LinkedIn is a professionally focused social networking service that connects business professionals with their colleagues, clients, suppliers, and others. It is a great place for people of similar or different backgrounds to connect, problem solve, and find jobs. It also serves as a fantastic forum for making new connections with some common interest, locally or globally.
LinkedIn allows members to create, manage, and share their professional identity online, engage with and build their professional network, access shared knowledge and insights, and find business opportunities. Its platform also provides members with applications and tools to search, connect, and communicate with business contacts, learn about career opportunities, join industry groups, research organizations, and share information.
You can use it for free, which works well for most people, or buy an enhanced membership, which is better if you are actively searching for a job or if you are a recruiter.
LinkedIn is an excellent source for information on work-related issues and professional development. It is even a convenient way to keep in touch with people that work in your current company or that you know through professional associations or common interest groups. It also provides a convenient way to find websites and blogs that interest you.
LinkedIn had its initial public stock offering in May 2011 at $45 per share and its price doubled to $92 on the offering date. It sold for $186 per share (April 2013) and $160 per share in July 2014.. LI’s market cap value of $19.3 Billion (July 2014) certainly is impressive. LI has over 250+ million members and is still growing. The financial results and investor gains are impressive. It is a lot better than my stock index funds have done since May 2011.
LinkedIn Is a valuable tool for engineering and scientific fields, and technical training professionals to meet others in the field, to learn from LinkedIn groups and to optimize a search for job opportunities(even before you are looking for a future job). It is a reference that I use several times per week.
If you find this write-up useful and want to build a network of scientific, engineering, or training contacts on LinkedIn, send an invitation to both Lisa, Val and me.
Mention the ATI LI Paper so we know the source of the request. We will accept your invitation. You will jump start your network and gain 2000+ LI second level connections.
More advantages of LinkedIn (LI) for the technical professionals are listed below.
Great Networking Capability:
LinkedIn is a business-networking powerhouse. The number of people using it is staggering. LI has over 135 million members in over 200 countries. A new member joins LI approximately every second.
Executives from most Fortune 500 companies are LI members.
LI works by allowing you to connect with people. LI can search through your Outlook and Gmail email addresses and check whether your existing contacts are on LI and easily invite them all to connect with you.
LI can search through your profile details, and match possible contacts that went to University with you, or worked at the same company as you. Their choices are good matches.
Most importantly, LI allows you to see who your contacts are connected to, and to ask them to provide a warm introduction to interesting people on their connection lists. This increases your networking capability exponentially. The more direct connections you have, the larger is your network.
You Can Seek Information Or Advice On Work-Related Issues:
The Questions section on LI enables you to pose questions or seek information that will help you in your business.
You can choose to restrict your questions to selected connections, or you can open them up to the wider LI network.
LI has many discussion Groups on a wide variety of subjects that you can join. These Groups are a great way of connecting with other professionals and true experts in your area of work or local geographic area, and discussing issues and trends.
There are several groups dedicated specifically to Aerospace, Defense, Radar, Sonar, Unmanned Vehicles and Systems Engineering
There are groups from professional societies including IEEE, AIAA, ASA, INCOSE , and often subgroups from the local chapters
There are groups dedicated to Learning & Educational Professionals, Society for Training & Development, Human Resources Career Networking,
You can carry out surveys and polls on LI.
Linkedin Is Wonderful For A Job Search:
LI is a wonderful source for a job search or even being approached for a new job where you have a great fit.
Recruiters heavily use LI to find and make offers to employees who are not actively looking, but who would welcome the right growth opportunity. Over 70% of all vacancies are hidden and are never advertised.
Be careful that your resume and LI profile are consistent and support your job aspirations in a professional way.
It Allows A Respectful And Intelligent Approach:
You can use the LI to research your target company or client, so that you have all the information necessary to craft a respectful and intelligent introductory email.
Your prospect’s LI profile may reveal that you have interests in common, helping to break the ice when you do make your first call or have that first meeting. Perhaps you went to the same University, or grew up in the same area? Perhaps you’re both interested in fishing, sky-diving or collecting vintage wine? LI is much more effective than a mailing list or generic Internet research.
