Monday, February 8, 2010

LinkedIn can help build your career

Life is about connections and the more connections you have the better off you are. You can't always count on nepotism anymore and not everyone has a rich relative who is going to give them the business. You need to make connections with the people that you meet throughout life: in university, from your first job, that fellowship that you were part of when you were 18, your second job, your wife's third job… And now you can establish more connections with LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is an online social networking, mainly used to connect professionals throughout the globe. The site has over 50 million users worldwide, over 25 million in the US alone. With LinkedIn, you can create a profile, upload your resume and the site has a handy feature which puts your skills on display, you can connect with any other user, and use it as a general marketing tool.

Some benefits of LinkedIn

The site can be used to find a job and employers list jobs on the sites. Say you find a listing somewhere for a company that you want to apply to. Chances are the managers of that company are on LinkedIn and you can see their network of friends and see if you have any connections to them. You can catch up with people that you have worked with in the past and who you've lost in touch with.

It's also easy to sign up. Just enter your email, register for an account, create a profile, browse the network for your friends, associates, acquaintances, clients, you can also gain friends by uploading your email contact list. Once you have connections and your network continues to grow, you have more chances to enhance your career.

The site also has common-interest groups you can join, an answer section where people can post questions and answers within your network, a job section for listings, a learning center, and an application directory which allows you to link your blogs, twitter, and special interests into your profile.

Even though LinkedIn has a very large community, it still has a professional feel, which affects all aspects of the site. The answer section offers more business-minded answers. The groups link businesses and are more towards career-enhancing than social gathering. They even have groups on SEO. After typing in "SEO" under the group search, there were 977 results. I say, go knock yourself out and see what you can do with the site.

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