This is Why You MUST Have a LinkedIn Profile

Stacy Pursell

The VET Recruiter ®

There is no doubt that LinkedIn is one of the biggest and most popular social media platforms. In fact, as of the beginning of this year, 530 million people use LinkedIn in 200 countries around the world.

But do YOU use LinkedIn?

I ask this question because there is an excellent chance that you work in the Animal Health industry or the Veterinary profession. I have more than 20 years of experience as a recruiter working in these fields. During that time, I’ve noticed quite a few professionals do not have a LinkedIn profile, and if they do have a LinkedIn profile, it’s woefully out of date.

To put it plainly, that’s a problem.

What the hiring manager expects

In my estimation, between 25% and 30% of professionals working in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession do NOT have a LinkedIn profile. And I truly believe that is a conservative estimate. It could be as high as 35%. I come into contact with people on a weekly basis who do not use LinkedIn.

Now of course, the majority of you do have a LinkedIn profile, and I’ve addressed you before with an article emphasizing that your LinkedIn profile is NOT the same thing as your resume. I certainly hope that message has been received and that you’ve made the appropriate adjustments.

However, if you’re one of the estimated 25% to 35% of professionals who do not have a LinkedIn profile, then this article is for you. And please, read carefully and consider making adjustments of your own regarding how you view LinkedIn and how best to use it in the future.

As I’ve shared in previous articles and blog posts, I recommend using both your resume and your LinkedIn profile in equal measure. This means making sure that both have the same information and that the information is as up-to-date as possible. (It also means updating both at the same time. Having information on your resume and not on your LinkedIn profile—or vice versa—can have a negative impact on your candidacy.)

The bottom line is that you must have a LinkedIn profile because the hiring managers of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations expect you to have a LinkedIn profile. To help illustrate the importance of this, allow me to list the things that typically happen when I present a candidate to one of my clients for consideration:

  1. I present a candidate to one of my clients, sending that candidate’s resume to the hiring manager.
  2. The hiring manager reviews the candidate’s resume.
  3. The hiring manager then checks to see if the candidate is on LinkedIn. If so, they compare the resume to the LinkedIn profile.

This is what happens. This is the process. As you can imagine, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, then there will be nothing for the hiring manager to see. And they will not be thrilled to discover that.

What the hiring manager believes

As we all know, perception is reality. In other words, what a person believes or their perception of a situation is the reality of the situation in their mind. It’s not exactly fair, but it is the truth. This most definitely applies to having a LinkedIn profile.

The reason is simple: if a hiring manager looks for you on LinkedIn and you do not have a profile, then the hiring manager will automatically have certain perceptions about you and your candidacy. Three of those perceptions are listed below:

Perception #1—You’re not up-to-date with technology.

You might not think so, but social media is an arm of technology. You may be a computer whiz, but if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, then the hiring manager is going to think that you struggle with technology or are not good with it. Once again, even though that might not be the case, it’s the perception . . . and perception is reality.

Perception #2—You have poor networking skills.

LinkedIn is touted as a networking social media site for professionals. Even if you are proficient when it comes in networking, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, then the hiring manager will believe that your networking skills may be deficient. As you can see, that is definitely a branding problem. You don’t want a hiring manager to believe that you are deficient in ANY area. That’s a great way to have your candidacy called into question or flat-out dismissed.

Perception #3—You’re not that serious about your career.

If you’re not serious about your career, then you won’t be serious about your potential employment with the organization. Employers want to hire candidates who are doing everything they can to be successful. That’s because they want employees who are going to want to do everything they can to help the organization be successful.

And just to clarify: having a LinkedIn profile that is hardly completed or that is almost devoid of information is just as bad as not having a profile at all. In addition to the three items listed above, that might also make you appear lazy to the hiring manager. That’s also NOT the best way to brand yourself to a potential employer.

If you don’t currently have a LinkedIn profile, create one now. If you have a profile, but there’s hardly anything in it, start compiling information now. If you have a profile, but it’s not as up-to-date as your resume, update it now.

I have seen hiring managers pass over candidates because they did not have a LinkedIn profile. It happens more frequently than you might imagine, and that’s why I made it the topic of this blog post. While it’s true that your LinkedIn profile is NOT your resume, it’s also true that you must have a LinkedIn profile. It must also be updated.

If you don’t, then you could be hurting your career in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession more than you know. We had a hiring manager of a major Animal Health Company decline to interview an executive for a VP role because his LinkedIn profile was not updated with his current job.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1.By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2.By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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