Is LinkedIn the New CV?

Ahh, LinkedIn: the social network we’re all on, but never gets the airtime it deserves. Without the visual appeal of an Instagram or a YouTube (or the terrifying ubiquity of a Facebook), LinkedIn is the oft-overlooked platform that serves as the uncool older sibling to a host of social apps geared towards folks who have yet to finish high school.

With a steadily-growing user base of educated, affluent people, LinkedIn bids itself as THE professional network. Social selling and just-in-time learning are booming, and LinkedIn is where a lot of it is happening. So why aren’t we talking about it more?

LinkedIn is free to use (with Premium options and paid advertising available, naturally). We can all establish and cultivate a strong professional presence using LinkedIn; it’s just a matter of understanding how it works, learning ways to optimize our profile, and engaging our audience to help accomplish our goals. Whether you’re a job seeker, a business owner, or a corporate executive, there’s a way to leverage LinkedIn that can benefit your career.

Storytelling on social media can be intimidating, especially on a platform where one’s professional reputation is at stake. Learning what your audience cares about—and engaging, not just posting and expecting results—is how to grow a purposeful social media presence. Before I went into business for myself, I found my last two corporate jobs using LinkedIn. Now, I use it as a communication tool to share what I write, interesting pieces I’ve read, exciting events coming up, and ways I can help my professional network accomplish their goals. My mission is to be of creative service, helping others create connections with words, and my LinkedIn presence reflects my value proposition.

Is LinkedIn the new CV? In some ways, it really is: as our world becomes more connected and digitized, we want social proof in who we hire, follow, and do business with. And while LinkedIn may never replace the traditional résumé, it’s certainly the first place most recruiters, business owners, hiring managers, and potential clients are going to learn about your professional life.

Now go to your own LinkedIn profile. Look at your headshot, your headline, and your recent activity. Is it telling the story you want to tell?

(The image for this post is a screenshot of my LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI), and it’s a great way to monitor how “visible” you are according to their metrics. Want to learn more and optimize your LinkedIn presence? Let’s talk.)

Liz Feezor