LinkedIn is a social network for professionals who help job seekers, recruiters and brands to connect together. Reid Hoffman founded LinkedIn in 2002 that has grown to over 200 million members around the world by 2013 and became largest professional network over the web. LinkedIn has a multilingual functionality which makes it easy for users from different countries to get connected with others.
It has been observed that almost 85% of the registered users of LinkedIn spent average of 5 to 10 mins whereas power users spent over 20 mins on the site. This goal of this guide is to walk you through the features and benefits of LinkedIn.
Creating a Profile
Like all other social networks LinkedIn also host their users profile, where information related to your education, work experience, skills are stored and made public so that others can find out based on the information provided by you. As you sign up on Linkedin.com, you’ll be asked step by step to provide information related to your education, skills, work experience, projects, awards etc. it is highly recommended to fill in all the information you can because unless your profile is not completed it won’t appear in the search results.
A complete profile at LinkedIn is considered that contains at least 50 connections, 5 skills, display picture, education details, at least 2 to 3 jobs with details including the current one, summary and project you have worked on so far.
Building up Connections
It’s very easy actually to build up those above mentioned 50 connections to make your profile 100% complete.
Import Contacts from your email by allowing LinkedIn to access your email. Once the contact list is imported the contacts who are already there on LinkedIn you can immediately connect to them however the contacts that are not on LinkedIn you can actually invite them to join you there.
Try using the search to find out the people whom you know but are not within your email contact list. Once you have some of the connections LinkedIn will start showing you People You May Know where you will be able to see recommendations by LinkedIn based on people who are connected to your immediate connections.
All the members of LinkedIn are allowed to create new or join the existing groups where they can take or give advice, get traffic by sharing content, search for a job or even post about the vacancy available in your company. Groups are made by the users based on industry, interests, causes, organization or associations.
There are over 1.5 million groups available on LinkedIn among which some requires authentication before you can get approved by the group manager to join it. The group with a label “open” doesn’t requires an authentication and you can join them directly. If you wish to go with your own group then you probably need to have a group manager and moderator who shall look after the discussions and other postings within the group to maintain the quality.
LinkedIn company pages are similar to Facebook brand pages where users can follow them to get updates about the companies on LinkedIn. These pages contain company overview, list of employees working in it and job openings.
If you choose to follow some company over LinkedIn, you will find their updates within your homepage. Excessive updates on the company page can lead your business page to review and it could get deleted as well. The best way to use it is announcing acquisitions, policies and any updates including new hiring.
LinkedIn is a very good tool not only for job seekers but for head hunters too. Nowadays most of the companies prefer to head hunt from LinkedIn and the reason is evaluation of credibility based on the social factors.
Employers can post a job on LinkedIn by paying $395 for a month. However, if you are search for potential hires you may need to upgrade to premium subscription plan.
As a job seeker you shall go to the Jobs tab where options for applicants are available. Use the advance search option for finding a suitable job for yourself, if you are unable to find some relevant job you can save your searches to check back for the updated results. Moreover, it also allows the users to save the job postings for reviewing them later.
Just like the other social networks LinkedIn also allow the users to update their status which gets posted under the activity feed of the user and allow their connections to get engage by liking or commenting over it. Moreover, if your connections update their current job status such as job title due to promotion or switch the employer or when the company you are following updates something on their page, you will receive an update about all this in your email as a newsletter.
LinkedIn gives you option to add the sharing bookmarklet to your favorite browser for sharing the web content which you like as an update. Moreover you can connect Twitter account to expand your network by syndicating your LinkedIn updates with Twitter account.
If you wish to stop receiving the updates from a specific user, you may need to bring the mouse over the update on your homepage and click on the hide button.
LinkedIn for Handhelds
LinkedIn knows about the need of the mobile users well due to which it offers separate apps for iPHone, iPad, Android, Windows and BlackBerry devices. You can log on to their mobile section and get an app that suits your needs.
Customizing your Profile with Applications
LinkedIn’s Premium Account
Get your account upgraded through buying LinkedIn’s subscription plan which starts from $19.95 for job seekers, recruiters and more. Premium subscription users get the ability of sending InMail messages to anyone across the site, which means that you can send message to anyone for which getting connected is not a condition.
Premium account holders also get an access to additional search results compared to the free account holder which is actually very beneficial for recruiters not only limited to this but there are more add-ons too such as viewing complete list of people who viewed your profile.