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Why? It’s simply a no brainer. The funny thing is, no matter how many times I read an article or a blog post touting the validity and importance of LinkedIn, I end up befuddled by the resistance of this networking and job search tool. Boomers hide their head in the sand. College students look the other way. And, forget about the people who are trying to transition in this job market. They just fast forward their way to the resume process and don’t want to hear one more word about LinkedIn. Say what?

To tell you the truth, I have never seen such stubbornness in getting on board and accessing one of the world’s largest professional networks. Right now, some readers are actually thinking, “Oh no, not again. Another article about LinkedIn?” I ask you to embrace the concept and consider the necessity – and benefit – of having a compelling LinkedIn profile. If you truly want an edge in this job market and also want to be viewed as a professional who’s up on the latest technologies and networking capabilities, you undoubtedly need a LinkedIn profile.

Lindsey Pollak, a global Ambassador for LinkedIn, referred to the professional networking site as “an online resume on steroids.” Could you get any more play than that?  Think about how recruiters and career professionals research you and your brand. The first thing they do is Google your name looking for anything digital including the digital dirt. The next step is a LinkedIn search, and that’s where the rubber meets the road. If you have taken the time, energy, and money to invest in a professional resume and cover letter, but haven’t created a LinkedIn profile, or worse yet, the content is not congruent with your resume and cover letter, you are sorely underestimating the power of your brand and missing out on one of the most powerful forms of professional networking.

Last month, a sales and marketing executive from San Francisco was in the final rounds of an extensive, and seemingly certain, interview and hiring process. He had prepared as if he was an attorney going to court. Confident that he had closed this deal, the company STILL brought him in for one last meeting with the board of directors. But, as you know, “it isn’t over till the fat lady sings.”

Here’s the clincher — while he was being interviewed, a board member brought up his LinkedIn profile on his laptop and viewed it while my client was in the room. Within minutes, the board member halted the interview and gave his unanimous support for hiring this executive. My client quietly exhaled and, for obvious reasons, counted his blessings that he invested in having his LinkedIn profile completely overhauled.

If you are a serious, career-minded professional, hiring managers assume you are on LinkedIn. By not having a LinkedIn presence, you are automatically sending a message that you lack professional savvy in a technological world that demands it.

Yes, you can navigate these waters on your own and I highly recommend and suggest that you simply research this tool, so you can get your edge on. So, let’s get to it and move your career onward and upward using one of the most powerful online tools available. For a user-friendly tool for your college students, click here.  For everyone else who wants to learn how to use LinkedIn in the business world or in a job search,  click here. 

About Mindy Thomas

Mindy Thomas is a cutting-edge career consultant, professional résumé writer, professor, and entrepreneur. Through her company, Thomas Career Consulting located in Philadelphia, she leverages her 25-year business background with a solid foundation of career solutions for challenging times. Email Mindy at [email protected] , follow her on LinkedIn , and visit her website to learn more about her expert career consulting services.