“Exactly, what is the advantage of LinkedIn?” asks one administrative pro on our online forum. “Many people I know are on it, but no one can say what they get out of it.”
According to most admins, the benefits are many, if you use the online tool the right way.
• Keep it updated, says admin Chandra, with current information and a photo. “LinkedIn is your online résumé. I have actually had people offer me jobs, seek out my advice, and ask for recommendations for people I have worked with just based on my profile.”
• Mine for information. Lisa points out that LinkedIn can be “a great resource to learn what other companies are doing and how they handle specific tasks.” For example, she recently asked her network for input on how to best use and customize a new database program.
• Join admin groups, says Trisha, to turn LinkedIn into a career resource.
• Think of it as a “reconnection tool,” recommends Susan. LinkedIn allowed her to feel brave enough to forge connections with former co-workers she’d lost track of.
“I mostly wouldn’t think of googling them on my own, but seeing mutual connections/linkages somehow helps connect past and present,” she says.
Just don’t let it sap attention, she warns. “I put a rule in my email that sends all emails with LinkedIn in the subject line to a separate folder.”
• Join it before you need to. Admin Debra says she was also skeptical of LinkedIn, until she was downsized.
“Having LinkedIn recommendations helped in my job search,” she says. And the LinkedIn URL that she obtained showed potential employers that she was savvy in social media.