LinkedIn is a social networking site very similar to sites like Facebook, Bebo and MySpace. The difference is that it is supposed to be a site for professionals, used for linking people together in the work context. It works on a '6 degrees of separation' principle ie someone will know someone who will know someone who can help you, or give you a job.
Making the most of LinkedIn
The idea of LinkedIn is that you're more likely to get a job through the power of the connections you have. According to Guy Kawasaki in his post How to change the world: 10 ways to use LinkedIn, if you have more than 20 connections, you are 34 times more likely to get a job or make a valuable business deal than if you have less than five connections. Guy goes on to give ten tips for using LinkedIn which include:
- making your LinkedIn profile public which will improve your Google ratings, and make you more 'visible' on the Internet;
- make your profile as comprehensively full of information as possible, which then improves chances of making connections;
- where ever possible, publicize the link to your profile.
There are the skeptics such as Mark Levison who has never found any value in LinkedIn. But I would think it's like anything - you get what you put into it. I haven't spent much time on my account and consequently no one ever contacts me via LinkedIn. All my time investment goes into this blog, Twitter and my ePortfolio. How successful these tools will be in my future job hunting efforts remain to be seen.
LinkedIn and health professionals
Like Alan Stevens, I wonder if LinkedIn is overly hyped, and in actuality it is another Facebook, cleverly marketed to suck in us job hunters. And I wonder how much LinkedIn is used by health professionals and the employers of health professionals? Do employers of health professionals check them out on the Internet? Have we got to that stage yet in health, or is that yet another urban myth?
LinkedIn versus Facebook
I have certainly noticed a marked increase in people connecting with me in Facebook, much to my disgust because I really don't want anything to do with it. So I am wondering if I should put my limited time into building more of a Facebook presence as opposed to spending a lot of time on LinkedIn.
But in the meantime, to hedge my bets, I have completed a little more of my LinkedIn profile and have invited a few people to connect with me.
Do you use LinkedIn? Have you ever managed to get a job because of LinkedIn contacts? Have you every managed to get a job though any social networking tool such as a blog or Facebook. If you are an employer, do you check out future employees in places like Facebook or LinkedIn? Do we in health use social networking for seeking and providing employment? I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
Image: 'LinkedIn smurfs' 99zeros