LinkedIn has become a dominant player in the recruitment and human resource space in the past few years, with 150 million members and availability in 200 countries. Its launch on the NYSE was reminiscent of the dot com boom -- shares began trading at $US45 each and quickly topped $US100. It has successfully carved out its own niche in a social media landscape dominated by Twitter and Facebook.
LinkedIn has become the place to establish connections and find links to career opportunities, and it is frequently used by IT professionals. As of 31 December 2011, signup rates topped more than two new members per second. Last year, LinkedIn members did nearly 4.2 billion professionally-oriented searches on the platform. We take a look at the A to Z of LinkedIn -- minus some of the trickier letters.
Some may view LinkedIn as simply an online version of their resume, but features such as applications allow you to personalise your profile with information relevant to your industry. Applications such as polls and events encourage your network to talk and interact.
"It's important your profile of record is what people find when they Google your name or company, and obviously you want to be as well represented in that profile as possible," managing director of LinkedIn Australia and New Zealand, Clifford Rosenberg, says.
You may be solely focused on the image your organisation is presenting online, but your personal brand is just as important. Ensuring your profile represents who you are is vital when engaging with your audience.
"You can set up a profile for your company. We have well over a million companies who have profiles on LinkedIn," Rosenberg says.
It's also a great way to attract talented staff as potential recruits can keep tabs on companies they want to work for. Activating a company profile puts a personal face to your organisation. It is a simple way to see a snapshot of any enterprise -- just be aware that your competition will be keeping an eye on you also
LinkedIn isn't about a one way conversation -- it is based on interacting with other professionals. The discussion tab on each group page is there to allow people with similar interests to post questions and share experiences.
It may seem obvious, but just because LinkedIn is online doesn't mean professionalism should diminish. Interacting with colleagues politely when asking for something like a recommendation is important if you are to create a positive impression.
LinkedIn users are able to access their personal RSS feeds through the social network. You can subscribe to industry discussions as well as external feeds from sources such as Google.
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