Monday, April 21, 2008

16. Are you LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social network with a decidedly more "networking" feel. It was originally set up to allow people to do the sort of networking that happens at both conferences and company parties. The idea is that you connect with people you know, then if they know someone you would like to get to know, you can request an introduction. This is why the service stresses that you shouldn't link to, or connect to, people you don't actually know.
LinkedIn has a free basic service that lets you:
  • Build and maintain a trusted professional network of unlimited size
  • Find and reconnect with colleagues and classmates
  • Request and provide recommendations
  • Create a professional presence on the web
  • Request up to 5 Introductions at a time
  • Search for and view profiles of other LinkedIn users
as well as a premium service that gives you a bit more access to other LinkedIn users. The free service, the one that I use, is good enough for most uses!
LinkedIn has, as all social networks do, a way for you to create a profile for other users to see. When you enter in all of the jobs you have held, the educational institutions you have attended and the various clubs, committees and any other ways you may have met people you would like to be linked to, you will be given a list of all of the other people who have worked in those jobs (at the same time you did) or attended those schools or belonged to those clubs/committees/etc. When you recognize someone, you can easily invite them to become "linked in" with you and they will be one of your connections, as soon as they approve the invitation. Through them, and their connections, you can grow your network and keep meeting new and interesting (and possibly helpful) people.
My LinkedIn profile is http://www.linkedin.com/in/hastingsr if you want to see a profile in action (or make me a connection of yours...).

16 comments:

Marion said...

Interesting website for networking and job searching. Might also be a valuable tool to locate speakers, consultants etc. If you have worked places with lots of employees you might also reconnect with previous co-workers for fun or for references. Unfortunately, for me my previous jobs were at small town newspapers that view the internet as competition.

eyeoh said...

This is like a cross between my old college party line site and a job search forum. It's also useful for looking up professionals in fields of interest, to see what sort of background and education these fields require.

Nikki said...

Wow, I looked at Robins site or page or whatever, and now I see why she's going out of state every month! It seems like a good way to get yourself out there and create opportunities for yourself.

absinthekid said...

Perfect example of using the web for career-related networking. One cool thing about LinkedIn I discovered by accident: if you're searching for contact info on a paticular writer (as I was), google will find him/her if they're on LinkedIn . Finding your person on LinkedIn through a google search is like hitting pay dirt.

sexybeast said...

Yes Nikki, Robin is truly amazing. If you don't know many people then what is the point. If you want to try to network and contact others you do not know and hope it gets you somewhere then this is a viable option.

Robin said...

Sexybeast - and you have found the point to this site! Even if you don't know a lot of people when you start, the site itself helps to make connections and facilitate introductions. I didn't start my LinkedIn account with a lot of "connections", but I've been growing it as I can (conferences, meetings, etc.) and it's starting to become a pretty valuable resource for me!

Bobbi Newman said...

You can also used Linked in to check up on people, who are they linked to? do they have recommendations? what do those recommendations say?

So many people use their blog as their resume these days, Linkedin makes a nice alternative for those who don't blog or want to provide more info.

Several of you have already found me, but here's my profile if you're intersted in adding me http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbinewman

Francesca said...

Seems like a neat service, particularly if one is job-hunting. I guess the success of these sites, will depend on how many people sign up and then actively use the site. So is it a zero-sum game? If someone signs up for Facebook, then they're probably less likely to sign up for MySpace (and vice versa). Eventually, one will likely win out (like Google has over other search engines); in the interim, while the competition is going on, if you really want to be effective, you might sign up for both/all of the similar services. Alternately, you might make a big push for all your friends and acquaintances to join the service you think is better - say LibraryThing over Shelfari. Then probably at some point an Meta-application like Dogpile will come along that combines the output of similar tools.

moonbeam said...

Looks like this is a good place to go for job hunting. I can't see me using this very much. I agree with someone that said it would be good for finding speakers or consultants for projects.

betterlate said...

I am not sure I will use the site but it is nice to know it is out there!

justme said...

As with some of the other sites, this is one that I probably wouldn't use. But I can see what a great resource it could be and there are some that I'd like to pass on the info to.

heather said...

this site is great for anyone looking to network and increase their proffesional circle of collegues

leslie said...

I visit my Facebook account so infrequently, that I am overwhelmed by the stuff sent to me. I have a listserv that I get tons of stuff from dealing with school libraries here in mid-MO. While this seems like a great site, it isn't one that I can see myself fully utilizing. I have been invited to join by others, but haven't so far.

courtney said...

Interesting. It's like Facebook for grown-ups. Professional grown-ups. I like the idea of keeping a professional web presence as opposed to using a more "social" site for networking and career opportunities. I'm going to guess it's also far less tempting for folks to post stuff that will embarrass them in the future on that site too.

newbie said...

I joined and I really enjoyed the ability to look up former classmates. I didn't invite anyone to join but I really like having the option. I going to tell my husband about this tonight.

madmusing said...

Obviously a site with many uses. Good to know about it.