A couple of days ago I saw a conversation on twitter questioning the usefulness of LinkedIn for Jamaicans. While not as useful to Jamaicans as it is for Americans, I still think a lot of value can be extracted from the service.
1. LinkedIn is google friendly: Whether you like it or not, people will google your name. This could be the difference between you landing that dream job, getting that business deal or whatever else. You can’t control what is indexed when your name is googled by others, but you can influence it. Nobody wants to a be a virtual unknown on Google. My linkedIn page is the 6th result when my name is googled. My Wikipedia page is first, my personal blog second, my twitter page 3rd and 2 gleaner articles in 4th and 5th place.
A linkedIn page is an opportunity to showcase the best of you. You don’t get that opportunity when an external party writes a blog post about you, newspaper article etc
2. A great way to connect with professionals you’ve met: You go to a business meeting or networking event, you meet a few people and you’re interested in keeping that connection. They’re not on twitter or Facebook, but if they are you’re not comfortable following them there or they’re not comfortable being followed. LinkedIn is that professional network between Twitter and Facebook.
3. An easy way to keep your CV updated: Keeping your CV updated isn’t something that only job seekers do. Prior to LinkedIn I kept my CV updated via a Microsoft word document. It wasn’t a frictionless process so I didn’t make it a habit to keep it current. LinkedIn on the other hand makes it very easy to do. Whether you’re looking for a job or not, it’s important that you keep your CV updated as it may requested at some point for whatever reason. Whether it’s because you’re getting an award, speaking at an event or some other reason.