LinkedIn Non Job Seekers

5 Reasons Why Non-Job Seekers Should Be On LinkedIn

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A question I frequently get when training job seekers on using social media is “Won’t my boss think I’m looking for another job if I’m using LinkedIn?”

Why Non-Job Seekers Should To Be On LinkedIn

With over 180 million LinkedIn users in the world, I honestly don’t think that even half of them are actively seeking work. More than likely, they are happily employed and happily networking. It’s a mistake to think of LinkedIn as a giant job board and your profile as just another resume. The power of any social networking tool is in the networking.

So, if you are currently employed and not taking your LinkedIn use seriously, you’re making a grave error. Here are five reasons why non-job seekers should be on LinkedIn:

1. You Need To Have A Large Network So You Can Use It Later

Imagine you just got laid off. And you have 10 people in your LinkedIn network. You suddenly realize that you should have invested more in getting to know people. So you start to add people like crazy to your network.

If LinkedIn doesn’t blacklist you for suspicious behavior, then the droves of new people you are inviting to your network will question your intentions. They might think, “I haven’t heard from this guy in 10 years, now all of a sudden he’s lost his job and wants to connect. What does he want from me?”

It’s always better to dig your well before you need to drink from it. If you haven’t been building social equity with your network, you’ll have little to draw from later. So don’t wait until you need it. Build a strong network on LinkedIn now. Be active. Provide value. Stay in touch.

2. Opportunities Come To You; Recruiters Look For Passive Candidates

When a company hires a contract recruiter to fill a job requisition, that company isn’t looking for someone unemployed. They wouldn’t need to hire a contract recruiter for that. There are enough unemployed people to fill every single job vacancy in the country. What the organization needs is someone who is not actively looking, called a passive candidate.

In other words, the recruiter is paid to head-hunt, steal and pillage from competitive companies, convince the happily employed person that the grass is greener, and get a huge commission from the new hire. Companies who use head-hunters are willing to pay you more than what you are making now in order to snatch you away from your cushy job.

If you aren’t on LinkedIn, you are reducing your chances of being discovered by head-hunters and having the opportunity to make more money.

3. Industry Groups Can Offer You Value And Connection

Groups on LinkedIn have really matured. I’ve found that the discussions on groups are more engaging, people are less shy about speaking their minds, and the content is improving in quality. Of course this depends on the group; this is just from my own experience. However, if you find the right groups to participate with, the value to your network and knowledge is huge.

Not only will you be exposed to news, and new ideas, but you’ll have a chance to demonstrate your expertise through commenting and discussion. Sometime alliances are formed.

For example, I was part of a group whose leader would entice you to click links to download some attractive research reports. But in order to download each report, you had to fill out a lot of personal information. I found this practice annoying and said so. Pretty soon, others in the group were agreeing with me. One guy in particular contacted me and we hit it off. Turns out we do similar things, but on separate continents. Thus both of our networks grew stronger.

4. Keep Your Resume Up To Date Just In Case

A resume is a static thing. You write it once when you are actively looking for work. You get your job. Then you forget about it.

LinkedIn profiles tend to stay up to date with greater accuracy than any other online profile. Recruiters know this. They know that your profile will be more accurate than your five-year-old resume.

When you keep your profile up to date, writing your new resume will be that much easier. Instead of staring at a blank piece of paper trying to remember your start and stop dates, you’ll just check your profile and know.

Look, you never know when you’ll need a resume. Most employment these days is at-will. Your company doesn’t need any reason to let you know tomorrow. Be ready.

5. Read The News Feed For Your Industry

The average time spent on LinkedIn is just over four minutes per visit. The company finds this dismal fact upsetting, and does what it can to keep you on. And some of the ways it does that are actually quite good. With LinkedIn Today, you get customized news delivered to you daily. Based on  your industry, the types of articles you share, and who is in your network, your daily news feed is likely going to inform you of things you should know about your job.

On many occasions, I’ve found trending news items that I was blind to until I saw them on LinkedIn. You can customize how your news is displayed and what categories you are interested in reading about. My favorite is the ability to see what news items are trending in my own network. I’d like to know what my peers are reading. Wouldn’t you?

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Joshua Waldman

Author of Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies, Joshua is recognized as the authority for helping people find work using social media. His blog, Careerenlightenment.com, won the 2013 About.com Reader's Choice award for best career blog for original content.

8 comments

  1. I have been on LinkedIn for over a year and had applied for positions via LinkedIn. I have not gotten a reply as to whether I am considered or not.

  2. I’ve been on LinkedIn for about a year and get job postings for positions I’m under qualified for. Most people I’m connected with know I’m looking for a job and promise connections but don’t follow through. When I follow-up I get no response.

    Everyone I know thinks I’m only qualified to be a receptionist when in fact I’m OVER QUALIFED for that job. But because I chose to work instead of attend univeristy I’m finding my job search to be hopeless.

    • @STB03, You may want to read (and do the exercises) in “What Color is Your Parachute: 2013 Edition.” The book is considered a classic tool for job seekers. The book has a marvelous section that helps people undercover transferable skills so they can present themselves in a different as well as more employable and attractive light.

      When I started my career, I used this book. What I learned about myself was invaluable. I recently re-did the exercises in the latest version to help me with personal branding and pursuit of opportunities. The results of the exercises made me re-examine skills I take for granted and remember details of assignments that I can readily speak about to others.

      The local libraries usually have a copy if you want to check it out before you commit to purchasing it.

  3. Spot on, Joshua!! Every point you make is made well, and is absolutely true. I like to say that LinkedIn is the greatest tool for professionals since the last ice sheet retreated! It’s brilliant, and constantly becoming more so.

  4. Appreciate this article! I’m new to LinkedIn. Finally joined after years of friends & colleagues telling me to do so…and now I simply adore it! Better late than never.

  5. anyone who doesn’t do this today is putting their career at risk. I’m on linkedin as much as I am on facebook these days! I make it a point to do these things every week.

    1. Find two new people (that I know) to connect with – try and do this every single day!
    2. Message a person I haven’t spoken to in awhile to catch up on what they’re doing
    3. Write a recommendation for someone

    -Tim

  6. Deanna Chavez-Reyes

    LinkedIn is such a wonderful resourceful tool as I continue to dig and poke around learning LinkedIn features and benefits. The more I go into LinkedIn for informtion and updates the more I am beginning to depend on it. I love that it provides professional associations that you can engage, learn and be part of but also the free tutorials that are offered from experienced knowledgeable people in certain industries. I will encourage as many people as I know to become familiar and take advantage of this wonderful tool. Thank you so much!

  7. Joshua, you are absolutely right! LinkedIn is SO much more than a way to find a job. I can’t tell you how much it has helped me rise to a leadership role in my profession and find resources to help me do my job better.

    http://www.CeciliaHarry.com

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