There was a time when you worked at a company your entire career. You may have changed departments or been promoted to management and those changes were due to your work being observed daily and in-person. Accomplishments were chronicled in your human resource file and your co-workers and bosses knew who you were and your contributions to the success of the company. Social media was not even a thing.
Fast forward to today and the digital age where that in-person interview for a new position may not ever happen unless you are using the right keywords when applying online with that pesky automated HR system. You get lucky and someone takes notice, but before they give you a call or send an email, they are going to Google search you. What comes back is a LinkedIn and Facebook profile.
It is likely they will look at your LinkedIn profile first to try to figure out who you are beyond the online application. What is your brand? Who are you professionally? What is your story? Potential employers will look at your Facebook profile for clues as to who you are socially outside of work. I think of the differences between LinkedIn and Facebook this way – if I want to know where an old co-worker is working now, I use LinkedIn. If I want to find out if that same co-worker is married and has kids, I use Facebook.
LinkedIn has been around longer than Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and hosts more than 500 million professional profiles with an unlimited supply of network connections and job opportunities (Gould, 2019). While Facebook is designed to connect with family and friends, LinkedIn at its core is a professional networking platform that was created originally for corporate recruitment. LinkedIn is an important part of being a full-fledged professional and with a unique online profile, or brand, it is a place to tell companies why they should hire you and pay you those six figures.
Branding is no longer limited to cereal or running shoes. It is not enough just to have an online profile but is equally important to build a professional brand that helps you stand-out from others in the same industry. It is identifying positions that need someone with your background. It is building your online reputation to stand out from the crowd and being remembered by managers, peers, and customers (Kohler, 2019). Personal branding can help you land that job you always wanted by creating a LinkedIn profile.
Another job hunt benefit of LinkedIn is that it offers a robust open-position board where you can search for postings by keywords and locations. I use the job alert function for instructional designer positions to receive regular email updates when there are new job postings. Another feature I love is the “I’m interested” button to let recruiters know I am open to new opportunities with regular updates telling me when someone has viewed my profile. Right now I am not getting a ton of profile hits but I am not taking that personally, yet.
Ever Google yourself? I just did and guess what was at the top of the list? That’s right, my LinkedIn profile. Google loves LinkedIn since it is a well-known and powerful network like itself. It will rank higher than your personal website so if you do not have a LinkedIn profile, it doesn’t cost a dime to get started other than your time with benefits that far outweigh just having a Facebook profile.
Gould, R. (2019, August 14). LinkedIn vs. Facebook: Which Is Best for Business? Retrieved from HubSpot: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/linkedin-vs-facebook
Kohler, C. (2019). Why LinkedIn is Important: 7 Reasons to Polish Your Profile Today. Retrieved from TopResume: https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/why-linkedin-is-important