In June of 2010 I finally “got it” with regard to Linkedin. I joined this community a couple of years ago, but never really saw the need to expand my network or to interact with the other members. Through some very active recruitment efforts I have added (in three months) a total of 171 connections, which link me to a potential total of 1,875,878 other people! I have been able to both find and connect with colleagues I hadn’t seen in several years, and to reestablish relationships by catching up on current business. It’s been suggested that Linked in is the Facebook for professionals, in that you have access to a vast array of potential business contacts. You may also hook up with individuals you don’t know either by obtaining an introduction from a direct contact, or by purchasing a Linked in option that allows for contacting non-acquaintances.
Other benefits include:
- The option to automatically update your contact list from a blog, to create a Twitter post with identical content, and to advertise your website
- The ability to send updates regarding your activity to everyone in your network
- The opportunity to follow company activity (e.g., new hires, departures, and promotions) of Linked in firms, and to join groups of individuals with similar interests [Some of the companies I’m following include: Nokia, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and Bank of America]. Groups of which I’m a member include NAPO, Forbes Woman, McCombs BBA Alumni Network, and The University of Houston Alumni Association. Contained within these groups are job postings, updates, discussions, and a list of members (whose connections and number of recommendations are visible to everyone in the group).
- A spot for employers to post and manage jobs
- A way to showcase your credentials through “My Profile,” and a vehicle for in-network members to provide recommendations of you:
So, how is Linked in an organizing mechanism? A network of professional contacts is placed virtually at your fingertips, in a type of “one stop shopping” that permits you to quickly send a message, or to communicate information to those with whom you’re connected.
For me, Linked in is a way to:
- surround myself with individuals who played a role throughout my professional life, and
- establish new communication with individuals with whom I’ve lost contact.
It’s a web of connection in which I now find myself actively participating.