What Is LinkedIn?

A Guide To LinkedIn

What is it?
LinkedIn is a social networking website for people in professional occupations . It s the leading online professional directory of individuals and companies.

Who uses it? 
Individuals use LinkedIn for professional networking, connecting, and job searching. Companies use LinkedIn for recruiting and for providing company information to prospective employees.

Why is it useful to an organisation?

  • Companies can post information about the company and job listings on company pages.
  • Companies can also contact LinkedIn members for recruiting purposes.
  • It allows you to tap into your network and understand the different contacts that are in it.
  • You not only know whom you’re connected to, but whom they’re connected to. You can reach beyond those initial contacts to establish and further develop your network.

Limitations

  • The value of the site depends on the amount of people, and the quality of the people using it.
  • Many users use an automated tool that searches through your email and will then match the user with people who are already on LinkedIn. Many business people get a lot of emails from a lot of people who you really don’t know well. If you use that tool you may be connected to people you’re not truly friends with or have interacted with, this could dilute the value of your network a bit.
  • LinkedIn has made networking easier, but professionals will always appreciate personal interactions such as handshakes, written thank-you notes and professional conversation.

Top tips

  • A good introduction is key to building a strong network of contacts and begins with a truly professional profile.
  • Don’t flood your network with contacts you don’t know, five connections are too few, 500 may be too many.
  • File business cards digitally with the cardmuch app.
  • Don’t include really personal things on your profile, remember that people who see your profile will be wanting to do business with you.

Glossary
Alumni Tool – Helps you find contacts from a specific college and gives you insights into the companies they work for, the fields they work in and where they live. Clicking on each graph will display additional information about the people in that network.
Cardmunch app – Uses an iPhone camera to take a picture of business cards you want to save. It then converts the information on the card into a contact, showing you LinkedIn profile information and connections you have in common, making it easier to connect online with people you meet on the road.
LinkedIn Today – A social news service that aggregates the top headlines and stories related to your industry and based on what your connections share.

Key Sites/Blogs
http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/45
http://www.thejoyofbusiness.co.uk/blog/a-guide-to-using-linkedin-for-businesses/