Sep 25

LinkedIn: Are You “In?”

LinkedIn is often compared to Facebook as merely a business-oriented social-media website. In fact, LinkedIn is a sophisticated networking tool. LinkedIn can help you build a reputation online whether you run a small business, are self-employed or are seeking a job or career. LinkedIn has over 120 million members and attracts candidates from all of the Fortune 500 companies. LinkedIn has more professionals registered than any other social network. For many employers, LinkedIn is the first stop when reviewing prospective employees; they can study a potential recruit’s background, find out whether the candidate has good business connections and recommendations, and get an idea as to the level of expertise and respect they have developed during their career.

Members can “vouch” for each other’s skills and experience, providing a built-in reference check. One benefit to the employer is that the profiles are in a consistent format, making it easy to find the information they’re looking for without poring through a stack of badly-written resumes. The average LinkedIn member tends to be more mature than on other networks, and typically has more experience to offer. Many positions which employers are attempting to fill via LinkedIn are middle management roles or higher. The site is useful for job hunting and recruiting, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs and make business contacts. This is an excellent way to increase your connections and highlight your talents to others.

Business To Business Ads
LinkedIn Ads provide an excellent way for B2B marketing in order to generate new leads and reach the decision makers directly. With over 120 million users, 40 million of which are from the USA, LinkedIn has become a considerable platform for advertising.

Building Your Connections Network
LinkedIn is about making connections (contacts) and expanding your exposure to other businesses or potential employers. It takes time to build these relationships, but the effort is very often worth it as these connections may lead to a new career or advancement on the career ladder.

LinkedIn offers a free account version which provides basic functionality, and a paid version which offers extra features. LinkedIn currently offers a free trial of their paid version. Click here for an explanation of the differences between the free and paid (Premium) accounts.