For most people, the Facebook app is the first one on their phone’s home screen. It is one of the staple apps that many use regularly and these days, it is impossible to delete it from newer phones. Have you ever thought about how much time you spend on Facebook or other social media applications? Back in December of 2018, I decided to reduce my overall screen time and spend less time on Facebook and use the minutes I was using on the app more productively. I installed an app that would literally not allow me to get into the apps after a time limit I’ve set. I am sure there are countless similar applications out there, so I won’t name the one I use here. I don’t know how many minutes of my day were allocated to Facebook but what I can guarantee you is that most people easily spend about an hour scrolling down the interface daily, according to Facebook itself. One hour!
What did we do when Facebook didn’t exist? That wasn’t too long ago! We surely didn’t know as much as we do now about our friends’ lives and their private business. The lack of filter expressed on Facebook in terms of information shared still baffles me. Whether it is political views, religious views, social life, it’s all there for everyone to see and judge. To a certain extent, because of Facebook, we choose the people we want to be friends with outside of the virtual environment and we may even stop ‘following’ those with opposite views or contrary lifestyles.
My first transaction on Craigslist.com dates back to sometime in 2007. I bought a bicycle for $50 off a mom who was doing some spring cleaning. I thought the concept was marvelous, a garage sale revolution on the internet and since then, I have had numerous sales and purchases through the website. Once again, Facebook brought us Marketplace and now, it’s my first go to platform. The benefit of Facebook Marketplace is that you can see who is selling an item and judge the legitimacy of their post. How much more efficient and safer!
I’m bringing up these examples to make this point. Social media, when used properly, enhances the connections we’ve established with individuals in our network. It saves time, it is effective, and it can expand our reach and multiply the network we know. Imagine what it could do to your career if used with wisdom, professionalism and efficiency. You’ve probably guessed it already; the answer is LinkedIn.
By now, you should know that the number one way people discover new jobs is through referrals. It has always been the case and with the rise of LinkedIn over the past decennia, social professional networks are undoubtedly the number source of hires for recruiters. Did you know that 97% of human resources professionals use LinkedIn as their candidate pool, 89% of recruiters have filled a position using LinkedIn as a tool, 77% of all job openings are posted on LinkedIn and keeping your profile and positions up to date on LinkedIn increases your chances to be found by a recruiter 18 more times? If these statistics are not convincing, unfortunately, nothing else could change your mind. When I meet professionals who are looking to advance in their career and who do not currently own an updated LinkedIn profile, I am flabbergasted. Whether you are happily employed, open to new opportunities or actively looking, your LinkedIn profile should always be up to date.
I’ve made the mistake in the past of describing a LinkedIn profile as an online resume and I must admit that such an explanation is a very poor and inappropriate description of the potential the platform offers. If companies invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into public relations and marketing, it is because those areas are indispensable to their growth. They pay consultants and firms enormous sums of money to get the job done. LinkedIn is your PR firm that costs you virtually nothing. It is a place to show the professional world that you are valuable. When 89% of recruiters fill their opening through LinkedIn, you surely don’t want to get left behind. You have the ability to establish connections and build relationships that can be profitable later. The world we live in is fast pace, it is a world of constant information sharing and flow and those who lose are those who are not-in-the know. From industry latest news to live networking opportunities, I’ve personally used LinkedIn for all. Millennials, you should be on LinkedIn. Worried about privacy? If you already have a Facebook profile, reconsider the reason for your hesitation.
The ball is now in your court. Your resume is only the baseline, there is so much more to LinkedIn. Start by creating your profile today and if you need help, here is a quick guide on how to set up an attractive presence on the professional social network. I wish you the best!