Not only does LinkedIn provide those who social network an excellent platform where they can connect and converse with their professional ‘peers,’ LinkedIn’s array of services are also a little more unique than the other ‘social’ sites. LinkedIn is targeted towards the professional and corporate crowd, where you can converse with business orientated individuals who share similar interests or are in the same field of vocation.
Before LinkedIn and their concept even existed, sites such as Facebook originally explored a similar concept providing segmented services for their members by creating sub-based networks within their platform. Ever since LinkedIn went mainstream, their membership base has recently exceeded over 100 Million members, the majority with professional backgrounds which are spread across 200+ countries worldwide.
LinkedIn Goes Public
LinkedIn recently went public. They doing so has created a bit of an industry spark which hasn’t been seen in recent tech related IPO’s. LinkedIn’s unique angle as a social networking site is that they focus on businesses, corporations and industries highlighting professional individuals, rather than making personal friends.
LinkedIn’s premise is based on professional networking and not really suitable for old high school chums who are ‘friending’ each other to play Farmville. It’s more about connecting with your co-workers in similar industries, or old colleagues whom you have networked or worked with in the past. Joining LinkedIn is all about connecting youself with valuable professional contacts.
Ways To Take Advantage Of LinkedIn’s Networking Services
It Can Help You Potentially Find Employment
LinkedIn is one of the favorite hangout spaces for corporate headhunters as well as recruiters. There are Career as well as Job Search sites such as Monster.com who actively canvases for potential professional talent for employment. So LinkedIn adds that element of being able to network as well as bumping virtual elbows and tipping invisible martini glasses as well.
You’re able to highlight your potential employers about your skill-set, employment history, your educational background as well as social life directly through your profile. This is similar to posting your resume directly on a job site.
Because of the very nature of being social, it can also help at times if you happen to be friendly with someone you know, who just happens to be the hiring manager of that position you’re after. This way, you’re able to get a credible referral directly through your LinkedIn network.
Building Professional Networking Relationships
In the past, the difference between success and failure was traditionally measured by the size of ones Rolodex. It was that big box of business contacts which were hand written on Index cards. Today, they are stored on computers and are known as Outlook Contacts.
LinkedIn also provides a way for you to keep track as well as branch out and make new contacts within your field of work or direct peer group. This can include those who you work with, where you can leverage those connections and then connect with their associates as well.
Excellent Personnel Research Resource
If you’re a professional of any field, for example a lawyer or a journalist, LinkedIn can be an extremely valuable information resource. The search tools which are available as a LinkedIn member enables you to perform vertical searches for other LinkedIn members that happens to work in a certain field, a specific corporation or an industry.
You can even track that members previous work history or dig up current or past employers. You are also able to do your ‘due diligence’ by researching a company or job position before going to that interview. So once you’re eventually hired by that company, you will have a basic idea of what to expect.
Seeking Valuable Advice
Before there were Q and A sites such as Quora, LinkedIn Answers was available for you to ask any question which extended to LinkedIn’s entire user network. So whether you asked for specific input or opinions on if you should be buying an iPad 2 or a Motorola Xoom, or that you’re looking for recommendations on the best video editing app for your desktop computer, you are able to ask your network group of business professionals for any guidance. The answers are usually unbiased and they not attempting to sell you anything.
Establishing A Community
You’re able to form groups on LinkedIn which are dedicated towards a specific industry or topic. You are then able to invite others to join your group as well as fostering a community to debate or discuss while learning from other each other. It also gives you an opportunity to show off your own particular expertise of knowledge in a specific area, sharing with others what you know within the same group.
Sure you’re able to perform most of these things on Facebook. Also, the friends that you have on Facebook, you’re most likely connecting with on LinkedIn as well. But what LinkedIn allows you to do is focus more on business and professional relationships without getting distracted by Facebook’s entertainment and social aspects. LinkedIn also has a rich set of online tools which are designed to specifically help their professional business minded members network valuable work related information.