LinkedIn: When Facebook and Twitter Meet For Coffee
As an executive recruiter and head hunter, let me start by saying that I have helped clients use just about every means of social media in their quest for a fulfilling career. It is the modern-day job fair that never ends. I have always viewed the two icons of social media, Facebook and Twitter, as such. Facebook is the place where you reconnect with friends from school and share stories or hear about their marvellous jobs. Twitter is the place for the creative and the motivated to share information instantly; this is where ideas and advice are exchanged.
Now one might ask, surely there must be a place that would merge the two ideas into a unified experience?
In walks LinkedIn.com with its swagger and charm.
LinkedIn is like Facebook dressed in a suit and Twitter carrying a briefcase. The emphasis of LinkedIn is on making the network of professional contacts visible. It helps you see who you know and suggests new connections for you to forge. It follows the familiar “friending method” of Facebook. Using a streamlined interface, which mirrors aspects of the social icons, LinkedIn offers a forum and online community of thousands of employers, large and small, from Microsoft and Nike to your local home town poutine truck simply trying to do business. In my opinion, LinkedIn is like facebook but for professionals only.
I posed the question on Recruitingblogs.com about other recruiters’ impression of LinkedIn and how would they explain LinkedIn to people who might not have heard of it using just one sentence. While most recruiters agree on LinkedIn being the most relevant professional networking platform of our times, others like Tony Palm liken it to “going to a business after hours event on line.” Katrina Collier writes, “LinkedIn allows you to reach hiring managers without going via HR or an agent.” Recruiting Animal sums it up as “an online database of professional profiles” – Read more here: http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/how-do-you-explain-linkedin-to
LinkedIn is aggressively trying to have white collar workers everywhere make LinkedIn their number one choice. In the past 7 years, LinkedIn has grown to over 200 million users. LinkedIn gives you options on how deep you want to expand your connections, offering a variety of packages to increase your modes of communication with existing and new connections. The value in these packages is unmatchable and crucial for success. If you are just starting out and want to connect to someone you have no connection with, Bill Gates for example, it says to that potential new connection, “I would like to do business with you,” but it doesn’t say that half-heartedly at a bar over drinks. It says it with a pressed (electronic) business card and a firm handshake. So, if you are starting out your career, LinkedIn for you can be like an exclusive contact list in a brand new smart phone.
Speaking of smart phones, LinkedIn also has a mobile app. This allows you and the new connections you make to instantly connect via LinkedIn. The mobile app has a very intuitive interface that allows you to navigate many of the common features of LinkedIn. Just like theTtwitter and Facebooks apps, it is free. As a result, you are not only on the market for a professional social setting, you now also have the ability to find and access your online community anywhere you go, plane, train or long commute, and you can keep your LinkedIn account with you at all times.
And of course, the most important thing to remember is that this is not the place to share your every thought or opinion; you have Twitter and Facebook for that. Nobody on LinkedIn needs to know what you did last night, in fact, it might even harm your chances of getting that new opportunity. This is the place where you share advice on anything and everything concerning your career, including resume tips. So no sharing pictures of your “exciting” weekend.
Be prepared, LinkedIn could be the ticket to your next interview.
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