LinkedIn is a great online networking tool that caters to the individual who is less interested in connecting with ‘buddies’ or ‘friends’ and more interested in networking with like-minded and career oriented individuals on the Internet.
What separates Linkedin from other social networking sites is that it is designed with the business user in mind. With 40 million members in over 200 countries around the world and executives from all Fortune 500 companies in its ranks, LinkedIn profiles are becoming necessities for the users who are looking to not only network online, but also maintain a strong, branded online presence.
From the LinkedIn webpage:
“When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. You can then form enduring 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 a vast number of qualified professionals and experts.”
The benefits of LinkedIn are numerous and quickly recognizable. Besides being able to manage the information that’s publicly available about you as a professional, you can build your client development, collaborate with peers on projects, even partner with them for potential business opportunities, gain new insight from discussions with other professionals who share your interests and also place job listings for your organization.
Perhaps, most importantly, is the clout that google seems to lend to LinkedIn profiles. It is very rare to Google an individual’s name and not find their Linkedin profile among the first few organic search engine results. This is very important for several reasons. Most obviously, this increases your web presence and visibility, but it also enables you to control the information that people searching for you see.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you should get one now. They are free and easy to setup: https://www.linkedin.com/.