With 161 million users in over 200 countries and territories, 5 million of them in Canada and 63 million in the US, it’s obvious why you should consider LinkedIn. This post talks about who is using LinkedIn and for what, then gets right down to the nuts and bolts of using the free version of LinkedIn.
How Many People Use Linkedin, and Where Are They?
I went directly to the nice folks at LinkedIn for usage info. Unless otherwise stated data is as of March 31, 2012. http://press.linkedin.com/about
- LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the internet with 161 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
- People are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of approximately 2 new members per second.
- Sixty-one percent of LinkedIn members are located outside of the United States.
- There were more than 5 million LinkedIn users in Canada as of January 19, 2012.
- There are just under 63 million LinkedIn users in the US.
- LinkedIn is currently available in seventeen languages.
FACTOID: In the last week of March 2012, 22 per cent of unique visiting LinkedIn members came from mobile devices.
What is LinkedIn Used For?
- The most common uses of LinkedIn are job searching, hiring, industry networking, networking with co-workers, keeping in touch, and business promotion, with usage differing at different career stages.
- Recruiters use LinkedIn to find and screen candidates.
- LinkedIn members did nearly 4.2 billion professionally-oriented searches on the platform in 2011 and are on track to surpass 5.3 billion in 2012.
- LinkedIn members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than one million LinkedIn Groups.
- More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn company pages. LinkedIn members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than one million LinkedIn Groups.
USAGE OF LinkedIn BASED ON CAREER STAGE
|Keeping in touch||
How do I Get Started on LinkedIn?
Superficially, your LinkedIn presence consists of your profile and your LinkedIn connections. You search your connections to find jobs, people to hire, consultants to retain, experts to consult, and references. Other users search their connections for the same things.
Getting Ready for LinkedIn
- Go get a professional headshot (by definition, that’s a close-up) and don’t forget to smile. Dress as you would for a job interview or meeting with a potential client. Don’t get a glamour shot unless your industry is, well, glamorous.
- Dig out your résumé or cv. Cross off jobs that are irrelevant to your career path. You won’t be needing those on LinkedIn. Make sure it is up to date.
- Identify potential references—lots of them. Figure out what you’d like each one to say.
- Come up with a list of keywords that describe your expertise and skills.
Once you set up your LinkedIn account, you will need to create your profile.
Your public profile includes the following:
Your Name The name you are known by professional. You have the option of adding your maiden name.
Display Choose to display YOUR FULL NAME.
Headline Describes what you are. Be sure to include your most important keywords. Mine says “PR and Marketing Consultant.”
Location and Industry
Open Link Joining the OpenLink network allows anyone on LinkedIn to send you a message or job opportunity for free, without an introduction or InMail (paid service).
Update This is where you post your news – stuff like a new blog post or publication—you get the idea.
Current Your current position
Past List of your previous positions
Education Just what and where and when—no other details
Recommendations These have to be created for you by other LinkedIn users. More on this in a later post.
Connections The number of LinkedIn users who have agreed to be part of your LinkedIn network. Later on in this post, I discuss how to get your first connections.
Links to your websites This is where you list your professional websites and blogs. Right clicking on “other” opens up a new field where you can personalize the name of your website. This could be your company name, website name, call to action, or a description of your website. Mine says “Social Media for New Users.” It could say “Click here to learn social media basics.”
Link to your twitter account
Public Profile. This is your LinkedIn account address. Take a minute to personalize it. Mine is http://ca.linkedin.com/in/judymsnowprandmarketing
The following information is only visible to members of your LinkedIn network.
When you create your profile, you can rearrange the order of the following parts to present yourself in the best light possible.
Sections Fill out the sections that apply to you.
- Test Scores
Applications Choose any applications you feel might prove helpful.
- Blog Link
- Box.net Files
- Creative Portfolio Display
- Google Presentation
- Lawyer Ratings
- Legal Updates
- My Travel
- Projects and Teamspaces
- Reading List by Amazon
- Real Estate Pro
- SAP Community Bio
- SlideShare Presentations
Summary You have 1000 characters in which to tell—and sell—your story.
Experience Current and previous employment relevant to your career path. Here you can add details about what you did in each position.
Skills & Expertise Keywords, keywords, keywords!
Education Once again, you can add details here.
Honours and Awards
Organizations Your professional and business affiliations
Volunteer Experience and Causes
- Groups and Associations—These are LinkedIn groups, which I will discuss in a later post.
- Phone Number
- Marital Status
In this section you flag the kinds of contacts you are willing to entertain on LinkedIn.
- Career opportunities
- Consulting offers
- Job inquiries
- Expertise requests
- Reference requests
- Getting back in touch
Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. Errors in spelling and grammar are a big turnoff for potential employers and clients.
How to Find Your First LinkedIn Connections
Go through your address books, and identify potential contacts. Look over your résumé or cv to remind yourself of contacts with previous employers and schools. Make a list of your previous clients. Go through membership directories for the organizations to which you belong to identify people you know. Now search for each individual you have identified on LinkedIn. Whenever you find someone, invite them to join your network. Personalize each invitation to remind them of how you know each other.
When someone accepts your invitation, you can see their full profile, including their list of connections. Each time someone accepts your invitation, comb their connections for people you know. Then invite those people.
Invite people who are relevant to your career path, including potential references. You can only issue 3000 invitations.
TIP: Don’t connect your Twitter account to your LinkedIn account as most of your LinkedIn connections will not want to receive all your tweets. (If they do, they’ll follow you on Twitter!)
LinkedIn Groups, Recommendations, LinkedIn Experts to Follow on Twitter, and the importance of consistancy.
Please leave a comment if you have any questions about starting out on LinkedIn, or any suggestions for improving the early LinkedIn experience.