First post in a while; blame it on the final year work load!
It’s going to be a quick one – get LinkedIn!
What is it?
For those of you who don’t know what LinkedIn is, it’s basically the professional/business version of Facebook. It focuses more on your employability and career history rather than pics of your latest night out or the more personal stuff you’d normally find on Facebook.
Why is it useful?
Whilst doing my placement year, my uni told me it was the best way to keep in contact with colleagues and see what they’re up to after you leave. Not only does it allow you to keep in contact and maintain those all important professional relationships, it does it easily. Before you’d have business cards swapping hands, and god knows what else… but now it’s as simple as typing in someone’s name and clicking add.
If you’re reading this and thinking you don’t need it – you’re probably right. But then that old chestnut of a saying “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know” has no value to you. Personally, it’s everything. I’ve seen dumb people get to high places because of their contacts; quite simply, it is never about how hard you work – it’s about who you know. Work is all about relationships and LinkedIn brings this to the 21st century.
Also, recruitment agencies use it to scour for potential candidates. I know of a few people who use it as their primary tool to get new jobs. I also happen to know that professionals such as accountants and lawyers use it avidly to win new business.
Whose it for?
Quite simply – everyone. Whether you’re a professional or a student, you need to get LinkedIn. Start adding all those people you meet at networking events and also, add your friends and colleagues. When you all go your separate ways, at least you can keep up with each others’ careers.
It really is a Facebook for all those professional relationships.
What’s it cost?
Although there are premium memberships that bring about a host of additional features, you probably won’t need them. The standard free version is ample enough to grow your network and keep up-to-date with everyone’s careers. If you know what good networking is, you know that’s quite important, so to get it for free is a bargain.
Here’s my public link: http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/wali-khan/22/877/725