LinkedIn Is Your Billboard and Your Industry Window

“Linked In is my favorite site right now… It’s an incredible push to my business….the best professional articles too…”

I saw this note on Facebook the other day. It is from a young lady that I am very proud of. Rose to VP in her business then just pulled out and started her own firm. She has lived and exhibited success in her short career.

Your billboard to the world

Considering the many social sites and posts, it could literally take a full day checking in on each one. Yet I feel the frequent posters are missing out on what’s important in their existence. Yes, LinkedIn is devoted to your career. That career, whether you love it or hate it, is in your control. That LinkedIn space that everyone is given is your billboard to the world. You can use it without constraint to talk about your success, accomplishments, achievements or whatever.

While it may not be the sexiest or the coolest of social media networks, it is definitely the most important one for professionals. It is listed as the world’s largest professional network. The most important stat about the site is that a whopping 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates. It has also become the go-to service for professionals of all ages.

When it comes to professional social networks, LinkedIn stands alone. Think about it. It has no major competitors No other social network focuses solely on professionals. Also consider that LinkedIn is safer for your career, meaning you won’t have to worry about someone tagging you in an embarrassing photo or status during a drunken stupor. Furthermore, LinkedIn is probably the only social network that is permissible to be used in the workplace. It is a work-related tool.

Promoting yourself

Whether you’re employed, looking for a job, or a business owner, think of your page as a personal website that can be used to share your accomplishments with your connections. After all, you now know what potential connections are out there; a high-profile partner or client could be impressed by your work. It should tell people who you are versus a resume that tells only what you’ve done.

Industry knowledge

One of the most important pieces of knowledge is to be on top of what is going on in your industry. What are the challenges that your business vertical is facing? What are the key leaders in this space talking about? What are their thoughts? Are you following the key players and immersing yourself in all the material that relates to what you are interested in?

I was reminded by a conversation I had with my daughter during her senior year in college. After a few sleepless nights studying for finals, she was insisting she would never pick up a book again. My statement was that, “When you find your career sweet spot, the learning intensifies.”

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The difference is that you enjoy it and it does not become work. You gain knowledge, information and insights about what’s happening in your industry. You remain updated and in touch with everything that’s happening in your niche. You remain on top of all important events and whatever goes on that’s relevant to you.

However, that is a two-edged sword in that you have to find that sweet spot first. A quick primer is that you will NOT, for the most part, find it on Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat or most other social mediums.

So my advice: Squeeze a little time away from those others and get your career in focus with the only tool available to you to enable you to realize your dream.

Connect with me on Linkedin — linkedin.com/in/ronthomashr

Ron Thomas is Managing Director, Strategy Focused Group DWC LLC, based in Dubai. He is also a senior faculty member and representative of the Human Capital Institute covering the MENA/Asia Pacific region.

He was formerly CEO of Great Place to Work-Gulf and former CHRO based in Riyadh. He holds certifications from the Human Capital Institute as Global Human Capital Strategist, Master Human Capital Strategist, and Strategic Workforce Planner.

He's been cited by CIPD as one of the top 5 HR Thinkers in the Middle East. He received the Outstanding Leadership Award for Global HR Excellence at the World Human Resources Development Congress in Mumbai, and was named as one of the 50 Most Talented Global HR Leaders in Asia

Ron's prior roles included senior HR positions with Xerox HR services, IBM, and Martha Stewart Living.

Board memberships include the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, McKinsey Quarterly's Executive Online Panel, and HCI's Expert Advisory Council on Talent Management Strategy.

His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Workforce Management and numerous international HR magazines covering Africa, India and the Middle East.

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