You Can Create A Compelling Profile That You Control:
A compelling profile page on LI helps you to stand out from the competition. It is your face to the online world, and the key to winning work and contacts online.
You can control and optimize your profile so that when people search for a job candidate or an expert in your field, your name appears near the top of the list.
You can craft your profile in such a way that when people read it, they are encouraged to get in touch.
You Can Showcase Your Expertise:
First impressions count - you can use the introductory message you send to your prospective connections to position yourself as an expert.
You can use your profile to highlight the depth of your knowledge and experience.
You can display recommendations from colleagues or clients praising your expertise.
You can contribute to the Answers section of LI, where you can demonstrate your expertise by providing answers to questions from other members.
You Can Offer Thought Leadership in Groups:
LI's many discussion Groups are perfect for demonstrating knowledge and offering insights into the market. There are some in-depth discussions, with tens of contributors to topics, in the group’s area of specialty.
You can initiate discussions, giving your thoughts on areas of interest to you. Members often forward thoughtful comments onto their connections, 'virally' raising the profile of the contributor.
If there is no Group for your specialist subject, you can start one and invite others to join.
You Can Promote Your Personal Or Company Brand:
Using any aspect of LI, including the personal profile, discussion Groups and LI Answers, helps to raise your profile and promote your brand.
You can create a detailed LI profile for your company, including a description of what your company does, how many employees it has, and where you are located.
Your profile can publicize your web and blog pages.
This profile can be helpful in establishing an employer or personal online brand.
You can promote this profile in a similar way to your personal profile by including the URL in your email signature, on your business cards, or on your blog.
You Can Use Linkedin To Run Alumni Programs:
Alumni programs allow current and former employees to keep in touch with each other, and are a natural fit with a networking website like LI.
Such programs can create a sense of community, improve your employer brand and encourage old employees to keep you in mind when business opportunities come along.
You Can Increase Your Internet Presence:
Creating a profile on LI will increase your presence on Google, as LI pages generally have a high Google ranking.
To get the full benefit from this, select the 'Full View' option on your public profile, and also customize its URL to include your name, or your company name for a company profile.
You can also use your contributions to Group discussions, or in LI Answers, to drive traffic to your website.
It Is Target-Rich:
LI can be used to identify potential clients, suppliers, employees, employers, or even the best people to invite to a forthcoming event.
You can search for and connect with people in a specific position within a company in the industry that you are interested in - or even in a particular geographic area.
It is much easier than using mailing lists, which very quickly become out of date and must be cleaned-up at great expense and time before using them.
It Is Cost Effective:
Creating an account on LI is free, unless you choose to upgrade to a premium account.
It is also very straightforward to create an account and develop your profile.
Caution – Be careful whom you invite to connect on LI. If 5 people reply "I don’t know you (IDK)" LI will require you to already know the email address of all people that you want to contact. There are “LinkedIn Open Networkers” (LIONs) who are happy to connect with a wide range of people and who accept most requests to connect. Some LIONs have 2,000 – 30,000 connections. Connecting with a few LIONs in your industry (including Mark and me) helps you add quality and depth to your network rapidly.
Useful LinkedIn Hints
Take the time to 100 % completely fill out your LI profile and add a good picture.
Some good advice is to first connect with people you know well, and then also add a few LIONs so that you can extend your network reach.
Join industry Groups on LI as well, as your college alumni group and other groups that are of interest to you. Join five or six that match your interests or profession.
Search for other web pages that discuss “LinkedIn Profile Optimization” for more advice.
Always personalize your request to connect so that the potential connection understands why you are a good connection for them.
Backup and download your network as a back-up periodically.
Here are a few links that I thought were useful to get started. I hope to expand this list as I am connect to a number of LinkedIn experts. Let me know if you have any questions. I find LinkedIn useful for many professional networking tasks and think that you will also find an extended career network useful in many ways.