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LinkedIn is one of the most innovative career tools we've seen in the last 50 years. It also happens to be one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world. However, while you might have a profile, odds are you aren't truly maximizing the power of LinkedIn. Here are thirteen reasons why you should pay more attention to your profile and activity on this very powerful platform:
- Only 50.5% of users have 'complete profiles' as defined by LinkedIn. That's right. Only one out of two users have set up their profiles properly. That means, half of the users aren't getting the results they would like (i.e. calls from recruiters about better job opportunities), because they haven't taken the time to understand what should be on their profile.
- The majority of LinkedIn users are in 10 or more groups. 10.4% of users are a member of the maximum 50 groups. When you are in groups, you can access peers who are part of your industry, skill set, geographic area, etc. without feeling silly. Groups make networking so much easier than having to start a conversation with a total stranger.
- Number of new LinkedIn members is 2 per second. With so many people joining, it's only a matter of time before the professionals you most want to connect with have profiles. This gives you the ability to drop geographic and job title boundries so you can make new career connections all over the world.
- Most used adjective in LinkedIn profiles in 2013 = responsible. Knowing what words to avoid on your profile can help you not look like everyone else. Plus, studies show overused subjective words in your profile are a total turnoff to recruiters.
- Percentage of Americans that use LinkedIn during work hours = 8.33% Studies show most people are accessing LinkedIn early in the morning (8-10am) and later at night (5-8pm), which can help you determine when to post things in your feed to attract attention to your profile, helping you earn the respect and trust of your connections.
- Total number of LinkedIn endorsements = 1 billion. Endorsements are used to help LinkedIn decide who should show up in the top of search results within their platform. The more endorsements you have for a particular skill set, the more views you'll get of your profile.
- Number of LinkedIn users in the U.S = 100 million. That's a lot of professionals you could be connecting with. Remember, EVERY job is temporary. Starting to build your network after you lose the job is poor planning.
- How many people use LinkedIn = 300 million. Going global is our new reality. As Disney says, "It's a small world after all!" We need to make connections in other parts of the world to expand our knowledge an cultural awareness.
- The biggest group (47.6 percent) only spend between zero and two hours on the network per week. Only 10.5 percent of users spend more than eight hours on LinkedIn per week. Even though almost half of LinkedIn users only log on a couple hours a week, it still gives us a chance to connect with those in our space that could enrich our network. Besides, like all popular social media tools, the amount of time people spent on it will increase. I'm certain LinkedIn is focused on building future functionality to ensure that.
- LinkedIn is now responsible for a staggering 64 percent of all visits from social media channels to corporate websites. In contrast, Facebook accounts for 17 percent of such visits, while Twitter is just 14 percent. Businesses are realizing the HUGE potential LinkedIn has to drive consumers and potential hires to their sites. Not understanding how LinkedIn will play a future role in your company's success is short-sighted.
- Top level executives primarily use LinkedIn for industry networking (22 percent) and promoting their businesses (20 percent). Middle management professionals primarily use LinkedIn to keep in touch with other people (24 percent) and industry networking (20 percent). Entry-level employees primarily use LinkedIn for job searches (24 percent) and co-worker networking (23 percent). Understanding how people at different levels in their career are using LinkedIn can help us manage our own efforts better. From designing our profile, to reaching out and asking strangers to connect, it's important that we realize how others are using LinkedIn and leverage that knowledge to our advantage.
- 41% of people now report 500+ connections, up from 30% in 2013. Of course this number should continue to rise over time; however a full 15% now have more than 1,000 connections, which is nearly double last year's result of only 8%. Thinking about the theory of "six degrees of separation," it's only a matter of time before you can connect with anyone you want - BUT only if you have developed your network to a size where you can tap into the power of 2nd and 3rd-level connections.
- Posting individual status updates as a favorite feature rose 10% to 39%. LinkedIn users are contributing more via long and short posts, comments, etc. This helps you to better understand each professional. You are what you contribute. Joining in the conversation gives you the chance to deepen your connections.
Like it or not, social media has taken over our career development. We must engage in tools like LinkedIn if we want to stay employable and reach our professional goals. Better to invest time each week now, then to be viewed as someone who is out-of-touch. Do you really want to be the person playing "career catch-up" when others are reaping the benefits of their LinkedIn mastery? Don't get left behind!
P.S. - Need help with LinkedIn? For those in need of one-on-one help with their profile, I invite you to check out the LinkedIn + Level+UP program HERE.