What is LinkedIn? What does it offer?

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site or a business networking site. It is mainly used for professional networking. As of 21 June 2010 LinkedIn had more than 70 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories, worldwide.

The purpose of the site is to allow the registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business. The people in the list are called Connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection.

This list of connections can then be used in a number of ways:

  1. A contact network is built up consisting of your direct connections, the connections of each of their connections (termed second-degree connections) and also the connections of second-degree connections (termed third-degree connections). This can be used to gain an introduction to someone a person wishes to know through a mutual, trusted contact.
  2. It can then be used to find jobs, people and business opportunities recommended by someone in one’s contact network.
  3. Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates.
  4. Job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them.
  5. Users can post their own photo (profile photo) and view profile photo of others to aid in identification.
  6. Users can now follow different companies and can get notification about the new joining and offers available.
  7. Users can save (i.e. bookmark) jobs which they would like to apply for.

The “gated-access approach” (where contact with any professional requires either a preexisting relationship, or the intervention of a contact of theirs) is intended to build trust among the service’s users.

LinkedIn helps you a lot in personal branding. On LinkedIn, you can connect with people whom you know. You can also request to those whom you don’t know but wishes to know and get connected.

LinkedIn helps you in the following ways to create or strengthen your personal brand…

  1. LinkedIn helps you increase your visibility. It allows you to brief you about you, your business, products and services.
  2. LinkedIn helps you increase your connectability. You can add people in your network and people can add you in their network.
  3. LinkedIn provides an easy and effective people searching facility. You can search the people based on many criterions and add those whom you think are good to be connected.
  4. LinkedIn allows your clients to write testimonials about you; these testimonials can be viewed by your other connects. This helps you create a positive image among your business network.
  5. LinkedIn allows you to post questions. It also allows you to answer the questions posted by others. If your questions as well as answers are sensible, it adds to your brand image.
    LinkedIn allows you to post jobs and search jobs. Unlike or, prospective employer can judge you better on LinkedIn as he/she can get to know about your profile, previous employers, connects, testimonials and answers. This gives him/her an overall idea about your corporate personality.

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