Tyler Blance – Contributing Writer
These days, people are communicating in an astounding number of different ways. Just over a decade ago, the word “communication” didn’t necessarily relate to the world of social networks. It also didn’t bring to mind the word “Facebook” or “Twitter.”
Nowadays, social networking is so prevalent that the word “communication” would hardly have any importance without it. With this rise in the use of social networks came the use of professional networks like LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is definitely a social network for professional communication, but its place in the current world of social networking can be difficult to understand. So, I’m going to shed some light onto the question, “How important is LinkedIn?”
Some people believe LinkedIn to be the future of the traditional resume, and that the resume is losing relevance in society. Others believe that a professional network like LinkedIn is something that only a select few people can benefit from. These beliefs may or may not be true, but I can safely say that the resume is not going to die any time soon.
It’s going to take a long time for the classic, old-fashioned local business to completely adopt using digital profiles of interview candidates and simply have the applicants show up without a document showcasing what they’ve done and the skills they possess.
It is true, however, that some companies rely completely on LinkedIn for hiring and talent management purposes. This may become a trend that more companies become a part of, so someday the resume might be long gone, but for now LinkedIn is not the universal hiring tool. I’m going to hold on to my resume for a while longer, but I also keep a polished, updated LinkedIn profile.
“I’m not a businessperson so why bother?” This is a question I’ve heard from a number of people. This is certainly not the case with LinkedIn. Yes, you may find a large number of CEO’s, executives, and other business “big wigs” as you navigate through the users of the professional network, but there are also a lot of users in every field you can think of. Medicine, the sciences, media and communications, education, law, and even fields like philosophy are well-represented in the LinkedIn world. The importance of LinkedIn reaches far beyond the world of business and industry, contrary to what many people may believe.
The main point I’d like to convey here is this: don’t discount the value of LinkedIn. You may think that it won’t help you with your professional endeavors or career path, but someday it may. LinkedIn is a valuable asset to a wide range of people, so it can’t hurt to at least have an updated profile. After all, one of the reasons LinkedIn exists is “For professionals going places.”