By Dave Avran
In Malaysia, LinkedIn is an underutilised resource that isn’t as popular as it should be.
LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet, with more than 400 million members in over 200 countries. A 100 million members access the site on a monthly basis.
The average CEO has 930 LinkedIn connections. Every second, more than two people sign up for an account and the fastest-growing demographic are students and recent college graduates.
There are nearly three million Malaysians currently on LinkedIn. If you study the average value per user for B2B relationships, LinkedIn returns a higher value than facebook or twitter because it enables you to reach and target professionals, decision-makers and the C-suite better compared to other social networking platforms.
LinkedIn’s sole focus is on business and only business, not on what your cat ate for dinner. This clearly separates it from all the internet chatter as other networking platforms focus instead on the more social aspects of life.
Like it or not, your professional future will be influenced by LinkedIn.
In the near future businesses will no longer ask for your résumé as we move towards a paperless society. LinkedIn is a natural choice for its ease of access quick updates, recommendations and endorsements which are social acknowledgements from peers and fellow professionals.
Thus you need to maintain a well-managed profile which is attractive and current. Do highlight instances where you helped your organisation to progress by increasing revenues, saving cost, optimising processes or any other notable career milestone.
LinkedIn offers recruiters and HR managers talent solutions which allow them to view your profile and contact you if they’re interested.
This form of online recruitment is becoming very popular because the solution offered by LinkedIn makes their lives easier. It’s a no brainer that any free service that makes their lives easier will simply make them use it more. Do you need any more convincing why you need to be on LinkedIn for professional reasons?
If you’re on LinkedIn long enough, you’ll begin to receive invitations to connect from like-minded people and also from hunters from the HR industry.
Networking allows you to meet others from the same or different industries which will expand your sources of information and access to opportunities. LinkedIn allows you to connect either via direct invitation or groups. You can search for a person by name, or for people by industry and connect with them, or you can join relevant interest groups.
Either way, networking become easier, faster and most importantly – targeted. LinkedIn is a great way for lead generation and pre-sales as long as you practice netiquette.
LinkedIn is also a great medium to source news updates either via your network or homepage. Assuming 10% of 500 people share updates daily, you will be able to quickly read 50 articles which other people found interesting, shortening your search for information.
5) Thought leadership
LinkedIn is a great tool to differentiate yourself as the competition gets tougher. If your competition has the same qualifications, skills and knowledge, then you need to stand out by being a thought leader and LinkedIn is an ideal platform because you can share your thoughts, link to written work, answer questions, participate in discussions, share what you’re reading, etc.