Why You Need to Get Serious About Your LinkedIn

As a YP in my third decade, I am shocked by the love/hate relationship that many peers, colleagues and young professionals have with LinkedIn. The often-overlooked social media platform is something of a hybrid – one-part networking, one-part resume, one-part news and thought leadership. As an EDGEr, you can bet we like anything that connects and educates and that’s why we are all in on LinkedIn.

If you are a frequent reader of the Metro EDGE blog, you will remember LinkedIn was mentioned as a platform to showcase achievements in a great blog post about building a personal brand. In fact, few competing platforms offer what LinkedIn can. Don’t believe me? Here are some reasons why you need to get serious about your LinkedIn profile.

Use it or Lose It

A LinkedIn profile is a valuable professional resource. Recruiters, companies interviewing new hires and industry professionals all rely on LinkedIn for research. In the public relations and communications world, I’ve used LinkedIn many times to confirm where a reporter works or research stakeholders. My point here is that people are using LinkedIn as a benchmark, so you should go all in and maintain a great profile or don’t do it at all. A complete profile only makes you look stronger.

Room to Grow

Unlike the Instagram, YouTube and Facebook of the world, LinkedIn has a small audience of roughly 563 million, according to Omnicore. Ok, that’s still more people than the United States, but consider the audiences of other social platforms:

  • Facebook – 2.27 billion users
  • Instagram – 1 billion users
  • YouTube – 1.9 billion users

The smaller scale of LinkedIn is a great tool for those looking to share content with other professionals without being drowned out. Another interesting stat is that only three million LinkedIn users share content each week.

It’s almost 2019 ya’ll

Like many of you, I am looking forward to the day where resumes are no longer required for a job search. Do I think we are still many years (maybe never) away from that reality? Yes. In the meantime, few digital platforms serve a robust professional development and engagement feature than LinkedIn. Updating a resume in the future may not be so painful when all your experience is organized and current on your LinkedIn profile.

Keep the Content Native!

I love the next Buzzfeed cooking video (are those still around?) and blue/gold/Yani/Laurel viral article as much as the next person, but please don’t bring that to LinkedIn. Many LinkedIn users are great about calling out content that doesn’t fit the platform. Self-policing and understanding of why people use LinkedIn, mostly for B2B and networking, is important to keep in mind.

This is a guest blog post by Evan Harris, Metro EDGE Communications Co-Chair. Evan currently works for Edelman Public Relations. He previously worked for the California State Assembly and is a graduate of the University of Oregon. Outside of the office, you can find him and his wife chasing their three kids, hiking or planning their next trip to Lake Tahoe.