In careers workshops, I often ask my audience how many of them are on Facebook. It's usually around 95% or more. Twitter? Maybe 50%. LinkedIn? We're looking at somewhere between 20-30%, if that. And of those who are, the "I have a profile but I don't use it" response comes up more often than not.
So considering some 90% of businesses are said to actively use LinkedIn, and often for recruiting purposes, why are there so many job-hunting students and graduates out there who are not making use of it? Yes, they advertise jobs (actually a little known fact!). But this professional networking site can also be a fantastic research tool - you can search for new companies, join discussions, make new connections and source new opportunities. At the very least, you should have a carefully constructed profile that markets you as the ideal candidate for your next career move.
But before you spend hours trying to navigate the intricacies of a new interface, just watch a couple of LinkedIn's really helpful training webinars. Or, in case you're located in a valley somewhere with a broadband speed stuck in the late 90s, have a read of these handy articles from Social Media Today and the Guardian on how to get started on LinkedIn.
Of course, it's not just LinkedIn you need to be exploring - Twitter, Facebook, and more unusual suspects such as YouTube, Pinterest and Google+ are also platforms worth investigating in today's job market. Find out more here.