As a young professional there are certain things one must do before entering the work force. For instance cleaning up your social media is a must, along with revamping and tailoring your resume for the job you wish to attain. Besides cleaning and revamping, a “must do” is getting a LinkedIn profile. Now I’m not just pulling these “must dos” out of thin air, this is what I have been told countless times over and over again by professors and professionals currently working in the field.

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Being a young professional myself, I followed these “must dos.” I updated my social media, tailored my resume and registered for a LinkedIn profile. Now it was time to start connecting. As I played around with the social media site I began questioning how important having an active LinkedIn profile really was to employers. Thus began my research into finding out the truth about this so-called “Professional Facebook” and if it was actually beneficial to have one.

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After some Googling and Flipboarding (Flipboard is one of my favorite magazine apps) I have come to the conclusion that having a LinkedIn profile can be useful. Here are some of the reasons why …

1. People will Google you, so be prepared. Your LinkedIn profile is one of the first things that will come up when a potential employer Googles your name. Trust me, you’d much rather have your LinkedIn profile pop up first instead of an article about how you won honorable mention in the eighth grade science fair at Cleveland State in 2006.

2. A LinkedIn profile is the perfect opportunity for you to control all the content about, well you. Put your best stuff out there. If you think it is valuable to let other professionals know that you won a hot dog eating contest 10 years ago, they heck put it on your LinkedIn profile. Unlike other social media sites, LinkedIn gives you full control over the content that is posted on your profile, so take advantage of it!

3. “If you can’t advertise yourself, what hope do you have advertising anything else” – David Ogilvy.
Professionals are able to brand themselves with a LinkedIn profile. You have the power to show employers what separates you from competitors, your benefits and features, as well as your personality, position and promise.

4. People don’t know what they don’t know. If you aren’t on LinkedIn people could be missing out on you because they didn’t know you were out there. A LinkedIn profile gives professionals the positioning to be seen and heard by future employers, just by having an active, up-to-date profile.

5. It is just as important to have a LinkedIn profile even after you have been considered for the job. Once a resume has been submitted, most companies do some digging and snooping around online. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, it can be a red flag for employers. They might question your relevance or your ability to keep up with current trends. Don’t give employers any reason to question if you are right for the job, tell them why you’re perfect with your LinkedIn profile.

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