LinkedIn

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Contents

Introduction

LinkedIn.com is a social networking website focused on business relationships and careers. Linked In offers users to create a profile page that resembles an online resume. Companies are also invited to create profile pages and are also offered services to help human resource executives use the websites network of people to find the best talent for their company. Users can connect to other people they know and trust through the service.

LinkedIn Facts

According to LinkedIn:

- There are over 41 million members to the site representing over 200 countries

- A new member joins LinkedIn about every second

- About half of all new users are from outside the United States

- Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are members on LinkedIn

History of LinkedIn

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LinkedIn was founded on May 5, 2003 as a social networking website specializing in business relationships and connections.

The website started when its founders invited 300 of their friends to join the service. By the end of its first month, LinkedIn had over 4,500 members. By the end of 2003, there were already 81,000 members, half of which where living outside the United States. One year later, the website boasted over a million users.

In March 2005, LinkedIn launched its first premium set of services called “LinkedIn Jobs.” This service helps users find employment opportunities through their Linked In network. Other premium and subscription-based services would follow.

LinkedIn updated the website with a feature called the “newsfeed” in June of 2006 allowing users to stay up to date with the connections within their network. The “newsfeed” is similar to the news feed offered by facebook.com.

In January 2007, "LinkedIn Answers" is created. The service allows users to ask other users within their network for business and career advice. LinkedIn also created its first corporate blog in April 2007, the same month the site celebrated its 10 millionth user.

In 2008, LinkedIn launched a mobile version of the site. Also in 2008, the site launched its “Recruiter” product, a tool for human resource executives and job recruiters to find the best talent through the website's extensive network of business professionals. Later, LinkedIn allowed companies to create their own profiles rather than just individuals. The New York Times and the business cable network CNBC both partnered with LinkedIn by the end of 2008 with agreements to add their business and technology content as a part of the LinkedIn service. Also in 2008, "LinkedIn Events" was created for users and companies to announce and invited users to upcoming events. LinkedIn finished 2008 with over 31 million members.

LinkedIn started the “Grad Guide” service in April of 2009 to help graduating students enter the job market. On May 5, 2009, LinkedIn celebrated its 6th birthday with over 40 million members.

(LinkedIn.com 2009)

LinkedIn Jobs

LinkedIn Jobs is a section for both job seekers to find available jobs and for employers to seek the best candidates using the site's extensive network of business professionals around the world.

For Job Seekers

A search engine is available for job seekers to use that will display relevant job positions based on criteria of keywords, location, experience level, job title, company, industry, and job expectations. Search results come from both LinkedIn Jobs specifically and other employment service websites partnering with LinkedIn Jobs. But, whether the job comes from LinkedIn Jobs or another source, LinkedIn will list who is in your personal network who can help you in getting the position allowing you to reach out to those people for help.

To apply, simply press the "Apply Now" button. LinkedIn will ask a few specific questions and those answers along with you LinkedIn profile will be sent to the employer. There is also a "Referral Request" feature that allows you to see whom in your personal network connects you to the employer. From there, you can ask for an introduction which allows you to contact people through others you already know.

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For Hiring Managers

Posting jobs on LinkedIn is an effective tool for hiring managers to find the best candidates using LinkedIn's extensive network of members. Job postings allow managers to provide job details and specifics as well as contact information. Each job listing cost $195.00 and is listed for 30 days.

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LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are online communities within LinkedIn where members with collective interests, expertise, affiliations, and goals unite. LinkedIn members are able to join groups using their profile and are then able to stay in touch with the group and its individuals. The "My Groups" navigation bar on the left side of the screen allows members to stay connected with all of their groups. The Groups Directory is a category listing of all available groups on LinkedIn helping members to easily find the right LinkedIn group for them.

LinkedIn Answers

LinkedIn Answers is a section of the website for members to post business-related questions. Posted questions are available for any member to respond to. Questions are categorized in a directory based on the question topic. Additionally, you can also send your questions to specific people within your network who you think may have the answers you are looking for.

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LinkedIn Applications

LinkedIn offers a variety of applications from other websites and companies for LinkedIn members to stay current and up to date with their network. The applications range from information gathering from sources around web, sharing of information, to book recommendations.

Amazon Reading Space

This application allows members to share with their network books that they are reading, planning to read, or have read as well as books that are relevant to them. Members are also able to stay up to date with the books others in their network are reading.

Huddle Workspaces

Huddle Workspaces is a free application offered to allow members to collaborate with other members on a project. Once a workspace is created and members join, those members are able to connect and discuss through private and secure discussion forums, co-edit documents and spreadsheets, and keep track of the group’s progress through RSS feeds.

