Many of the clients and colleagues we work with are blessed with successful careers…although some are in transition.

They’ve achieved amazing results in their jobs and don’t plan on making a move for at least the near future.

So whenever we bring up LinkedIn and how they should really consider sprucing up their profile, they kind of look at us and say, “Why would I need that?”

And it’s a fair question.

If you’re not looking for a job is there any reason to be on LinkedIn? How will LinkedIn help me further my career? And what can I do to get started if I’m completely new to LinkedIn?

Let’s get started!

LinkedIn is the Professional’s Online Identity

Most people think of LinkedIn as a job networking site, when it’s really so much more. For millions of professionals, it’s their online identity…whether they planned it that way or not.

The first thing I do when working with a new client, hiring a new employee, or investigating a new partnership is to Google that person’s name.

And guess what often shows up near the top of the results?

That’s right, your LinkedIn profile.

To demonstrate I Googled myself, and sure enough my LinkedIn profile was the first thing that popped up.

Why LinkedIn is Important...Even if You're Not Currently Job Hunting

What’s shocking is that out of LinkedIn’s over 150 million users, half of them don’t even have a completed profile. Yet your LinkedIn profile is quite likely one of the first things to show up on a Google search.

People Google other people for all kinds of reasons outside of just hiring them. Do you really want an incomplete LinkedIn profile representing you?

If you are an executive, director, or manager this is a great way to leverage your personal branding and to be an example to the teams you lead.

Who’s Finding Me On LinkedIn Anyways?

Have you ever been contacted on LinkedIn with an opportunity, job prospect, or recommendation?

If not is that something you would like?

To show you what’s possible, here are just a few of the opportunities that were brought my way because of LinkedIn.

Why LinkedIn is Important...Even if You're Not Currently Job HuntingEven without actively job searching, I’m hit with several opportunities, jobs, and connections without much effort on my part. In this economy, having a passive stream of opportunities is extremely valuable for any professional, whether it’s job related or not.

And in case you’re wondering, “well how good can those opportunities even be?” Here’s some fascinating statistics about the users of LinkedIn.

  • Average Age: 41
  • Average Household Income: $109,708
  • 95% of users are college grads
  • 49% of users are business decision makers

As you can see, LinkedIn isn’t just a place for recent college grads looking for their first job. It’s a network worth connecting with.

Maybe you haven’t been directly contacted through LinkedIn yet, but that’s okay.

LinkedIn makes it easy for you to see who is checking out your profile.

When you go to LinkedIn and click profile, you’ll see on the right a spot where it says how many people have viewed your profile in the last “x” days.

Why LinkedIn is Important...Even if You're Not Currently Job HuntingClicking on that will show you a list of people who have come to check out your profile.

What can you learn from looking at this list? Look at the industries of the people reading your profile. Are they relevant or odd? If you’re a marketer but accountants keep popping up on your views then maybe there’s some optimization you can do to attract the kinds of people you want looking at your profile.

How often are you showing up in search? You never know who is looking for your skill set but can’t find you because your profile isn’t optimized well.

LinkedIn’s Groups…Quite Possibly the Best Way to Network Without Networking

Another special part of LinkedIn even if you aren’t job searching is their groups. There is literally a group for any industry, interest, or hobby on LinkedIn.

If you have a question, you can get it answered quickly and for free from people who know what they’re doing.

If you enjoy helping others and sharing your wisdom, LinkedIn makes that possible here as well. Posting helpful articles and contributing to the discussions happening on these pages can quickly make you a stand out expert in your field.

And as you’re doing this, you’re making valuable connections you would have missed otherwise.

So What’s the Best Way to Get Started?

Hopefully I’ve been able to help you see the value of LinkedIn and motivated you enough to at least get started.

Getting a profile set up is simple and LinkedIn does a fantastic job of walking you through the process for making your profile complete.

Once you are logged in LinkedIn will make suggestions for where your profile may have some gaps. These could be things such as recommendations, education, projects, etc.

Do your best to get your profile to 100% since that will also give you better chances for being found in LinkedIn’s search.