It may be a surprise to some, but LinkedIn isn’t useful only for job search and recruiting. Active participation is good for your career and good for your employer as well.
In fact, your employer may benefit from your active participation in LinkedIn. Even if you are the only employee who is a LinkedIn member, your participation puts your employer on the map" (virtually) as an organization.
And, IF you are looking for a job with a different employer, your LinkedIn usage that supports your current employer’s goals makes you look good too (more below). A win/win!
And, certainly, while it does raise your visibility, actively using LinkedIn increases your understanding of how the social media world works and is evolving.
Your LinkedIn participation builds your professional social media skills (and demand for social media skills is increasing).
For job seekers hoping to move into marketing, PR, recruiting, sales, or Human Resources at his or her current employer (or a new one), these skills are growing in importance and demand.
Through your network, you can increase awareness of your employer’s existence AND the products, services, and expertise, in as wide – or as narrow – a market segment as you want.
Research use of LinkedIn for business, and you may end up with a great new job at your current employer.
Through LinkedIn, you can do a soft sell for the organization’s products, services, expertise to potential customers and clients. You can help the organization with recruiting (may be a great place to work for someone else, if not you). Your LinkedIn participation has manybenefits to your employer.
The more impressive your employer is, the more impressed other employers may be by your experience there. Bask in the reflected glory of a respected and/or successful organization. For example:
For example, I was laid off by a very large company in the mid 1990's that disappeared by 2000. But, when I left, it was # 29 on the Fortune 500 and the second largest computer company in the world according to Forbes. That's usually what I mention, not that the company went into a death spiral starting in 1993 and was purchased by a much smaller competitor in 1999.
You don't need to be a hypocrite and support the employer as a great place to work (if it isn't) or the products and services as wonderful (if they aren’t). But you can mention them. Most of the time, you can find something you like that you can support without major qualms.
Or, if the place is terrible and the products/services are awful, you can focus on learning as much about the industry and/or profession and/or marketplace, while learning and polishing your social media skills, so you can do a better job until you leave. (If you are ready to leave, do read LinkedIn for Your Stealth Job Search. )
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.