Blog Link

The Blog Link applications automatically pulls the latest blog posts from your network allowing you to stay up to date with the people you know and trust.

WordPress

If you have a WordPress blog, this LinkedIn application will automatically take your latest posts and place them on your LinkedIn profile page. The application also allows you to only sync selected blog posts with your profile by placing special tags in your WordPress blog post.

Google Presentations

This application allows you to upload and showcase one of your most recent PowerPoint or Google slide presentations and attach it to your LinkedIn profile. Attaching a slide presentation is also a great way to introduce yourself to job recruiters and demonstrate your presentation abilities.

SlideShare

Similar to Google Presentations, this application allows members to post slide presentations and share them with their network. This applications allows members to view all presentations uploaded within their network, find experts in specific industries, and share their own important presentations.

Company Buzz

The Company Buzz application searches the depths of the internet and finds comments about your company. Through Twitter, blogs, and other internet communities, this application finds what is being said about your company.

My Travel by TripIt

This application allows members to see where people in their network are traveling next and to display their current location. This enables members to find out when they will be in the same city or place as someone else and connect while they’re both there.

Box.net

Box.net provides free storage for documents and is connected to LinkedIn to allow members to share, collaborate, and exchange important documents. This application also allows users to display documents they wish on their own profile.

LinkedIn Mobile

LinkedIn offers mobile phone applications that allow members to connect to their network anywhere using their mobile phone. These application offers almost all of the features that the full LinkedIn website offers.

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Business and Personal Uses

As a social networking website, most people are already familiar with the common ways to use the site. Members post their work experience, interests, aspirations and other relevant attributes to the website in order to network with others and hopefully help them out with their careers. But beyond the simple networking feature that is so common on the internet nowadays, there are many other ways in which the website can be used that make it unique.

LinkedIn is useful not only for those looking for work, but for employers as well. The website can be used for business development purposes, as businesses can market themselves through public corporate pages in which employees are connected with (Choi 2008). Also, it is possible to develop the business through LinkedIn by viewing client profiles on the website. This will allow the business to understand its customers better, and can lead to a greater amount of success in the future (Allen 2007). It can also be used for career development purposes, such as enhancing a resume with a testimonial from a supervisor on a LinkedIn profile. Since these testimonials cannot be changed by users, and are linked to the supervisor’s LinkedIn profile, there is a strong sense of legitimacy to the testimonials (MarketingHeadhunter.com 2006). This, along with a large, strong network of connections can lead to enhanced chances of finding a job using LinkedIn if needed. Similar to business development, LinkedIn also is very useful for corporate recruiting. LinkedIn is a convenient, one-stop place to look into thousands of potential job candidates, which makes it an ideal place for a business to turn to for the filling of any job openings. LinkedIn allows premium subscribers to use advanced search settings and services, which makes accessing the most qualified candidates among the LinkedIn community a simple process (Athow 2007).

These are just a sample of what LinkedIn has to offer for individual and business purposes. In this day in age, networking is such a huge part of building a successful career, and a professional networking website such as LinkedIn can only help in the process.


Conclusion

LinkedIn.com is a tremendously useful website for thousands of individuals that either already have an established career or aspire to achieve one someday. As the website has grown from its humble beginnings of about 300 users, so has its features and uses for both personal and business-related needs. As stated previously, networking is a very important part of building a successful career in today's world; with that said, LinkedIn.com should continue to expand and succeed into the future as it builds upon its already incredibly successful model of online business networking.

References

Allen, Scott. "Using LinkedIn to Make the Sale." Linked Intelligence. June-July 2007. Scott Allen. 13 June 2009 <http://www.linkedintelligence.com/using-linkedin-to-make-the-sale/>.

Athow, Desire. "Companies Use LinkedIn to Find Top Talent." ITProPortal.com. 9 Jan. 2007. ITProPortal.com. 13 June 2009 <http://www.specialreports.itproportal.com/portal/news/article/2007/1/9/companies-use-linkedin-to-find-top-talent/3/>.

Choi, Gordon. "Market Your Company on LinkedIn." PPC Blog. 8 Apr. 2008. 13 June 2009 <http://www.gordonchoi.com/market-your-company-on-linkedin-20080408>.

MarketingHeadhunter.com. "A "Linked-In" Marketing Recruiter." Duct Tape Marketing: Blog Channel. 25 Aug. 2006. 13 June 2009 <http://recruiter.ducttapemarketing.com/2006/08/marketing_recru.html>.

LinkedIn.com, “Company History,” 17 June 2009, <http://press.linkedin.com/history >.