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One of the most effective ways of building your connections and meeting professionals is through LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking site.

Creating a LinkedIn profile is similar to building up a resume/CV, though one seems to do a better job. Think of your profile as a more dynamic and less formal version of your resume/CV. Here you can include a display picture (DP), your hobbies, awards, a casual summary of yourself – all things which shouldn’t show up on your traditional resume/CV.

Fun fact: LinkedIn has actually been around longer than Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. Read more about its founder here

We’re sure you’ve heard all the craze about why LinkedIn is so important to your job search, perhaps you haven’t really understood exactly why that is. Well here are some reasons why having a professional profile is so crucial towards helping you get the best job possible.

People Can learn more about you easily.

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Employers love to Google search their job applicants on the internet to get an idea of what they’re all about.

If you’ve never Google’d yourself, now’s the time. What pops up on the first page of the results?

Yup, Here’s why LinkedIn is so important: Ranking on Google’s first page can be difficult, but LinkedIn is a well-known and powerful network — and Google’s into it.

Due to Google’s algorithms, most times it’s the LinkedIn profile people see first on the top of the results. This is important for a number of reasons.

  • Firstly, it’s important to show up somewhere on the web. Not doing so can plant a seed of doubt in the employer’s mind about whether you’re a real person or not.
  • Secondly, if you are already on the web on something like Facebook or Twitter, you want your potential employers to see your LinkedIn first. First impressions matter, and most times your other web appearances might make you out to be less professional than preferable (Old facebook pictures and the occasional Twitter rant). Hence why letting people see your professional side first is so advantageous.

You can build your brand.

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Just like companies build their brands, it’s important for you to build your professional brand online. How do you stand out from others in your industry? What makes you marketable? Why should someone pay you six figures?

Personal websites are great for this, but they often come with extra costs — and hours and hours of building and finessing.

LinkedIn is a simple way to put your name on the professional map. Think of it as a Twitter profile but without the clout chasing and hilarious banter.

The summary section of your LinkedIn can get personal and opens up an opportunity for you to voice some of your ideas and goals. It’s written in a more casual way and allows you to write about who you truly are without being limited by the strict etiquette that resumes must follow.

It maintains your Rolodex of contacts.

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Remember that awesome young professional you met at that conference three years ago? Or that friend of a friend who was interested in freelancing for your company?

Honestly, probably not.

Rather than stuffing their business cards in your wallet, add these folks on LinkedIn when you meet them. Keep them in your connections so one day you can reconnect when the time’s right.

You can research companies and their employees.

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Sure, if you’re applying for jobs you can access openings from other job boards; there are plenty of those out there. However, LinkedIn offers other perks.

These days, many companies maintain their own LinkedIn pages where they’ll update company information, share company news and insight, and showcase current employees.

If you were wondering how important LinkedIn could actually be, then hopefully this list convinced you it’s one of your most powerful professional tools. With it, you can build and maintain your network, search for jobs, and build your professional reputation.

Plus it’s free, and it only takes about 30 minutes to create a profile. So why wait?

Also, read about this Chinese company that could replace Boeing

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