Job seekers, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile and you’re looking for a new job, please take the time to create a profile. It’s a huge benefit to be able to put yourself out their in cyberspace and have the ability for people to find you or learn more about you. It’s also a great place to research companies and find out what companies are looking to hire people. LinkedIn is the largest social media platform in the business environment today, so why not take advantage of a way to brand yourself? I am amazed that there are people out looking for jobs without a LinkedIn account. Job seekers you are missing out on one of the best networking opportunities out there. Why would you mass email your resume to numerous job boards (the black hole) but not take the time to set up a profile on LinkedIn? If you’re serious about finding a new job, a LinkedIn profile is key and someone may even find you as a passive candidate and call you about a job one day. The first thing most recruiters do when they receive a resume from a job board or company website is go check out the LinkedIn profile to see what your profile looks like. It’s an easy way to confirm that your profile and your resume match up. Just so you know it’s not only recruiters but most of our hiring managers check you out too. One of my clients won’t even look at a resume if it doesn’t have the LinkedIn profile along with the name and phone number, so candidates if you’re reading this think about adding your LinkedIn profile to your resume too. It shows that you recognize the value of social media. We recruit for sales people so if a sales person doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile or only a few connections it is a red flag that you may not be a good networker. This is not a good sign for a sales person whose value is placed on networking and gaining access to new clients to grow business. Almost as bad as not having a LinkedIn profile is not having a picture on your profile. With the ease and quality of pictures taken from your cell phone, not having a picture says that you’re behind on today’s technology. You don’t need a glamour shot, only a picture of your pretty face and please don’t add a cartoon or funny picture of yourself. This is about your professional appearance, so take a good picture and add it to your profile. Once you set up your profile, start connecting with people you know and people in the industry that you work in to expand your network. There are still a lot of skeptics who don’t believe LinkedIn will help them enough to spend the time on it, but there are so many positive aspects to having a profile that I recommend it. You can use LinkedIn to promote your current employer as many people do. Share information and news about your company. It’s a win/ win for sales people. Many employers would be happy to see their employee sharing good news about them with their connections. For those employees concerned about alerting their employer that they are searching for a new job, you can turn off your “updates”. Login to your LinkedIn account, select “Settings” and go to the Privacy Controls section. Uncheck the “Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies” option. You can add a profile or make changes to your existing profile and save the changes. When this is unchecked the update remains private and doesn’t get announced to the LinkedIn network. LinkedIn allows you to provide your professional side and allows you to share your story in an easy way, so get creative and go set up your profile today and don’t forget to add your picture.