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If you’re twisting yourself into knots trying to decide whether to stay put or make the leap into a new job, you’re not alone. Reports claim as many as 70% of employees are itching to change jobs thanks to a stronger economy.

You just know there’s something better out there than what you’re tolerating now. Perhaps it’s a better salary, a shorter commute, and hopefully a less dysfunctional family of co-workers. But even more important is an environment where you’re truly appreciated and valued.

Simply quitting your job in anticipation of something better doesn’t feel too comfortable though. Recent memories of friends and colleagues who struggled to find work for years —and often faced foreclosed mortgages and even bankruptcy during our latest and greatest recession — are still vivid and likely hit close to home.

I meet a lot of people at networking events on a silent mission to move onward and upward. The biggest challenge is when and how to start. Most people dust off their resumes and start applying online for jobs they find attractive. Since feedback to online applications is virtually non-existent, weeks and months later they really feel stuck. Without a promising opportunity on the horizon, the current job becomes that much more intolerable.

7 Reasons Why Your LinkedIn Profile is the Fastest Way to Get Unstuck

1: Dust off your LinkedIn profile first. If you haven’t touched your LinkedIn profile in years — or never felt the need to create one — this is absolutely the primo place to start. LinkedIn is the FIRST place any hiring manager or recruiter will go to check you out (even if you asked a friend to hand them your resume).

2: You can have the best resume in the world, but a lackluster LinkedIn presence will do you in every time. That’s because the resume stopped being “enough” years ago. Recruiters and hiring mangers love getting that 360-degree view of a candidate in seconds, something that only LinkedIn can deliver.

3: Show up for your full value. Create a comprehensive view of where you’ve been and where you’re going. Your LinkedIn profile should give a recruiter or hiring manager greater insight into how you can address their pain point(s) faster than it takes to read through a 2-dimensional resume. Be sure to create a compelling online presence that clearly describes your competitive edge and anticipates what a potential employer wants to find when they visit your profile. And remember that you’ll be under consideration without advance notice. So you have to be positioned to start a relationship.

4: LinkedIn Gives You Maximum Control of Your Message. Break free of the resume-speak along with the do’s and don’ts that have constrained us for years. On LinkedIn you can present yourself as if you’re speaking to someone you’ve just met at a conference, networking session or holiday party. Comfortable yet confident, you share anecdotes that make you memorable.

5: Hate networking? Use LinkedIn’s proprietary tools to accelerate referrals and introductions. Networking beats the drudgery of submitting countless online job applications any day. You already know how frustrating and time consuming that process is, with little to no feedback for days, weeks — maybe ever. Networking is the best way to get feedback, learn about an organization first-hand, and engage people to advocate for you as a candidate so you’re not just another resume on the hiring manager’s desk. And you’ll feel better about taking action.

6: Fire up in minutes an engine that will work for you 24/7. The speed at which changes to your profile hit the server and strengthen your online positioning have been called “transformational”. Align with your ideal job, boost your visibility, and get a flow of alerts from LinkedIn for opportunities that match your criteria so you can stop chasing leads.

7: It’s recession proof. Whether the economy is roaring or slowing, or somewhere in between, your LinkedIn profile can continue to attract the right opportunities that match your career goals. Recruiters aren’t shy either about “poaching” you from your current role to greener pastures if you’re the right fit, and they’ll always be searching for the best talent, even in difficult times. When you’re true to yourself and align your profile with your goals and LinkedIn’s algorithm, opportunities find you.

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