According to Statista, LinkedIn is the 7th ranked[i] social media network with more than 360 million registered users. It is considered the world’s largest professional network with two people joining the site every second. More than 200 countries are represented in LinkedIn and 40 percent of users check in every day.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is centered on the professional profile, both for people and businesses. While lab professionals are not considered the most social of creatures, there are a number of reasons why you should develop a LinkedIn profile, and one of them is not because you’re looking for a new job. Here are six reasons why LinkedIn is for lab professionals too.
- Career Tracking – Where do you keep track of your professional accomplishments? Do you have a filing cabinet full of paper certificates and walls lined with framed licenses and diplomas? LinkedIn provides a great place to permanently document all your professional experience, advancements and training so that if you do decide to move to a new job, you don’t have to recreate your resume. Also, through LinkedIn, former bosses, colleagues and co-workers can comment on your skills and endorse your work.
- Networking – You meet people all the time, and you never know when you might be able to help them and visa versa. LinkedIn makes it easy to keep track of all your personal, college and professional contacts as they progress in their careers, and for your network to follow you.
- Professional Groups – LinkedIn has 2.1 million groups for about every type of profession and professional interest. A quick search for lab managers produced 15 results while a general search for lab research included 370 results. Each of these groups provides opportunities for you to contribute to ongoing conversations and discussions about topics that are of interest to your peers. There are also groups dedicated to toxicology, chemistry, food safety, etc. Participating in these groups can extend your thought leadership and open up opportunities to contribute to topics of international interest. Don’t find a group that suits you? LinkedIn makes it easy to start your own.
- Recruiting – Looking to fill positions within your lab? LinkedIn is quickly becoming the first place where employers and recruiters go to find qualified candidates. It’s easy to find people who are actively looking, but LinkedIn is a great place to research passive candidates, or those who have a job, but might be willing to change for the right opportunity.
- Research – LinkedIn provides easy access to thousands of professionals who are willing to answer questions, contribute to relevant discussions and help peers with challenges. If you use LinkedIn’s paid services you can even target people with surveys, sorting them by college, profession, geography, interests and skill sets.
- Listening – When you follow your network, groups and influencers, you have access to a pipeline of news and insights that can be delivered on your timeline and to your email address daily or weekly. You’ll never miss discussions or opportunities to answer questions, resolve professional challenges or market yourself or your lab.
LinkedIn has a number of other benefits for lab and research professionals. Are you a user? How do you use it? Include your comments below.