5 Unheard-Of Reasons to Have a LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn's not just for job seeking any more.
A fresh, up-to-date, and compelling LinkedIn profile may help you get that apartment you want to rent, get approval for a car loan or mortgage or even distinguish you from another person who may share the same name as you.
Sound unlikely? You’d be surprised.
While LinkedIn is used primarily as a professional social media platform for job seekers, business owners, and a home for one’s personal brand, it is used for more reasons than you may realize. Many people tell me they have a LinkedIn profile but have “no idea what to do with it.” They may not be users of any form of social media and feel they don’t need a LinkedIn presence at all.
Here are a few reasons to have a profile, which you’ve likely not considered.
1) Applying to rent an apartment? A home?
Most landlords require a completed rental application, information about your place of employment, work history, references, and in some cases, a credit check. You can bet they’ll look for you online, too. And what typically shows up if you Google someone’s name? Their LinkedIn profile.
If you want to be considered for that fab apartment or a home where you plan to park your family for awhile, your LinkedIn profile should be solid.
You don’t have to post or engage on LinkedIn if that’s not your thing but having an updated – and interesting – profile can help you stand out among a potential landlord’s pile of applications.
Use a quality photo, note your current and past employment history, a little about you that’s of interest (be yourself!), and perhaps any volunteer work in a past or current community where you live.
Employment recommendations from colleagues on your LinkedIn profile speak to your work ethic and/or character. These are all things a landlord would like to know and may ultimately give you priority consideration.
2) Buying a car or applying for a mortgage?
Same applies here. Not only will your potential lender research the standard credit check and work background but – in the back office – they’re probably researching you online, too.
A thorough LinkedIn profile will provide additional information about you that could be helpful and grant you that loan.
3) Is your name similar to someone on the “Most Wanted” list?
Okay, that’s extreme but you’d be surprised at how many people have names, which are the same as another somewhere in the world.
I once had a client who’s name was the same as that of a person in her community who was arrested both for a DWI and drug possession and it was all over the news. When my client used their name on applications of any kind – even a dinner reservation – it was met with concern and a raised eyebrow.
My client was job seeking. They battled this ordeal for some time and it dawned on them that the only place where they could demonstrate and differentiate who they were was online. Their LinkedIn profile would prove who they were, their background, and set them apart from the person who was in the headlines.
Not only did it help them with their online reputation, but interested hiring managers and head hunters mentioned it, too. They admitted when they saw the name on the client’s resume, that they were curious. A quick LinkedIn search proved that it wasn’t the same person in the news.
At a conference I attended, I heard a story of someone who shared the same name as a porn star. Not only did that get a lot of laughs but think of how this person must have to deal with the constant explanations! Her LinkedIn profile proved to be invaluable when her name was discovered on a Google search.
4) Having coffee with someone you met on an online dating site?
You know you’ve done it. You’ve Googled that person’s name, and if they have a LinkedIn profile, it will likely pop up in the results.
Don’t you want to know if the person they say they are is aligned with their online profile? They’re looking at you, too, by the way. Having your profile be as strong as possible is to your benefit.
5) Have a controlled online presence.
Having a basic profile makes good sense if for no other reason than to simply present who you are, what you do, and make yourself stand out from others. It’s a reference.
LinkedIn is used as an online resource for many reasons in our modern tech culture. Even if you’re not tech savvy or social media-inclined, it behooves you to have an online image that represents who you are. You also get to control your message on LinkedIn in more than 140 characters. You can tell a story. If you enjoy writing, share a blog with the LinkedIn world and show your stuff.
If you’re a solo entrepreneur or freelancer, use your profile page as a mini-website and add various media to your profile: from website links to videos, or
E-books to slide presentations via SlideShare.
Take advantage of LinkedIn to showcase yourself. You may be happily surprised where it leads.