Friday, December 5, 2008

Introduction to LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an online service to assist in networking. I would very much appreciate any and all feedback, suggestions, corrections or questions you may have.


The following introduction was taken from here:

Relationships Matter - Your professional relationships are key to your professional success. Our mission is to help you be more effective in your daily work and open doors to opportunities using the professional relationships you already have. This isn’t networking—it’s what networking should be.

Forget exchanging business cards with acquaintances that don’t know your work, or trying to renew professional ties when you need a favor.

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is an online network of more than 25 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 150 industries.

When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional accomplishments. Your profile helps you find and be found by former colleagues, clients, and partners. You can add more connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know, linking you to thousands of qualified professionals.

Through your network you can:
  • Find potential clients, service providers, subject experts, and partners who come recommended
  • Be found for business opportunities
  • Search for great jobs
  • Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals
  • Post and distribute job listings
  • Find high-quality passive candidates
  • Get introduced to other professionals through the people you know
LinkedIn is free to join. We also offer paid accounts that give you more tools for finding and reaching the right people, whether or not they are in your network.


You provide information to LinkedIn and you get a URL that you can provide to others that is a like an electronic business card. You can print this URL on your business card, put it in your email signature and others can find you on LinkedIn in a variety of ways.

There are two major views of your information, the public view, seen by everyone, and the full view seen by people you consider your connections. Information includes your name, title, location (metropolitan area), your job experience, education, skills, and interests and email. How much detail is provided and which of these items is on your public profile is controlled by you.

LinkedIn users can invite each other to be a connection and the invited person is sent an email and needs to approve the connection.

Learn more about LinkedIn here:

Setup Tips

Personal Info – provide your name, title, zip code, and primary email.

Public Display – while filling out your profile you can go to another page and specify how much into will be on your public profile.

Custom URL – By default your profile is a numeric ID, you can select something more memorable like your name so it makes more sense. Click here to learn more.

Email Addresses – you can provide a primary email that LinkedIn uses, but you are also asked for alternate emails. The purpose of alternate emails is that if people include their email address books in LinkedIn, then you will be found by them and they can invite you as a connection.

Work History – Work history is similar to your resume. There is also a summary view of this that doesn’t include dates.

Education – Education history is similar to your resume. There is also a summary view of this that doesn’t include dates.

Status – You can provide a status that your connections will see, such as “looking for work”. This status only stays for 5 days, so you need to update it again if you want it to continue.

Skills – You can specify a work summary and keyword skills.

Web Sites – you can specify several web sites that may be of interest to viewers of your (public or full) profile. You will need to exercise caution in selecting a web sites to list as potential employers may see them.

A LinkedIn Button can be added to your websites to allow your readers to quickly access your profile.

Usage Tips

Start with connecting to your closest work acquaintances’ and as you explore it further you can increase your connections and find new connections.

Find Colleagues & Classmates by using their search tools. As new people register with LinkedIn you will be notified that there are more possible connections. You review their search results and select which people you want to invite as a connection.

Search for People – You can search for people specifically that may not be part of your work or education history.

Join Groups – look for professional groups that are within LinkedIn to find new connections and discussions.

Search Jobs by function (IT) or industry segment (government) and you can limit them geographically.

Search Companies and find interesting things, people in a company that are part of your extended connections, new hires to that company, demographic breakdown, even where people in that company came from or went to, so you can find another important company you were not aware of.

Introduce yourself to a new person through a mutual connection.

INMAIL – is a paid service that allows you to send email to someone who is not part of your connections.


This is an useful way to extend your networking beyond simply collecting business cards. The power of this tool allows you to extend your network in ways that are not possible any other way.

No comments: