StationSome experts say that if you aren’t on LinkedIn, you don’t exist. This could be true, but it does seem a little extreme. My existence as a professional is void because I don’t have a LinkedIn account?

As it turns out, there are many reasons why career experts and hiring authorities speak so highly of LinkedIn. Here are the top five reasons why maintaining a strong LinkedIn presence is so important for every professional.

1. The Networking Possibilities

Roughly 380 million professionals from around the world are on LinkedIn, which means the opportunities for establishing new business and career connections through the platform are almost endless.

There are a lot of ways to network on LinkedIn, and one of the most popular and effective ways to do so is by joining one of the website’s many groups. There are more than two million groups on LinkedIn, so every professional should be able to find a few that meet their networking needs.

2. High Visibility

Because LinkedIn is such a popular platform, your LinkedIn profile is among the first Web pages to come up when an employer searches for you on Google. What better way to build your brand than to make sure employers are greeted by a professional, complete LinkedIn profile when they look for you? This sends the message that you are serious about your career and that you have some level of control over your online reputation.

3. Company Accessibility

There are more than 2.7 million company pages on LinkedIn, and that number is surely growing. Company pages give you the ability to view job openings within companies you follow, and they also give you the option to contact the person who posted the job for more information on the position. Company pages also post corporate news and updates. Paying attention to the happenings of a company you are interested in is an awesome way to gain a leg up on the competition.

4. Branding

LinkedIn allows you to showcase your skills, accomplishments, and background, which gives you a way to complement your resume by showing the softer side of your professional self. You have the ability to talk about your passions and why you chose the career you are in. Take the opportunity to add a more personal touch to your professional image. This will help hiring managers connect more easily with you as a human being — not just a resume.

5. Credibility

Thanks to LinkedIn’s recommendations and endorsements, hiring managers don’t have to just take your word for it: they can read what others have to say about your quality, ethics, and value. A good profile has at least three recommendations, so don’t hesitate to ask past supervisors and colleagues to vouch for you on LinkedIn.

In today’s ever-evolving job market, it is imperative that you maintain a strong online presence as a cohesive counterpart to your charming in-person self. Don’t fade away into a bleak nonexistence: be seen on the world’s largest professional networking site.

A version of this article originally appeared on the author’s LinkedIn blog.

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