After speaking with a client recently about a new major player in the world of social networking, I was lead into doing some research on LinkedIn as I way to inform our clients and readers of this valuable professional networking tool.
LinkedIn has the potential to replace the Resume/CV one day. Chaker Davidson, International Director Bound Link
LinkedIn is a business oriented social networking website. It was launched in May, 2003. The number of professionals registered with LinkedIn now reaches over 43 million active users. The present CEO of LinkedIn was Jeff Weiner who previously worked as Yahoo executive. This business networking website was founded by Reid Hoffman and he is the former CEO of it. While other social networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace target teenagers, this focuses on professionals networking. The website was officially launched on May, 2003 when five of its founders invited 350 of their contacts to join. After a month, the members reached 4,500 and started growing fast. LinkedIn had its headquarter based in Mountain View CA, USA. Sequoia Capital, Greylock partners and others purchased 5% stack in this website for $53 million.
- LinkedIn launched first premium membership feature called as LinkedIn Jobs which helps its members to find employment.
- The mobile version of this was launched on February, 2008 which allows user to access it through mobile phone. This website also launched ‘LinkedIn DirectAds’ to display advertisements. LinkedIn enabled other online services to be embedded through applications platform on October, 2008.
- Examples of applications that can be displayed on your profile are Amazon Reading List-displays books they are reading. By the end of 2007, the members of this website reached 15 million.
- LinkedIn is mostly used for business networking and will help you increase your business connections. At present, this website has more than 170 industries listed. The people in your list (like friends) are called ‘connections’.
- Users can invite anyone even if he is not a member to join his contact list. You can also get answers to your question through LinkedIn Answers.
- You can use profile to search for job openings or references from users in your connections. Users can join groups on LinkedIn Groups. These groups can include communities such as alumni, specific industry. Any user can create groups on a specific industry or subject.
- Users can embed applications such as Amazon Reading List, display latest blog entries from WordPress and TypePad on your profile. You can now also add your Twitter feed to your LinkedIn profile page. Developers can integrate services of this website in their applications using the OpenSocial API by any developer.
Future developments: LinkedIn may change in the future to include more features to users and also make better use of the technology. The following features are expected from LinkedIn in future:
- This may turn into a full featured job portal where companies post job openings and employees post their resume. It may work similar to other job portals out there.
- Availability in multilingual: The website may be available in different languages for different regions.
- Social connections: LinkedIn may develop the social nature of the connections. That is a user can know his friend’s status at present similar to other social networking websites.
- LinkedIn may become a common place where you can search for people as many people use to display their business profile.
- Your profile may serve as your identity. In future companies may hire people based on their profile rather than a traditional resume.
User benefits: LinkedIn can be used to manage your business contacts and can be used to boost your professional network. The following are the benefits from LinkedIn:
- LinkedIn is a free service so anyone can use it to their benefit.
- Can be used to show your professional experience, qualifications and your education details.
- Can be used to gain professional contact which you can use to gain employment opportunities.
- You can join groups which have people from similar industry or profession at one place.
- You can post questions regarding your career which can be answered by experts from relating fields.
- Using LinkedIn Events, you can post about events that take place.
- Companies using this website can use to promote their service or product by LinkedIn DirectAds.
Social networking is about making real connections with people, LinkedIn is a powerful and useful tool for the job.
Technical explanation: Users can create a profile very easily. Registering at this website simply needs an email id. During the registration you need to provide details: the first name, last name your email id and desired password. After you registration is complete, you need to setup your profile. Your profile should reflect your professional experience such as your work experience and education qualification. You can search for people, jobs, and companies through the search feature from your profile page. The people from company associated with this website will be your colleagues you can invite them to be in your connection. Worldwide usage: LinkedIn members reached 43 million. The average age of its user is 41 years. Users with over 45 years form 31 percent of profiles. Users of this website have about 80% of its users reside outside of US. LinkedIn is now used in about 200 countries.