Founded on December 28, 2002, and launched on May 5, 2003, LinkedIn is used for professional networking. “LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet” (LinkedIn, 2020). A person can use LinkedIn to find a job or internship, create a professional relationship, and learn the needed skills to succeed in a career. On LinkedIn, users can share their professional backgrounds such as past work experience, education, skills, and even recommendations on their online profile. A user can also write articles and post pictures and videos. Like other social networking sites, people look at a profile to see who the user is. Users can share their resume, accomplishments, articles they are interested in or wrote themselves, and more.
“LinkedIn is a platform for anyone looking to navigate their professional life” (LinkedIn, 2020). Anyone is allowed to create a LinkedIn account, from small-town business owners to students. “LinkedIn members can harness the power of LinkedIn to tap into a network of professionals, companies, and groups in their industry and beyond” (LinkedIn, 2020).
According to LinkedIn, there are over 704 million users worldwide, with 189 million being from North America. More than 46 million students and recent graduates on LinkedIn (Brett, 2018.) 90 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers, and 63 million are in decision-making positions (LinkedIn, 2020.)
LinkedIn has five main pages: Home, My Network, Jobs, Messaging, and Me.
- Like other social sites, the Home Page is where users can see their network’s posts and choose to like, share, or comment on them.
- My Network is where users can make connections. People can add each other as connections, but both parties must approve the request before making that connection.
- Jobs is where users can search and apply for jobs. They can search for jobs based on location or other keywords. A user can choose to get notifications when new jobs are posted.
- On Messaging, users can chat with people in their network or outside of their network if they allow it.
- Me is the user’s profile. It closely resembles his or her resume. Users can summarize themselves and show their past and current work history, accomplishments, volunteering history, education, where they live, and more. Users can decide what they choose to share, but they are encouraged to keep it professional.
To create a LinkedIn account, all one needs to do is create an online profile that summarizes their professional experience. The more detailed the page, the more a potential employer or recruiter can understand the user. “Your profile represents your professional life and milestones, where people can find you and stay updated on your professional activity” (LinkedIn, 2020). Once the profile is created, users can build their network. They can search for people, add them to their network, and see what they share on their page. They can also search and follow major companies, athletes, and celebrities such as Microsoft and even LeBron James. Users can easily interact in conversations throughout LinkedIn.
Users can also find a job on LinkedIn. They can search for companies and begin interacting with them and seeing if they have any job openings. On the “Jobs” page, users can search for jobs based on location or keywords. If a user chooses to apply, it can be as simple as clicking a button and attaching his or her resume. “Many people use the site to grow their contacts and find career opportunities, and the Jobs section of the site is a powerful tool for finding and applying for jobs. There are settings on LinkedIn that lets a user alert recruiters that they are actively job searching as well” (Johnson, 2019).
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