Do You Need LinkedIn? Yes…Yes, You Do And Here is Why

People often tell me that they don’t use LinkedIn. They may have an account that they set up a long time ago, but they don’t remember what their password is, and they haven’t looked at it for years. They think they don’t need it. They are wrong.

Here are the typical comments I hear:  “I am a teacher…I don’t need LinkedIn.” “I am in business on my own…I have a website…I don’t need LinkedIn.” “I am not looking for a job…I am very satisfied where I am. I don’t need LinkedIn.” And so it goes. Everyone is wrong!

To those who believe that they are exempt from needing a LinkedIn profile that is fully optimized and ready for”prime time,” I cannot put it more plainly. You are just wrong! (Or, to quote one of my favorite Big Bang Theory TV characters, “You couldn’t be more wrong.”)

Everyone should be using LinkedIn. Period.

Just as billions of you around the world use and enjoy Facebook for family, friends, and fun, your LinkedIn profile is the virtual and literal “link” between you and the rest of the professional working world. Whether you are looking for a job or happily employed where you plan to stay until you retire, you need a fully optimized LinkedIn profile!

Why am I so passionate about this? As a Career Transition and Job Search Coach to teachers who are burnt-out and are looking to springboard into the business world as well as mid-career professionals who find themselves at a career crossroads for any of a variety of reasons, I believe that LinkedIn is rapidly becoming your new, online resume. Just as everyone needs to be able to present an up-to-date hard copy resume of their work experience, everyone needs an up-to-date and fully optimized LinkedIn profile.

I offer webinars and presentations on LinkedIn profile optimization, and I provide critiques of LinkedIn profiles for those who want advice on how to make the most of the features that LinkedIn provides. (My next webinar on LinkedIn Profile Optimization is next week, Thursday, July 21 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. To register, click here.)

In that webinar, I teach attendees the basics regarding what elements to include in a fully optimized LinkedIn profile starting with their photo. Frankly, I am stunned by the photos that some people use on their LinkedIn profile. They apparently don’t appreciate that LinkedIn is not Facebook. It is not Twitter. Nor it is Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat or any other totally completely “social” social platform. LinkedIn is a social platform for professionals. Its express purpose is to allow professional people from all over the world to be able to connect with one another on a professional level and to network in a professional manner.

LinkedIn is where you can showcase yourself as a professional or as an entrepreneur in ways that you cannot duplicate anywhere as easily.

If you aren’t sure what you need to include to provide an optimized LinkedIn profile, I have had a graphic designer create a 14-point checklist designed just for my clients. It is graphically beautiful, but it also includes the practical and pragmatic graphics that convey how you can create a LinkedIn profile that includes the most important elements starting with your photo, your headline, your number of connections, and the need for you to customize your URL. I am offering it for only $1 even though I believe it is worth much more. This guide helps users understand exactly where everything should go and why.

Stress Self-Assessment

No matter where you are on the career continuum, you may want to give this unique, one-of-a-kind LinkedIn Profile Highlights Checklist a look.

Since it is only $1, you have no reason not to take advantage of it.

But if you aren’t yet convinced that you need to be setting up a LinkedIn profile, take a look at some startling facts:

  • Over 430 million LinkedIn users around the world to date and growing by…
  • 2 new members every 2 seconds.
  • Over 128 million users in the United States alone
  • Over 106 monthly unique visiting LinkedIn members
  • LinkedIn is used in over 200 countries and territories in…
  • Over 20 languages
  • 70% of users are outside the United States
  • 94% recruiters are using LinkedIn to look for talent
  • There are 6.5 million active job listings on LinkedIn

Need I say more?

If you remain unconvinced, consider this one last fact of life. Nothing ever remains the same. You may be happily employed today, and your job might disappear tomorrow. It happens. Companies merge, and departments are phased out. Jobs are eliminated. Workforces are downsized. I know one man whose company decided to move across the country. He was invited to go along, but he chose to stay put for personal reasons. He had no idea how hard it might be for him to find an equivalent position in a speedy fashion. He had to start his job search from scratch and try to get it from 0 to 60 mph in a hurry. Had he been keeping his resume up to date and his LinkedIn profile optimized and ready, he could have shaved weeks off his search.

