Job seekers

Randy Wooden: LinkedIn isn’t just for active job seekers | Local

I was recently asked to present a workshop on LinkedIn at a statewide conference. Nothing unusual about that.

What struck me was the number of participants who hadn’t done much with LinkedIn, either because they weren’t active job seekers or simply because they didn’t see not the “why” behind spending time with it.

Many Goodwill Professional Center clients have expressed the same sentiment, except they are now job hunting and know they need to up their LinkedIn game.

Today, as part one of a two-part series, I’m going to share some thoughts on LinkedIn and why it matters, even if you’re not an active job seeker. Next time, I’ll offer tips for making the most of your time on the platform.

Why should I bother with LinkedIn if I’m not a job seeker? There are several reasons. We’ll take a look.

For starters, even if you’re happy with your current position, you may be a passive job seeker. How will recruiters find you if you’re not on LinkedIn or, maybe on it, but with a very skeletal profile page? Even if you’re not interested in the opportunities, you might be able to recommend a friend you know is looking. Paying it forward never hurts.

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Here’s a second reason – control. It’s a big. Think about it. If you’re planning a vacation, you’ll go online to check out places to stay, eat, and experience. The same goes for those who may be interviewed with you or your department. They’ll check you out on LinkedIn just like, I assume, you will check them out.

To some extent, your personal LinkedIn profile is an extension of your business. A beautiful profile creates a positive impression. A missing or incomplete profile, not so much.

If your company will provide services to my company, rest assured that my people will check your team to see who we will be dealing with.

Learning is another reason to engage on LinkedIn. What’s new in your field? Thinking of changing domains? Maybe learn about a new industry or a new function. Join the discussion with others who share your interests or passion in certain areas.

For those who love lifelong learning, if you’re a LinkedIn Premium member, you’ll get access to LinkedIn Learning. It’s a great way to improve in a myriad of areas. Their sessions are divided into categories, ranging from beginner to expert, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Once you complete a course, you can post that achievement on your LinkedIn profile for others to see.

And last but not least, it can be fun! While certainly not all LinkedIn connections will turn into business relationships, let alone personal friendships, you never know. Remember that even if you are not an active job seeker, you will develop different levels of relationships with others on the platform.

Even if you’re not an active job seeker today, you’ll come to appreciate the network you’ve cultivated when that day comes when you seek new opportunities.

As a friend told me, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to dig your well.

I hope today’s column opened up a thought or two about why LinkedIn is important for more than just actively searching for a job.

Next time, I’ll share tips to ensure you make the most of your time on what has clearly become the go-to source for professional job seekers and recruiters.

As always, if you wish to be accompanied in your job search, the services of our center are free. Good luck!

Randy Wooden is a longtime career consultant for Triad and director of the career center at Goodwill Industries of Northwest NC. Contact him at [email protected] or 336-407-7306. For more information, visit www.goodwillnwnc.org/professional-center. Ask Randy for his weekly job search talk show on Wednesdays and his free LinkedIn webinar on Thursdays.