The Potentials of LinkedIn, I Got A Job Through LinkedIn
This weekend had been a very productive one. Last night, a friend of mine on Facebook posted a link to an interview with Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, which took place at the Web 2.0 Summit in 2010. Fascinating conversation about where LinkedIn is in respect to everything in social media today. I've been a member of LinkedIn since October 22, 2009, which to me is pretty late after discovering that LinkedIn was founded back in May of 2003. I really didn't think much of LinkedIn when I first signed up. I was still in university during that time, and the reason why I signed up was because some of my friends had an account (at this point I didn't know how 'professional' LinkedIn really was). Like most keeners in the social world, I had accounts with a number of social networking sites, everything other than LinkedIn at the time. So I signed up for an account and filled out my profile as much as I could. But even then my profile page looked very empty. I created a few discussion groups, not knowing what I was doing, and failed at it miserably. So then I decided not to spend too much time on LinkedIn, mainly because it wasn't working for me (I just didn't put enough time into exploring all the features LinkedIn had).
When I founded my first company, KayLo Marketing, I realized the only way to get myself heard of is to put myself where other entrepreneurs and professionals were. I got back on LinkedIn, and since then, I have signed into LinkedIn at least twice a week. You might think, twice a week, that sounds kind of low, if you compare it to the number of times you might open Facebook in a day. But I noticed that the only times I signed into LinkedIn were when I needed to check my inbox for messages and to accept friend invitations. Now, I'm on LinkedIn at least once a day. Simply because I've discovered additional features of LinkedIn that I didn't know about before. I began looking for other people in my related field to connect with, I joined professional groups and associations whom I wanted to stay updated to, and I participate in ongoing discussions with other professionals in my related field. Many of those discussions begin with a question (Q&A). And as most of you have probably noticed, Quora, a Q&A site, has had a lot of attention in the past few months. I wonder how well LinkedIn will hold off when the community of professionals on Quora is growing.
But I also think some people underestimate how powerful the communities on LinkedIn really is. LinkedIn today has over 85 million members, growing at a rate of 1 member per second (quoted by Jeff in the interview). In the past two months, I was approached by three employers on LinkedIn, all offering me a position in their company. I was completely shocked, but happy at the same time. All my time spent on LinkedIn building up my portfolio, updating my profile when I wasn't actively looking for a job, had me found by other employers based on (what I believe) talent, skills, past experiences, personality and locality. All these companies were local, in Ottawa. I ended up accepting an offer with a web analytics company called PublicInsite. I will be starting in early February. Yay!
If you don't have a LinkedIn account yet, or are thinking of signing up for one, follow this guide to help you optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page: 6 Tips For Giving Your LinkedIn Profile A Facelift. No promises on getting you a job, but it will help increase your chances of getting found when you put forward more information about yourself.
I think the web can be very intimidating to a lot of people. With so many tools on the web these days, and more coming out in the near future, I think we must remind ourselves that what we publish on the web is public for anyone to see. Whether it is uploading an image to Facebook or publishing a blog post and sharing it with the network you've built up on LinkedIn, it's important to distinguish who that information is suitable for and share it with that group of people, not everyone. As Jeff says in the interview, it's important to keep our personal and professional lives separate, especially on the web. I totally agree with him on that point. But I also ponder as so many applications on the web have integrated Facebook Connect, will we see a Facebook and LinkedIn working alongside one another in the near future? If so, what do you think they will collaborate on? I can't imagine anything right now, but if you can I'd like to hear your thoughts.
To end this post, here's a funny skit on making friends in social media:
For those who have not seen the interview with Jeff Weiner, which took place at the Web 2.0 Summit, here it is. I recommend watching because I can say that I've learned more in half an hour listening to what Jeff said in this interview, than trying this show, than trying to fiddle around with LinkedIn and all its capabilities on my own. There is just so much to learn! And don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn! Enjoy! 🙂
January 24, 2011 / Jackson Lo / 4