LinkedIn. Career Development 101. Using to. to build, maintain, & grow your personal career. Disclaimer.
Career Development 101
to build, maintain, & grow your personal career
I am an active user of LinkedIn. As a former HRIS manager I appreciate the high tech backbone of the site that provides a very low tech, user friendly, fully customizable, instantly updated, user defined presence.
by Michael Arrington on July 21, 2008
Adults and Social Network Websites
1/14/2009 | Memo | Amanda Lenhart
The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years -- from 8% in 2005 to 35% now, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project's December 2008 tracking survey.
Pew Research Center Publications
The Geocities vs. MySpace comparison not only demonstrates the commonalities between the internet of 1996 and 2006, but it also provides a point of departure for understanding concepts of online presence in the Web 2.0 era. While the Geocities model relied on the metaphors of a place (cities, neighborhoods, homepages), MySpace anchors presence through metaphors of a person (profiles, blogs, links to videos, etc.). Geocities encouraged us to create our own cities and neighborhoods as points of entry to our personal worlds; MySpace cuts to the chase and enables direct access to the person, as well as access to his or her social world. And whether we call the current world 2.0 or 10.0, there's no question that the internet of today will look positively beta to future generations.
Pew Research Center Publications
Let’s look at the four major use cases for LinkedIn and use that to assess how well their direction fits the market needs:
LinkedIn's Young & Rich Demographic - Does Today's Announcement Do Enough For Them?
Written by Bernard Lunn / December 10, 2007 11:03 AM
Use Case # 1. Be found. If you want a better job or you want clients for your consulting business, updating your LinkedIn profile is one of the better uses of your time online. Yes your online presence is scattered across multiple sites, but for the business user LinkedIn is probably the number one site you have to pay attention to. You can also link from there to your site and Blog if you have one, so this works for early adopters as well as late adopters whose only presence is LinkedIn. There is one subtle benefit compared to job boards, which also plays to the next use case, which is that you don’t have to declare that you are looking for a job. You just say “Hi, this is me”. This strengthens your negotiating position with a new employer and does not upset your current employer.
Use Case # 2. Recruit. LinkedIn is used by recruiting firms but also by internal hiring managers. The one big benefit of LinkedIn vs job boards is that you can use LinkedIn to search for the candidate that is not actively looking. This is critical in a tight job market (which we have today). This kind of database is a key reason we have used external recruiters in the past. I asked if LinkedIn was a threat to recruiters and got the usual answer about “the ones who use LinkedIn to add value are doing great” - which means it is a threat to their current way of working. I imagine LinkedIn is a significant threat to traditional job boards.
Use Case # 3. Selling through contacts to avoid cold calls.My experience, amplified by speaking to a few other people who have used LinkedIn for this purpose, is that it is highly valuable up to Level 2 but no further. It is very useful to me to search for a particular company that I want to sell to, refine that by job title, and then see which of my contacts knows somebody there. Or I can search for a specific person as in “who do I know who knows Joe Bloggs”? This is the use case that got me interested in LinkedIn and I wrote more about the experience here. The point is it is useful only up to that level of separation. If I see Level 3, it is usually not worth the bother. That is when I am asking “who do I know who knows somebody who knows Joe Bloggs.” So this use case is limited to people with already strong networks that work across multiple domains.
Use Case # 4. Finding an expert “just in time”. This is a potentially big use case that LinkedIn is exploring, but it does not seem big today. There are many specialists doing this. For example, Gerson Lehman Group does this primarily for investors (Hedge Funds, Private Equity, Venture Capital) looking to find an expert in a market or technology; Gerson Lehman acts as a form of broker and the expert gets paid per hour. There are also examples in specific niches. This use case seems small today but it has big potential and it also impacts the other use cases as follows:
a) if I am looking for a job but don’t want to advertise that fact, I will be motivated to answer questions that show off my expertise and get me noticed.
b) ditto if I am a consultant or working in a consulting business
c) ditto if I am selling something where I want to engage in a conversation first that shows I know what I am talking about
it’s something you do while you’re working, to work smarter, get known by people who can help your career, and minimize downtime if you have the misfortune of stepping into “in transition” land. It has become the new paradigm.
book: Keith Ferrazzi – Never Eat Alone
(I’m not validating these numbers or assumptions, just sharing them.)
The mission of the Suncoast Human Resource Management Association (SHRMA) is to provide a forum for professional development opportunities, to support human resource professionals, and reinforce and endorse the values of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) at the local level.
Remember that once found, new contacts need to be nurtured.
Feel free to download this presentation from the “white paper” section of my website:
Get Connected, Stay Connected