By Lavie Margolin of lioncubjobsearch.com
The world's population is now over 7 billion. As of January 2013, there were 200 million LinkedIn users. You definitely fall into the first category but do you fall into the latter? If you don't, you should consider it. LinkedIn is the most powerful tool for networking and business purposes out there today. And don't just join it, use it! Here's why:
1. One Degree of Separation. By adding 100 contacts on LinkedIn, who on average know 100 people each, you are only one connection away from 10,000 people. Within those 10,000 people are those that have the skills to help your business grow or make a connection on your behalf to get you the meeting that you need.
2. Great for Personal SEO. LinkedIn is likely to be one of the first page results in a google search of your name. If searchers only click on the first few results, it makes it easier to control what they see. You have the opportunity to set the professional tone, so take advantage of it.
3. Access to Networking Groups. Joining groups and linking to great articles will grow your visibility and exposure. 90% of my website traffic comes from posting articles in appropriate LinkedIn industry groups.
4. Professional Way Keep in Touch. Reconnect with old classmates, colleagues and co-workers in a professional context. It might be weird to friend your old boss on Facebook but it is perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) to do so on LinkedIn. You never know how you’ll be able to help each other.
5. Learn from the Pros. Gain greater insight into how other's found success. You can use the site like an information directory. What type of jobs did those you admire hold before getting to where they are today? What additional skills did they learn? Use it as a roadmap to your own success.
Lavie Margolin is a New-York based Career Coach and LinkedIn business consultant. He authored the book, From Linked Out to LinkedIn: Unlocking the power for career success in 2013. Here's his LinkedIn profile.