If you're in the market for a new job, today's hiring managers agree that one of the most important things you can do to improve your chances is be on LinkedIn.
"There are a lot of social networks," says Shilonda Downing, owner of Virtual Work Team LLC, a Homewood, Ill., human resources recruiting and staffing firm. She says LinkedIn is the go-to site for professionals and that, "These days, it's very important for your career to have a presence on the site because there's a high likelihood that wherever you're applying, the recruiters there use LinkedIn, too."
As of Dec. 31, 2012, LinkedIn reports that it has more than 200 million members in more than 200 countries. But it's not just LinkedIn's popularity that makes it a must-have for job seekers. According to many career counselors, LinkedIn is often one of the first places recruiters will look when researching an applicant.
Simply getting found on LinkedIn is only a small part of the equation. At a minimum, job seekers need to make sure they have a presentable profile that will help them make their case to recruiters. But beyond the basics, experts say there's plenty job seekers can do to improve their chances of getting hired.