Social media has transformed society, and many of us use social media platforms to meet new people and keep in touch with old friends. However, there are a few social media platforms that don’t revolve around personal relationships, and LinkedIn is the most important. Here are a few ways you’re putting a damper on your career by ignoring LinkedIn.

Meeting People

While LinkedIn provides a number of benefits outside of meeting people, it’s still a social media platform. However, people you meet on LinkedIn can help you even if you aren’t looking for an employee or employer’s. LinkedIn lets you connect with colleagues and share ideas. Are you looking for new employee appreciation ideas? Do you want to keep up with the latest trends in your field? LinkedIn provides a great way to connect with others and build useful, friendly business contacts.

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Career Advancement

It’s often said that who you know is the most important part of succeeding in business. While this often means that the well-connected have an advantage over most others, LinkedIn does a great job at democratizing the process. When you build your network, you create the types of connections that can lead to great job or business opportunities. By simply saying “hello” to a few people, you increase the likelihood that you’ll get a shot at a rare job opportunity. Spending just a few more minutes connecting with other professionals can be the difference between being stuck and finding an opportunity you never would have had access to without LinkedIn.

Learn the Latest Trends

Careers and businesses are inherently competitive, and those who cannot effectively compete risk being left behind. For better or worse, LinkedIn represents one of the trendsetters of many fields, and people who don’t keep up with the latest on LinkedIn risk falling behind competitors, whether they’re other businesses or competing workers. It’s not hard to use LinkedIn, and there’s no need to respond to every message you receive, but it’s worth setting up an account to ensure that you know how your industry is changing.

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Show Your Technical Aptitude

Even in fields where LinkedIn isn’t particularly popular, having a profile on the site shows that you keep up with the latest technical trends. More and more industries are moving to computer-based work, and having a LinkedIn profile shows that you have at least a bit of computer savvy. Fortunately, the site is easy to use, and an hour or two of work can demonstrate your willingness to keep up with the latest in technology.

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Develop Your Brand

In the past, experts used to talk about using resumes to leave an impression on potential employers or business partners. Today, much of the discussion has shifted to the concept of personal brands. While the term brand is not especially well-defined in this context, today’s business world looks for factors beyond your resume highlights. LinkedIn provides an opportunity for you to craft a compelling identity, and those who leverage it most effectively are able to make an impression beyond what they can accomplish with a resume alone. Make sure you don’t miss out on building your brand.

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Show a Willingness to Put in the Effort

Although it can be tempting to simply, and perhaps accurately, claim that you just aren’t a fan of LinkedIn, potential contacts may view this as a sign that you’re unwilling to put in the effort. LinkedIn is filled with a broad range of people, and many of them don’t particularly care for the network either. By putting forth the effort to make a LinkedIn profile, you can demonstrate that you care about your career and are willing to put in some extra effort.

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Make Your Business Card a Bit More Effective

Business cards are still essential in business, particularly in certain fields. While it takes only a small amount of space, having an entry with your LinkedIn profile can help in a number of ways. It gives potential contacts a way to reach out to you, and many prefer the network to email and other forms of communication. It also shows that you like to provide as many ways to communicate as possible.

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Build Personal Connections

More and more, it’s becoming difficult to separate work life from personal life, but LinkedIn can provide a bit of relief. The network allows people to communicate on a more personal basis, and these little connections can serve as a comforting oasis from the formality of business life. Person growth can help you succeed in the business field, and LinkedIn provides a number of opportunities.

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Not everyone likes social media, but LinkedIn provides a number of benefits that typical social media networks don’t provide. Fortunately, the site is easy to use, and a small amount of time and effort can have a tremendous impact on your career.

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