A high proportion of UK IT professionals are tapping into the benefits of having a business profile online, research has revealed.
IT is second only to the advertising, media and publishing sector in reporting the benefits of an online profile of their professional lives, according to a survey of more than 2,000 UK adults.
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Some 46% of IT professionals said a personal online profile or brand is important to advancing their careers and 50% said it was useful when looking for a new job.
These IT professionals are among the 29% of UK professionals who are developing and maintaining career profiles online.
The research shows UK professionals understand the importance of a good brand profile in the business world, said professional networking site LinkedIn, which commissioned the survey.
Of those professionals who have an online professional profile, 17% said they had secured new sales leads and nearly 25% said they had made new business contacts as a direct result.
LinkedIn, which has 2.5 million members in the UK, said 19% of members had been headhunted through the site and 12% have landed a new role.
According to LinkedIn, membership is growing rapidly, with one new user being added to the network every two seconds.
The research shows that an increasing number of UK professionals are embracing online branding as an essential part of their professional lives, said Christina Hoole, European marketing director at LinkedIn.
Some may be motivated by horror stories of inappropriate photos on social networking sites being leaked to the workplace, while other realise that they will miss out in online searches for new job roles or business leads.