BackgroundLinkedIn is a professionally oriented social networking website founded in 2003 and meant to encourage business-oriented interactions between both individuals and organizations. At the time of this writing, LinkedIn boasts over 160 million active registered users.
LinkedIn requires a simple registration (name and email address). Once registered, users can add connections based on real-life relationships, using invitations sent within LinkedIn or without.
There are a number of different uses for the network of connections made on LinkedIn, including:
- Targeted jobs based on existing skills and experience
- The ability to follow companies and organizations and get first notification of changes within the company and open positions
- The hiring process is more transparent, since job seekers can access profiles of human resources managers and hiring contacts (usually a limited profile unless the person is already a connection)
- Resumes and work experience can be extensively personalized, making it easier for recruiters and employers to find the kind of employee they are looking for
There are also many different kinds of software applications that run in tandem to the LinkedIn platform, further personalizing the networking experience.
Users also have the ability to find online professional groups to aid their online networking. These groups can be very active, and are useful to join since jobs and networking opportunities are posted internally.
The impact of LinkedIn
There are many job search engines on the Web, and they each offer a unique experience. LinkedIn offers a very different experience from these useful services, since connections are vetted by the user for a higher quality network, therefore also making the job opportunities more targeted. It's an extremely useful resource for anyone looking to enhance their professional profile.