LinkedIn has risen to become the premier social media site for business in the world. The site currently has 500 million unique users throughout the world as of the time of this article’s publication, 133 million in the United States alone. It’s believed that two new profiles are created every second. With an estimated 106 million visitors a month, LinkedIn’s influence in the business world cannot be ignored, and with a couple of simple techniques that influence can be greatly beneficial to users.
Most people reading this likely already have a LinkedIn profile, those that do not need to set one up as soon as possible. If one is still in the business world (or has an interest in being in it), prospective workers and business owners are ignoring a very large potential network by not being on the site. It has become the #1 search tool for recruiters, with over three million active job listings and a general resume for its users. Sites such as Monster and CareerBuilder, which at one time were destination sites for job seekers have now been forced into obsolescence by LinkedIn’s network and powerful search tools. About 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn, and if one applies for a job, or recruiters evaluate a prospective employee, that employee can be assured that their LinkedIn profile will be evaluated in the process. This site will accommodate any profession – students, engineers, doctors, analysis, freelance writers (including separate pages for their business), and even CEOs utilize this site. It’s little wonder Microsoft paid $26.2 billion to acquire this asset.
Treating LinkedIn as the newest, best alternative (or perhaps even replacement) to the resume means having a LinkedIn profile that attracts the attention of recruiters. The best way to take the most advantage of LinkedIn is to — take the most advantage of LinkedIn. One does this by filling out a LinkedIn profile as completely as they can. For example, the Headline category below the name allows for 120 characters. Hence, it’s recommended to have one’s headline be as close to 120 characters as possible. Below that, the Summary section allows for 2000 characters, and like with the Headline section it’s beneficial to come as close as possible to the maximum number of characters in that section. Filling out any and every section one can helps a profile to become more prominent. One should only be limited by integrity in this regard. Most people reading this are not going to have a patent, but if one has a patent, it most certainly should be included in the Accomplishments section. In fact, all Accomplishments from high school and college through the current point in one’s career make for great additions to the Accomplishments section. Please include accomplishments as well as descriptions of these accomplishments to the maximum point LinkedIn will allow.
One accomplishment that one also needs is LinkedIn connections. Once a profile reaches its 501st connections, LinkedIn will list the number of connections at “500+”. While there are no limits to the number of connections one can have, a profile will be scored higher for reaching this “500+” designation. While one may not want to connect with certain people for personal or professional reasons, connecting with everyone else, friends, connections, connections of connections. If one has 500 connections, and all their connections have 500 connections, that adds up to 250,000 1st or 2nd degree connections (which are connections of connections). If one assumes all 2nd degree connections have 500 connections, the number of 3rd degree connections (connections of 2nd degree connections) amounts to 125,000,000 people in the 3rd degree or closer. With nearly half of all users having over 500 connections, most users have millions of people in their network, and even a modest network of connections can be very helpful.
LinkedIn has emerged as the most powerful tool in business social networking and one of the most powerful tools overall. With its dominance in the market place and the large number of users, this is a network that few in the business world can afford to ignore. Due to the network and the ability to describe all of one’s best career attributes, people in the business world have an efficient, reliable tool with which to promote themselves. By taking full advantage of LinkedIn features and connecting with as many people as possible, users will find the time spent on LinkedIn to lead to connections with the people one needs and a more focused, fulfilled career.
Be sure to check out the Prose 4 SEO blog for future articles on the power of LinkedIn.