Is LinkedIn Really Worth It?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - while each of these social media platforms plays a role in the business world, each is casual at its core. But there's one social media platform that was developed specifically for professional purposes - and if you're not using it, you're probably missing out.

That platform is Linkedin, which is clearly driven by employers, recruiters and employees from the moment you first log on.. On Linkedin, the concept is to put your work history and resume out there to help you make proper business connections. Sometimes the people you connect with may be co-workers, or they could be people you have worked with on previous jobs. The social networking site can also help you build your contacts in the business world relating to the line of work you do. For example, say you are a freelance writer with experience in the fashion industry, then you can easily connect with people in both lines of work, increasing your chances of landing a job. Hiring executives, editors and recruiters are among the many professionals who browse LindedIn profiles each day.

Linkedin also offers a number of other services such as job listings and articles on various industries, and people can make blog-style posts about their work lives. Even if you're unemployed, maintaining a LinkedIn account can help you get back on your feet. Or, sometimes, people specifically search the website for candidates in their fields. Even if you're not active on LinkedIn, you're still likely to get messages about possible job openings. It's not a bad service to use, since it acts almost like a headhunting operation in relation to job employment.

LinkedIn also offers an easy way to look at one's legitimacy in the business world. People can endorse their connections with certain skills such as "customer service," "blogging" or "public relations." More specific skills can also be endorsed, such as "Microsoft Excel" or "Photoshop." There are thousands of skills that you can list under your profile, but the real bonus is getting people to vouch for you. It's not that hard to get people to do that even if you have to ask former employers or managers you have had to do it. If you have a good work history and ethics, then you can get those good reviews in spades. That makes you look more desirable to future employers.

At times when the unemployment rate is higher than usual - or if you work in a market where the demand for new workers is low - then anything you can do to rise above your peers is valuable. That's why if you aren't on Linkedin, and if you're a career-minded person, then you should definitely start an account. Starting a LinkedIn profile is free, just as with any other social media service. The site does have a subscription-based program that allows additional actions such as checking up on who is viewing your profile. However, a free LinkedIn account lets you take advantage of all the site's best assets.

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