What is Linkedin?
LinkedIn is really a huge database of professionals. Twitter lacks profile depth, Facebook is all over the place demographically and is also hard to find people. LI standardizes information entered by users into predefined “Profile Headline”, “Summary”, “Education”, “Company”, etc. categories. In addition to this huge database of information, the platform also provides an awesome search tool to allow you to pinpoint the person you are looking for depending on a number of very specific factors.
On the other hand, the more connections you have, the more you will be found.
So What is LinkedIn? It is the place to find and be found.
Why Should You Join?
1) Getting Back in Touch (Finding & Being Found): Yes, Classmates.com and Facebook also allow you to get back in touch. But because of the search functionality that LinkedIn has, I am finding people there that I can’t find on the other social networking sites. And because it is easier to be found on LI, many are finding me too!
) Acquire & Share Expertise: There are more than 900,000 Groups (updated number as of 7/2011) that you can join. Each group has its own Discussions Board, News Board, and Jobs postings. Furthermore, the Answers boards have more than 2,000,000 answers to a variety of questions for you to peruse. The subject matter in both Groups and Answers covers a wide enough of topics that there is value for everyone to be participating.
3) Career Management: I mentioned the following in my previous post on Social Networking Tips for the Unemployed: Social Networking is a Career Insurance that you can never have enough of. The advice is the same whether you are looking for a job or are happily employed: a network should be your insurance for your future career growth. Companies are organic entities whose needs change and do not and cannot promise you a guarantee that your job will be there 10 years from now, next year, or even next month. That is why you need to be on LinkedIn so that you can both find potential companies and recruiters as well as be found by them. Even if you are happy in your job, it can’t hurt to have a minimal profile on LinkedIn and receive contacts from recruiters in your industry or specialty who may be able to help you out in the future, can it? LinkedIn is free career insurance! BUY INTO IT!