LinkedIn Review #1: Overview


10:06 PM |

LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) is such a powerful tool that I will review different features on multiple blog postings. Ever since MySpace became a phenomenon, social networking sites have sprung up overnight. Many of them are geared toward small segments of the population or different industries. LinkedIn is at the forefront of the business networking revolution. Most of the people with LinkedIn accounts hold professional level jobs, so if you're looking to network with a pizza delivery driver, you might want to try another site (althought I did have a professional dominatrix request to be in my network "for a spanking good time"). There are also a tremendous number of entrepreneurs, business owners and CEOs that are actively involved in exchanging ideas about best practices, economic changes, and industry specific events. Unfortunately for me, there are about as many recruiters as there are other professionals.

The concept behind LinkedIn is something like the six degrees of separation theory. You know, we're all connected to Kevin Bacon by six people or less. With LinkedIn, you only get three degrees, but it is enough to easily build a network in the millions. To clarify, let's say that you and I connect. I am now a first level connection of yours. At this point, you now have access to all of my other first level connections. These are your second level connections. You also get access to the first level connections of your second level connections. These are your third level connections. At the time of this post, I have 2889 first level connections (I'll explain how to get that many in a later entry) which gives me access to 9,436,400 people.

What good is having access to that many people? Obviously, as a recruiter, having a huge network to draw from is critical. Not only is the number of "passive candidates" critical, but the folks on LinkedIn tend to want to help each other out. Just ask one of your connections to introduce you to another. Ask your entire network a question about a challenge that you're working through. Send out a job description to your network and ask for referrals. It's brilliant!

I am an open networker, so I'm always looking for new people to connect with. If you'd like to join my network, And no, I did not link up with the dominatrix (my wife is in my network and I value my marriage).

Have a similar or different experience with LinkedIn? Please share your comments..


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