The Importance of LinkedIn
Using LinkedIn is an integral part of every returners tool kit. It is the digital platform that connects professionals and allows networks to expand with ease. LinkedIn has evolved over the years and now provides unparalleled opportunity to position yourself and be visible.
Your LinkedIn profile and associated activity is your advertisement to current and future networks and employers!
Having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile is critical to resuming your career or establishing your next working phase. It is where professionals go to look up other professionals. Whether you are applying for a role, networking or connecting with former colleagues; people will often look at your profile before meeting with you. 97% of recruiters and head-hunters use LinkedIn as their primary approach to source candidates; 85% of recruiters make their shortlist decisions based solely on LinkedIn!
Equally, the process of investing the time in the platform will help solidify your story and allow you to confidently tell people who you are, what you are good at and what you want to do.
Why returners need to be on LinkedIn:
Many returners lose their networks whilst on a career break, LinkedIn provides a great way to re-engage and let the world know you are back!
Reach out to new networks with ease.
We have experienced how it has opened up doors to people we would most likely not have met face-to-face, made us visible to influencers and allowed our opinion to be heard. I have met up with former peers, who I haven’t seen in years, and they begin by saying “I love what you are doing”. Through my constant activity on LinkedIn they know what I doing, where my passion is and my area of expertise.
Tell your story and let it evolve.
My profile has had several iterations as I have changed career directions. I have also learnt the hard way that a profile that tries to hedge its bets and be a bit of everything is confusing. My key learning was to commit to a path and create a profile around this. If you do change, it can evolve with you.
Access to relevant information
It provides access to knowledge, insights and opportunities to help you get up to speed with business language and topics in your industry. Simply follow industry groups, companies, people who share similar interests and passions.
The more you put into, the more you will get out of it.
It takes time and energy but it will pay you back! Start by looking at it each day and try to like, comment or share something once a week. It won’t take long before you will have the confidence to start posting regularly!
Show who you are by sharing your knowledge, expertise and opinion on content
Returners still know their stuff, we don’t unlearn it! However, self-doubt can rear its head in the form of ‘imposter syndrome’. I’ve spent over an hour writing one comment and contemplating negative thoughts; does my opinion even matter/ is it right/ will anyone care? However, every time I took the courage it became easier each time and it has helped to solidify my direction and enhance my personal brand.
LinkedIn is more than a place to upload a resume. You will need to harness the full potential of this platform as it provides a great access point back into the professional world.