LinkedIn - What Is It? How Can It Help Me?
We offer a LinkedIn service, providing the creation and optimisation of a LinkedIn profile. If you know what that means, then you will appreciate the value of such a service, but for those who are not so up-to-speed with the power and advantages of LinkedIn, we've put together this guide.
What is Linked-In?
The best way to answer this question is to refer to LinkedIn's offical self-description, taken from their website:
“LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 120 million members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.”
From that, it's pretty clear that LinkedIn is a very large, Internet-based professional networking tool.
LinkedIn is essentially a 'social network', just like Facebook. The critical difference is that it's a social network for professional use, rather than personal use. This means that instead of representing you in terms of your personal and social life as your Facebook profile does, your LinkedIn profile represents you in professional terms.
What use is it to me, as an individual?
It allows you to create a professional online profile that potential employers can look at. You must understand that it's common practice for employers to 'Google' candidates, so with this in mind it's well worth paying some attention to how you are being represented online.
On the one hand, it's a constantly evolving 'live CV', hosted online, but with some extra bells and whistles. It's also a powerful networking tool, allowing you to stay connected with former workmates, and to form new connections with people working within your sector. You can also join groups, taking part in industry-specific conversations, demonstrating your knowledge and staying current.
LinkedIn can also act as a kind of digital business card. Including a link to your LinkedIn profile when contacting people or posting online allows them to find out more about you and your experience ans strengths.
Companies or clients that have employed you in the past can comment on your capabilities, in essentially the same way as a reference. Of course, they can only do this if you agree to it.:
How can it help me get a job?
Companies and individuals can also search for candidates and contacts according to skill-set. This is a very important point. When creating your profile, you can specify any key-skills and areas of expertise that apply to you. Your profile will then show up when people search for these, creating opportunities.
LinkedIn also features it's own integrated and powerful 'job search' tool. You don't have to rely on opportunities coming to you, you can proactively seek them out. You can search by category, keywords, company or location. You require a profile to use this functionality.
You are also notified about your contacts' activity. If anybody on your contact list decides to start a new venture, for example, you will be on the pulse. You can connect to companies and organisations as well as to people, so if any openings become available, you will be notified. This means you can get an application in as soon as it becomes available. Traditionally, 'keeping an eye' on target companies has never been this simple.
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