LinkedIn has 740 million members, across 200 countries, and is often the go to place for recruiters to find their next important hire.
Given those numbers, the chances are that you've already got a LinkedIn profile, but is it really working hard enough to help your career growth?
It's available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so if you can get it in tip-top shape, then it will be out helping to find you the role of your dreams, even when you're in bed dreaming of it.
How can LinkedIn help you find your next great opportunity?
Your perfect profile can be viewed by recruiters
LinkedIn provides a large set of tools to help you build your profile, from including images that set the tone for your profile, and personal summaries that position you in the way that you want, down to work experience and education.
It's a sexier, more engaging CV or resume, which is available to recruiters across the world who are searching for the employee they need to fill a post.
Keep your profile up to date and fresh, so that it shows where you are in your career now and where you want to go next.
Action: Sign up to the free "Optimize your LinkedIn profile" email course
You can get recommended by others
When recruiting for roles via LinkedIn, I use the recommendations as a guide to how well a person gets on with their colleagues.
Firstly, will a colleague be willing to take the time to write a short paragraph about this person they've worked with.
Secondly, what will this colleague focus on in their recommendation? Does it sound warm and genuine, or is it more formal and distant?
You can request a recommendation from any of your 1st degree LinkedIn contacts, so check through your contacts and ask away.
Action: Find at least three connections in LinkedIn and ask them for a recommendation.
You can build a professional network
At present I have over 800 connections in my LinkedIn account and am a member of 18 different 'LinkedIn Groups', and each of these connections or group members could be the person who is looking for a person like me to help them in their activities.
Building your network opens you up to being found by others and gives you chance of spotting an opportunity that pricks your interest.
Action: Go to your former employers on LinkedIn and connect with people you've worked with in the past.
Your content can be shared with millions
Once you've built up your network, then sharing content, or at the very least engaging with their shared content, will improve your visibility, which in turn opens you up to finding or being found for opportunities.
You do not need to write unique content on LinkedIn, and can simply reference things that you do elsewhere, for example, a new blog post on your personal blog, or a new product launch you’ve been part of.
If you don’t create much content, then you can join LinkedIn Groups related to your specialism and comment on other people’s posts. It all helps build your profile and expand your network.
Action: Find something you can share related to your current role and make a post.
You can keep on top of news and trends
A daily check of LinkedIn will let you see what your network is up to, as well as what's trending in organizations at present. LinkedIn also have a Daily Rundown will summarises the top stories around the world so that you can keep up with the latest activities.
Knowing what's happening in the world may spark ideas, or at least prepare you for any general conversation that might happen when you're attending your next interview.
Action: Enable the Daily Rundown notification on your profile (Settings > Communications > On LinkedIn > News)