I get asked this all time. “Hey SociallyGold” “Yes?” “What is LinkedIn?” I joined LinkedIn when I was a junior in college because it was the hot new thing. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t used LinkedIn very often. I wanted to be able to answer this question, but I knew I had to reach out to others so they can explain what LinkedIn is and how they use it. If you have a specefic use for LinkedIn, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can add you to this post. I’ll only connect with someone on LinkedIn once iv’e met them. I get the impression that is frowned upon to reach out to people whom you don’t know. Below are LinkedIn use cases that I believe you’ll find beneficial.
Sean Akaks Executive Recruiter – TheLions
My experience with LinkedIn will likely be different that of the average user, as my professional work depends on it. While at work, I spend about half of my time on this social network. I work for a technology sales recruiting firm in San Francisco called TheLions, and we have a custom-built platform that leverages LinkedIn data to fuel our network of candidates. Traditionally, LinkedIn has been a very powerful tool for companies looking to hire top talent, and for professionals looking for networking opportunities and getting their foot in the door into companies. Recently, however, Linkedin has made a big push for widespread adoption amongst more users than job seekers and those involved in hiring. They have developed and put focus on their “Today” feature, which basically aggregates top articles tailored to your industry and interests. Earlier this month, the company announced that they are acquiring Pulse, the web/mobile newsreader. Their hope is that Pulse’s technology will better help target and customize articles that users will be most interested in, so that one might use LinkedIn on a more regular basis.
Jacob Rosen Development Associate - Hillel at Kent State University
I’ve been a basic LinkedIn user since March 2009. In a nutshell, LinkedIn is like your virtual online resume, with an added social networking component. Much like a resume, you can’t ignore your LinkedIn profile for too long. It really should be a living, breathing document, even though it’s most useful in the job hunt. I have 522 connections — and counting — on LinkedIn, from all sorts of professional and social circles. I’m not particularly active every day, but I have it bookmarked on my Google Chrome, I try to keep active on my connection requests and I try to immediately re-endorse when a friend gives me a nod. My profile should be updated more frequently and more thoroughly than it is, but it’s a wasted opportunity if you don’t use LinkedIn at least this much.
Anna Beyerle - Strategic Communication Specialist
Like Facebook, LinkedIn has a Facebook-esque “news feed” that alerts you when your professional connections change their profiles, get a new job, join new groups, etc. After I graduated from college, I had a year-long contract position with a company, and LinkedIn was a great resource when I started searching for new opportunities. You have the ability to search for specific companies and see their employees that have LinkedIn profiles, which can be incredibly helpful when you’re looking to connect with a person at a specific company. I reached out to an employee with an interesting-sounding job description at a company I was interested in on LinkedIn to chat about her job, and wound up getting a job listing out of the conversation that I never would have received otherwise (success story: I ended up getting the job). It’s a fabulous networking tool, especially when you’re looking to get into a new market, but also great for keeping up with old connections.