Link·in /ˌlɪŋkt.ˈɪn/) is a business-related social networking site. It is mainly used for professional networking but is also and up and coming marketing tool considering that each business can also craft a business page (no frills and in LinkedIn’s standard template) and provide status updates.
The company was founded by Reid Hoffman and founding team members from PayPal and Socialnet.com. LinkedIn’s CEO is Jeff Weiner, previously a Yahoo! Inc. executive. Founder Reid Hoffman, previously CEO of LinkedIn, is now Chairman of the Board. LinkedIn is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in Omaha, Chicago, New York, London and Dublin. LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011 and traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, under the NYSE symbol “LNKD”.
Who uses LinkedIn?
Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003. ”As of 4 August 2011, LinkedIn reports more than 120 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 120 million members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.” ~ LinkedIn
How does it work?
Individuals use LinkedIn to network for employment and to learn about move up in their industries. The network pulls in target news stories and offers network updates from fellow individuals with whom one is linked. It is the digital alternative to association meetings, job fairs and networking events. Businesses use it to recruit and potential employees use it to 1) find openings and 2) connect with people who can refer or recommend them. Employed individuals use it to promote themselves by asking supervisors and co-workers to write recommendations on their LinkedIn profile.
A LinkedIn profile is the power tool. Start by registering and move step-by-step to fill in the profile fields to build an online resume complete with recommendations. LinkedIn will recommend people to connect with, but mostly a user builds their network organically as they progress through their career. For example, people often connect with their co-workers from each job they hold. When they attend conferences, they will connect with people they’ve met.