Website Template

LinkedIn—The Advantage is Yours

by Greg Faherty, CPRW
By now, there probably isn't anyone in the business world who isn't familiar with LinkedIn. You've probably seen LinkedIn invitations, or heard people talking about networking through LinkedIn. Maybe you're already a member, but you're not really using the site. Or perhaps you're one of those who can't imagine it's a useful tool, or that it's not meant for high-level executives.

You couldn't be more wrong.

LinkedIn has something for everyone, and, like so many things in life, you get out of it only as much as you put into it.

Before we take a look at how LinkedIn can help you achieve your goals—be they employment, career change, or added business—let's review what LinkedIn is.

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social networking site for the business sector. Simply put, it's a place where contacts can be initiated, messages exchanged, and job searches conducted.

And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

LinkedIn is quite probably much more popular than you realize, and filled with capabilities you don't even know about. Want to promote your website? LinkedIn can help. Want to get referrals for work? LinkedIn is there for you. Need to know some background on a prospective client, business partner, or employee? Check their LinkedIn profile. Need a question answered?

Yeah, you know the drill by now.

Things you should know

Here are some quick facts about LinkedIn:

There are more than 14 million LinkedIn members worldwide.

People with more than twenty LinkedIn connections are thirty-four times more likely to get job offers than people with less than five connections.

499 of the Fortune 500 companies are represented on LinkedIn by Director-level or above personnel. In other words, it's a great place to connect with senior-level executives.

LinkedIn allows you to perform a search of a company and see the rate of employee turnover. Not a bad tool if you're considering working for that company. Or already do.

More and more recruiters are not only using LinkedIn to find prospective job seekers, but also to check references and perform background searches.

What can LinkedIn do for you?

No matter what your particular need, LinkedIn has something to offer.

Looking for work? LinkedIn is partnered with and, meaning that not only can employers search the profiles to locate suitable candidates; job seekers can browse through actual listings. And, of course, through the networking aspect, members can refer each other for jobs and inform each other of available positions.

Looking to increase your visibility on the 'net? You can make your profile information available to search engines such as Google, which typically gives LinkedIn profiles fairly high page rankings. If you own your own company (or website, or blog), you can also promote it in your profile so that it also comes up in Google and Yahoo searches.

Interested in finding out if a particular company would be a good fit for you? Perform a search by job title and company name and you'll see people who used to work in that role for that company. You can also use the "Current titles only" option and find out what people think of people who will either be working for you or over you. This is also a great way to find out about the people who will be interviewing you, and seeing if you have anything in common you can talk about during the interview.

Interested in what's happening in your field? Do a search for new startups and who's launching a company.

Need the help of experts in a hurry? You can post business related questions both in your network and outside it, and gather responses from hundreds of individuals in a particular field.

Everyone's doing it

If all these reasons aren't enough, think about this. With more and more people using LinkedIn for so many different reasons, do you really want to be seen as a technological dinosaur? In this day and age, companies want people who are technologically "plugged in," either to have an advantage over competitors or to just keep paced.

In the end, the real question isn't why use LinkedIn, but why wouldn't you?