As an Executive Recruiter for a decade and a half and a Partner with CFOs 2GO in Northern California, I see daily how technology is changing the business community.
The best example is how the social networking site, LinkedIn has changed the landscape of how business gets done. The funny thing is that the networking aspect of LinkedIn is NOT the most important aspect. Sure it's important to be connected to people, but it is far more important to build your brand online. LinkedIn provides the single best place for you (and others) to define who you are, and what you do.
Like it or not, you are being weighed and measured against others in your industry. When you are being considered for new jobs, or being referred to a potential business contact - they are checking you out online. They want to know who you are, what you've done and should they be working with you.
Failure to build your brand on LinkedIn is your choice; but in my opinion it is a poor choice. I know for a fact that when I send in one of my candidates to a client for an interview - the client and their entire staff are checking you out online. The first place they look is on LinkedIn. Before your interview is over, the entire department knows who you are, what you've done and what your skills are. And like it or not, they are going to chime in with their opinion about you to the hiring manager.
Imagine if your profile is lacking substance, and the person that interviewed just before you has the same experience and skills but did a better job building his brand online. Guess who wins when this happens? Here's a hint: It's not you. So do yourself a favor - build your online brand because it's clear your competition is. LinkedIn or LinkedOut - It's your choice!
Michael C. Webb is The Employment Expert, Author of Six Weeks to Multiple Job Offers, and a Partner in the executive search firm CFOs2GO. Find Michael on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/theemploymentexpert