How are you supposed to know when the next big thing will pop up? Or anticipate when your dream job at your dream company will suddenly open up?
The answer is you can’t.
However, what you can do is proactively prepare for when these professional opportunities present themselves – and one of the best tools for doing that is free and right at your fingertips: LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the best social network for professionals not only for networking and growing your personal advisory board, but also for readying yourself for potential career moves. According to a 2016 Jobvite survey, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to evaluate candidates when hiring, 43% use Facebook, and 22% use Twitter. If you’re not there when they go looking for you, it’s a bad reflection on you as a connected, career professional – like it or not!
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to network with people, including the HR team and executives, at your current company, as well as companies you want to work for. And by forging relationships with these people now, you can get your foot in the door and your name in front of them. Then, when a job opportunity does arise, you’ll stand out amongst a sea of applicants.
Plus, if you happen to develop a great relationship with one of your contacts or colleagues, he or she may be able to tailor a job opening to your specific skill set. This isn’t cheating; it’s using your network and being smart about the process.
Before you start connecting with people on LinkedIn, you need to make sure your profile is up to par. In many cases, your profile may be the first touchpoint a person has with you, so you need to make a great first impression. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity because your profile is incomplete!
Even if your profile is already fantastic, you still need to regularly revisit it and add updates on your job responsibilities, achievements, etc. Set a reminder on your phone or email calendar to look at it once a month and make any necessary changes or additions.
Concerned about people at your current job seeing your profile updates? You can turn off those notifications. This will allow you to regularly update your profile without sending up red flags that you’re ready for something new. With 87% of recruiters citing LinkedIn as the most effective social media platform for vetting candidates during the hiring process, you can’t afford not to be there. Get started using LinkedIn now and be ready for professional opportunities!
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures.