says.
“LinkedIn will also let you build a knowledge base from experienced specialists in your targeted field and may provide you with a great deal of insight in to the professional world you are targeting and the roles and challenges you can face.”
THE PRIVACY PROTECTOR
If you don’t want people to know what you look like:
Fraser says discrimination over age or appearance should not be feared.
“It would not be right if I did not say that the image you present on LinkedIn is important, but would you turn up to an interview in a singlet and thongs? Present yourself on your LinkedIn profile as you wish to be seen by prospective employers,” Fraser says.
“We do strongly recommend including a profile photo as the research does state that your profile will be viewed more often then, however, if having a photo on there concerns you, do not include one.”
THE DIGITAL WHINGER
If you think it’s just another Facebook for businesspeople:
“Many people are seeing others use LinkedIn like facebook but these individuals generally will be reported to the site for this,” she says.
“LinkedIn have strong terms and conditions about the type of communication and engagement they expect on the site and even down to the quality of the articles people publish.
“If you feel what you are seeing is spam or the individual is using this only for social engagement and not professional networking, LinkedIn generally will follow this up.”
SO EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE ON LINKEDIN?
“The reality is in this market everyone needs a LinkedIn profile if they wish to be sourced or want to engage in the hidden job market,” Fraser says.
“Individuals are using LinkedIn, either as a user or through the LinkedIn talent management solutions, to source prospective candidates from entry-level roles right through to executive roles, in all industries and segments.”