A question a lot of candidates ask themselves is whether or not they really need LinkedIn. With the plethora of social media networks available these days, it may seem cumbersome to add one more. However, LinkedIn is the benchmark for professional social media. No other social network focuses solely on users’ careers.

There are several benefits of setting up a LinkedIn profile

  • Visibility: Recruiters and hiring partners often use LinkedIn to source candidates, rather than wasting time in posting a job opening and having to sort through unqualified resumes. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, you may miss opportunities to interview for positions you would have liked to have been considered for.
  • Level of detail: you can be a lot more detailed in a LinkedIn profile than a resume. A resume focuses on relevant and timely experience and should not exceed 2-3 pages. So in condensing your full background, you may have to leave out some significant achievements which occurred earlier in your career or in an industry you’re trying to transition away from. But with LinkedIn all of these accomplishments can be included.
  • Connections: on LinkedIn you can connect with former co-workers, classmates, professors, etc. These individuals can endorse your skills and even leave recommendations for you on your LinkedIn profile, this can be helpful if you’ve spent 5-10 years at your current employer and are now applying elsewhere. You may not want to ask a current supervisor for a recommendation, because it may put your current job at risk, and you may have lost touch with previous supervisors. By having recommendations on Linked, you’ll have something to show prospective employers without having to chase down former coworkers.
  • Networking: being connected with former co-workers can have another benefit. Akin to recruiters and hiring partners sourcing candidates from LinkedIn, a former coworker or classmate can be aware of openings at their current job and reach out to you, because they think you would be a good fit.

What some candidates do consider to be unnecessary is LinkedIn’s “Job Seeker Premium” program. Currently priced at around $30 / month, the program allows you to see who has viewed your LinkedIn profile and how you compare to other appliances. It also provides access to salary insights, video courses, direct messaging with recruiters, and shows you as a “featured applicant” for jobs you apply to.  However, most employers are aware that the “featured applicant” only means that a candidate paid for access to the “Job Seeker Premium” program, leading many users to claim that the program has provided an actual boost in the number of interviews or offers secured.