It’s been described as the MySpace for adults, but it’s nowhere near that visually repulsive or invasive…yet.
LinkedIn is a networking site for, well, anyone. You can search for college roommates, previous co-workers, or other connections. You can use it to find a new job or fill a key position. Chances are a lot of people you already know are LinkedIn. As I was playing around on it tonight–did I mention it can be a complete time suck?–I found a few vendors, a few clients, and a few associates listed.
The first step to getting LinkedIn is to set up a free profile. Once that’s done you might start searching for people you went to college with, or people who worked at a previous employer, or a local search of Portland, ME.
You’ll see a long list of people. If you’ve already made a connection on LinkedIn you’ll see a number next to their name, telling you how many degrees of separation there are between you and him/her. You can ask for an introduction from your connector, but you have a limited number so use them wisely.
If you do see a friend or colleague you have the option of sending them an invite. They can then accept, decline or decide later.
Once they’ve accepted you can examine who’s in their network, and maybe you’ll find more people you know, or people you’d like to know. Someone in my network is highly connected, and it’s interesting to see that I’m one degree away from Matt Cutts (famous Google Engineer). OK, maybe that’s not exciting to you, but to me….
Anyway, it can be quite addicting. You can find if other friends and colleagues are already LinkedIn by uploading your email database to the system. I’ve shied away from that so far, but I might try with a limited number.
Tonight after finding some local friends and colleagues and inviting them to link to me directly I see that I’m only one degree away from over 900 people. It makes me want to go out and get linked some more!
Another addictive piece of the puzzle is the completion of your profile. Right now it’s only 27% full, but when all my invitations are sent out it will be 51% full! However, I don’t think it will ever hit 100% because part of the profile is previous jobs. I think you’re supposed to put in two.
My job before this was as a Medicare part B salesman. The company went out of business (after I left) and I don’t remember too many people outside of my boss (who was great, but apparently doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile.) Before that I was dancing on tables at Stash & Stella’s…hmmm…I think I may have shared too much.
Neither of these would be things I’d add to my profile. In short, my long-term employment at flyte (coming up on 10 years!) is holding me back. Life goes on….
In any case, if you’re looking to make more connections and find people to help you business or career grow, be they employees, employers, vendors or associates, you should get yourself a LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn also allows you to create a customized profile page where you can find out more about me, Rich Brooks.