Everyone is talking about networking online.

Whether it is twitter, facebook or linkedin, it seems you need to be spending some time online in your personal or professional life.

One of my coaching clients was working on re-branding herself at work and one of the first things I asked was whether she had a Linkedin profile.  Consider this an online version of your resume if you like, except a bit less detail and a bit more oomph!  She had a profile as she knew she ‘needed to be on there ‘ but was not sure why.

Linkedin is a great career tool.  Here are my reasons why you absolutely must have a profile and how you can get the most from it.

Profile – consider this a less wordy and far more interesting version of your Resume/CV.  Here you get the chance to say what you are interested in not what you have just experienced.

Connections – Think of everyone you know in business, old colleagues, referees, contacts, friends and connect to them and then see who they are connected to and connect to them to expand your network.  My profile is made up people I have met briefly, people I work with, people I would love to collaborate with in the future.

Content – You can use Linkedin for research through the use of the Q&A section and also the Polls.  If you are an expert in an area start to answer questions for other users and create interesting polls for people to support your blog or research.

Get a new job – or let a job get you – By far the most interesting and exciting part of Linkedin is the fact that it can be used as a recruitment tool by employers and recruitment companies alike.  There are many stories of people securing their new role as ex-colleagues ‘found’ them on Linkedin.

Still concerned? Some of my clients think that their employers will ’see’ them on Linkedin and think they are looking for a new job.  It is not the case.  Being part of this online community of professionals is merely keeping your professional footprint up to date.  Being able to have access to many resources has to benefit your current job and future career.

Still stuck? – Linkedin has a learning centre that is packed with hints and tips to support you.

So become one of my links,develop your profile, check out my profile and connect!