I have yet to set up a MySpace or FaceBook account because when I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is get back on the computer. However, I realized that I can’t shut myself completely out of the world of social media, especially since I work for an interactive agency. So, I decided to accept an invitation from a former colleague that I missed working with on LinkedIn.com And that’s when I got hooked…
LinkedIn.com is an online network where over 25 million professionals exchange information, ideas and opportunities. It helps you stay informed within your industry, search for former colleagues, clients and partners and get connected with them. It also allows you to create and control your professional identity online. It helps you open doors to opportunities basically using the professional relationships your already have. It’s simple to join. You create a profile that summarizes your professional accomplishments and once your profile is set, you can find people, invite contacts to join and connect to you. Those people are then linked to your connections, so on and so on. It’s like a big domino effect or chain reaction. Next thing you know, you have 102 people you are connected with and networking is fun again! It’s a great opportunity to display or share what you are currently working on in your career, find jobs, close deals or post listings and share amongst your connections. It’s free, but of course you have the option to pay for an account in order to get more tools, features, etc.
The one feature I personally like the best is the option to endorse or be endorsed by people you have worked with, supervised, been managed by or built client relationships with. It allows you to not only view what your coworkers, managers or subordinates thought about your capabilities and strengths, but you can offer your opinions about them. Many of us request or are provided with letters of recommendations when we leave a company, but wonder deep inside what our direct coworkers, clients or subordinates actually thought about us when we worked there. Usually those were the people we spent most of our day working directly with. This feature on LinkedIn allows us to request endorsements and in return view their perceptions about us and look within to try and improve ourselves as either managers, coworkers, employees or even client contacts.
If you haven’t already LinkedIn, I highly recommend it. Just log on to LinkedIn.com, set up your profile and search for three people. Bet you one of the three are already LinkedIn!