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Why should I join LinkedIn? I don’t need one more thing to check!

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Question:  "Can I ask: Exactly what is the advantage of LinkedIn?  (And I want specifics, not just for general business networking.) Many people I know are on it, but no one can say what they get out of it. Is it kind of like Facebook? I joined reluctantly because I was asked so often, but really, I don't need one more thing to check. All I see is a limited number of people showing off (by getting their friends to recommend them). Is it just me? What’s the advantage of having 'connections' if most are silent anyway?" —I don’t get it

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris October 14, 2011 at 11:06 am

Your question is a good one. I read the response about it being helpful for someone who was downsized and this makes the most sense using it as a networking tool, but I’ve noticed that I am getting more requests from people I don’t know who are not in my field and then I just get more junk mail from them trying to sell me their product or services, which is pretty annoying actually since it takes up my time to identify the emails and delete them. It’s hard to tell whether these people are useful or not in some cases…Most people aren’t even online most of the time or don’t post anything or email, they just “people collect”. Some of the groups are very useful to my field, but many are time wasters and sometimes, I just don’t have the time to search out the beneficial ones. I think at times, its just too time consuming for busy people in our day to day interactions. Just like Facebook, there comes a time to go in and do a “friends/connections” cleanup!

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Chandra October 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Everyone else has said almost everything I would have said about LinkedIn, except on thing. If you are on LinkedIn, update it, keep it updated, have a photo (of you, not a random one). LinkedIn is your online Resume and people are looking all the time. If you are just a name with a couple incomplete details you will be by-passed or not taken seriously.

Many times this will be your first impression for you next job or career move. I have actually had people offer me jobs, seek out my advice, and ask for recommendations for people I have worked with just based on my profile. Your LinkedIn Profile is your resume and should reflect the “Professional You”.

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The editors October 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm

This article (by an investment banker) offers a few examples of how CEOs have successfully used Linked In for dealmaking. If your CEO thinks he/she doesn’t have time for Linked In, the more educated you become, the more proactive you can be in seeing ways it can help your company. Here’s the link: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/20699/how-3-ceo039s-had-million-dollar-deals-find-them-on-linkedin

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Debra October 11, 2011 at 5:46 pm

I felt that same way, UNTIL I was downsized. LinkedIn was extremely beneficial in keeping me current with the various groups and helped me remain connected with business connections that I had in previous positions. It’s also an extremely valuable tool in getting your information in front of the people you want to see it.

Having LinkedIn recommendations helped in my job search and the URL you can get also keeps you current and shows your potential employer that you are social media savvy, especially if you are a “seasoned” professional looking for a position. You can also view other people’s resumes and see that your skills can be translated into different levels and pattern your resumes accordingly.

I hope this helps…

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Lisa Heiser October 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm

LinkedIn is a great resource to learn what other companies are doing and how they handle specific tasks, etc. We recently asked for users to input how they use a database program that we’ve purchased to find out if there were other ways of customizing the software for our use.

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Trisha October 10, 2011 at 9:17 am

I joined a lot of the groups on LinkedIn that are relevant to my field, and have received a lot of great advice, tips, and tricks of the trade. Consider LinkedIn as a “career resource.” You’re never too old to learn new things.

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Susan October 7, 2011 at 11:14 pm

What Facebook calls “friends” Linked In calls “connections”…but more accurately most of mine might be called “reconnections” because its search engine found old colleagues/coworkers for me. It suggests people who have mutual connections &/or worked at the same companies when I was working there, graduated college same year, high school, etc. I wouldn’t have the nerve to email these people out of the blue, but Linked In (like Facebook) feels like a mutual friend that somehow makes it ok –though I have no immediate reason to reconnect. I do like reading profiles (updated resumes) of people I haven’t seen in years and learning how their career paths progressed since I last worked with them. I mostly wouldn’t think of googling them on my own, but seeing mutual connections/linkages somehow helps “completes the circle” (or as Steve Jobs might say connects the dots) between past and present. I find it adds a kind of order to my professional life and is comforting that instead of just “losing” all those old connections, there they are, just a click away, thanks to Linked In.

(I know what you mean about the recommendations–they seem too self- promotional, overly glowing. I would not ask someone to write one unless I was actively seeking a job…they do sort of make me cringe.)

If you join a group in your field, the discussions can be interesting/informative… &/or a big timewaster. I put a rule in my email that sends all the emails that have Linked In in the subject line to a separate folder so that they don’t distract me when I’m working on more important things (which is pretty much always :) … you can change your Linked In settings so that you can get no email notifications or only get them only weekly… so I don’t think you necessarily have to “check it” but if you’re actively looking for a job, you should as there are lots of job listings.

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Angela October 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Although it may not be a tool that you use everyday or even in the near future – it may be useful for your contacts. Prime example, today a friend of mine contacted me through linkedin because he saw a job fair happening at my company. I will now be able to submit a referal for him and make introductions at the job fair. Without linkedin – this connection would not have taken place.

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Cassandra October 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm

LinkedIn is a great networking tool if you are in the job market, and joining groups that are particular to your job title and/or industry in LinkedIn can also be a great for the same reason. It’s also a safe way to keep in touch with former co-workers, without them having access to your personal life, such as on Facebook.

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Tricia October 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I have to agree with you I was very reluctant to join myself. I am not a big fan of all the social networking sites – if I want to talk to my friends and family I will and I don’t have a need to post every little thing I do throughout the day. As far as Linked In I have vary few connections (funny part those who kept telling me I should join are rarely ever on). What I do use it for is Groups. I have a couple Administrative Assistant Groups that I am a member of and have found it beneficial. You can post questions and have discussions on numerous topics effecting Admin Assistant. But beware some just seem to be filled with ads. And again it is a matter of participation.

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