I don’t have to tell you that we live in precarious times. Nothing is guaranteed. Right now, however, I believe I can safely say that if you don’t think you need a LinkedIn profile, you are simply wrong, my friend. So why not fix it and get started on your profile right away?

Order your LinkedIn Profile Highlights Checklist and get started.

Stretching Beyond Your Comfort Zone

You may or may not be aware of that fact that I am a retired teacher and librarian. I worked in the public schools of Virginia for 33 years as a 6th grade language arts teacher and library media specialist, and I loved it. I loved it so much that I became National Board Certified in 2003 and renewed my certification in 2012.

In 2008, I leapt out of the comfort zone of the familiar and the relatively “easy” by running for and becoming the president of the Virginia Education Association…something I did from 2008-2012.

As I left the VEA, I recognized that I was suffering from a severe case of job “burn out.” As much as I loved representing my professional colleagues and advocating for the children that attend public schools, the job took a lot out of me… physically and emotionally.

After taking a few months to rest and relax, I decided that it was time to get back to work. I was unprepared, however, for the maze of job boards, changes in expectations regarding resumés, cover letters, and getting my LinkedIn profile up to speed. Suddenly, looking for a job became a full time occupation!

Somehow I was led to the website of a company called CareerHMO. The company is owned and operated by J.T. O’Donnell, a coach who has developed a proven methodology that she calls the “disruptive job search.”

J.T. was my coach during the time that I subscribed to CareerHMO’s JSAP program (Job Search Accelerator Program). With the help of that program, I got crystal clear about what it was that I did and what it was that I didn’t want in my next professional endeavor.

I knew in my heart of hearts that I really wanted to become a life coach, but I didn’t know any life coaches, I didn’t know how to select a program, and I wasn’t sure I could start a business of my own at this stage in my life. J.T. says that we are all a “business of one” and she has noted the growing trend of individuals starting their own businesses and serving as independent professional consultants. With J.T.’s encouragement, I decided to once again leave my “comfort zone” and start my own business as a coach. I have been grateful to J.T. personally and I have been recommending her program to others who have found themselves seeking jobs or new positions.

I truly believe that J.T.’s program is the “real deal.” The content of the program is rich and covers the gamut from self-assessment to the importance of developing a regular job search practice and eliminating negative self-talk that can be so damaging when people are between jobs.

Because I am such a fan of J.T’s and CareerHMO, I am thrilled to announce that I have joined CareerHMO as an Independent Coach Consultant (ICC).

Once again, I am taking on a new endeavor, stretching beyond my own particular comfort zone. I will be joining a team of highly qualified coaches, and I know I am going to learn something new everyday.

I would ask you to consider what it is that you may have done lately that took you out of your own comfort zone? Do you stretch yourself periodically or have you gotten complacent? Do you complain about your life but do nothing to change it?

I urge you to consider that life is all about taking on new chances and going for new opportunities as they present themselves to you.

In the meantime, while I know that not everyone reading this is looking for a job, it is likely that you know someone who is. Perhaps you have a relative who just finished college but hasn’t yet landed that dream job for which they are prepared. Or perhaps a friend has been laid off and they have found themselves like I was not so long ago, bewildered by the job search landscape and wondering where to go and what to do. If that is the case, I urge you to share the information below.

Right now, for those who go through my link at careerhmo.com/kitty-boitnott-external, you are eligible to take advantage of a free offer AND deep discounts on the prices of the packages that are available to subscribers. Having gone through the JSAP program myself, I can offer a testimonial to its effectiveness. I highly recommend it.

Please feel free to share the link with anyone who is between jobs, looking to change jobs, or anyone who anticipates wanting to look for a promotion or change at some time in the future. The methodology that is offered in this program can be used by anyone who wants to prepare themselves for their next great job.

 

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