3,991,050 Reasons to Join LinkedIn

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate AfterSchool Career Workshops

I recently read yet another article about the dismal prospects for new and recent graduates that spotlighted eight or so young people desperate to find work. Only one of them had a full time job in her chosen field and the rest were either in survival jobs or in other industries entirely. On a whim (because I’m nothing if not whimsical) I went to LinkedIn to look up their profiles. As a major champion of LinkedIn and its magical properties I’m on the site about a million times a day.LinkedIn

And guess what? Only four of them had profiles.  Of those four, one had 30 connections, one with 39 and the other two had one each. The remaining were nowhere to be found.  Nowhere.  As a former advertising recruiter I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be findable on LinkedIn. A fully fleshed out profile can give me a ton of insight into who you are, your skills, a link to your blog, your resume, and a ton more. I can read your recommendations, see what groups you belong to and I can keep your profile in a folder that I can access anywhere.

But more importantly for you, it’s the BEST way to build a network of potential employers, informational interview prospects, company lists, and groups who can help you not only in your job search but also in your first job. Networking doesn’t stop at the front door of your new employer. A successful career depends on relationships and the more you cultivate the more resources you’ll have to help you succeed.  And your connections expand your network tremendously. Newcomers to LinkedIn may not realize that not only are you hooked up with your direct contacts but EVERYONE in their networks as well. That’s when the math starts to give me a headache. My own profile has me connected to 3,991,050 people. Yep, million. And when I checked this morning over 5,000 people had been added since YESTERDAY. Oh, and I have contacts with over 1000 direct connections so they probably have to make up new numbers for how many they're connected to. Freaky, man, really freaky.

And don't think you have to populate your network with only professional contacts. I started with friends and co-workers, old college contacts and past colleagues. You can start with your friends, your professors, your parents (yeah, I know but your parents know people), your boss from Target, and everyone you met at your internships. You'd be amazed just how many people that is.

So seriously, what’s stopping you? Sure, it’s not cool, there’s no Jobville, no LinkedIn “What Norse God Are You?” lame-o quiz and you can’t comment on the “Jack Ass” Fan page. But you can join the rest of us here in the community, build your network and get a job. Then you can goof off during work hours on YouTube. Or not. Probably not.

Want to learn more about using LinkedIn to jazz up your job search, target companies, find new contacts or participate in discussions? Come to an AfterSchool Career Workshops job search seminar for all this and only about a ton more.

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Comments (2) Trackbacks (1)
  1. In case you’re wondering I’m now up to 4,928,310 million people in my network and 14,537 new people have been added since MONDAY 2-14-11. Just sayin’!
    Good luck to all of you on your job search! Stay tuned here for more info, insight and encouragement!

  2. 5,602,881 as of February 24th.
    Ok, I’ll stop now.

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