Monday, October 17, 2011

Linked > Monster

I'm actually working on a social media class for our employees on LinkedIn. We've already done classes on Chatter, and Twitter so LinkedIn is next.

Facebook is on the list as well but frankly I haven't figured out what to talk about with Facebook yet, and am still of the mindset that Facebook is more personal than professional. I think that's me being old fashioned, but hey, if someone else wants to do the Facebook class, they are more than welcome to. The last think I really need is the whole company to see my prom picture from 1985. For those that have seen it I'm sticking to my story that it was a cool look back then.

OK but back to LinkedIn. When I mentioned I was thinking about doing the class, someone said "Why? Do you want people to find other jobs?". Which of course made me realize that the impression about LinkedIn is that's where you post when you are looking for a new job.

Now LinkedIn is a great place to network, and if you are looking for a new job networking is a great way to help with that. Networking though is only a  piece of the puzzle when job hunting and since I'm not writing this post to help people find jobs I'll leave it alone, maybe another post later.

The reality though is LinkedIn is way more than a job board. It has a whole section on company, including what products they sell, recommendations from your connections, research on employees - like which schools people went to, what type of degrees they received, and how much experience they have as shown below.

Pretty cool right. Does it matter that 52% of our employees have 15+ years experience? Yeah, it does. There is a big difference between getting someone with 15 years experience helping you troubleshoot a network issue when you first call in for assistance, and getting someone with 6 months experience who will gladly take your contract info and have someone call you back.

You can also see News headlines that you care about. Search for new connections (great if you are in sales),  I can give recommendations to people I know (which I really need to do more of) and keep in touch as people move around.

My favorite section though is groups. There are groups on practically everything. Some groups are very good, some not so good. I have found them to be incredibly useful though when looking for new technology or even just new ways of working, like Agile programming or Scrum project management. Generally if you are struggling with an issue, there is probably a group that can help solve it. If not solve it, they can at least sympathize with you.

There are a host of other interesting applications, like or twitter integration. You can link to amazon so people can see what you are reading, or and I just found this, you can link blogs right into your LinkedIn profile and see what your connections are blogging about. Not sure how cool this will be, but it sounds cool and based on the 90 second analysis I just did, it is pretty cool.

The summary though is this LinkedIn is way more than a tool to find your next job. Who knows,it may even help you keep the one you already have.

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