Over the past year I’ve received several invitations to join former co-workers on Linkedin. I didn’t accept because I didn’t know what Linkedin was. But the word Linkedin kept popping up – in Newsweek, in USA Today and additional invitations kept arriving through e-mail. Then about a month ago USA Today reviewed the book I’m on Linkedin – Now What? by Jason Alba. I ordered the book from Amazon.com that day and read the short book in a couple of hours. I immediately created my profile on Linkedin, perused my contacts and invited 26 people to connect to me. But as I talked with my connections over the past several weeks, no one knew what to do with their Linkedin accounts or how to benefit from their connections. So I made the decision to write a quick summary of the book so my connections can take full advantage of a great business networking tool. Linkedin currently has over 17 million profiles and each member can be a source of knowledge about business, career management, job leads, consulting opportunities and an online presence for your business.
What are the benefits of Linkedin?
The ability to find other people within your industry, community, or the schools you’ve attended.
The ability to be known and found by participating in “Answers” and in e-mail forums. The way you participate will help define your brand and reputation. As for being found, recruiters have books on how to use Linkedin to find candidates. And even if you aren’t currently in the market for a new job it never hurts to advertise your skills and strengths.
Linkedin Answers is a great place to receive expert advice on business related questions and to find new opportunities for your business.
Linkedin has hundreds of groups and associations you can join in which you may share commonalities such as location, industry, interests, education and industry knowledge.
Once you join a group you have access to those group members.
Joining and participating in Linkedin lets others know you are serious and competent about networking and expanding within your career.
What are the limitations of Linkedin?
Linkedin is not a social environment like FaceBook or MySpace, it is strictly business networking.
- Linkedin should not represent your entire contact list such as your physician or barber.
- You will not have complete control over your relationships. You can only connect to me if I am on Linkedin and I agree to be your connection.
- Linkedin doesn’t allow you to control or change any information on your contacts or store information about your contacts so shouldn’t be used as a contact management tool.
- Linkedin doesn’t provide much privacy as your profile is open for the public to view.