In this age of blooming Web 2.0 applications and social networks it is easy to miss Yet Another Start-Up &trade (aka YASU, let my Greek-speaking friends forgive my harmless pan). Some people managed to walk by Flickr and not notice it. Others, are still using browser bookmarks, instead of Delicious (or Furl, or …). It happens.
For me, such a miss was with LinkedIn (Thanks to Alexey Yudichev for fixing this) . LinkedIn is a social network of professionals. The professions don’t matter – anything from accounting to IT works just fine. When you join LinkedIn, you have a few things to do straight away.
First of all, you should built your own profile. That’s pretty much like writing a resume, but much easier. You just click through to add your education, experience, awards and certifications, interests, etc. There is no need to do everything at once. You can always edit and update it later.
Secondly, you should add some contacts. Contacts are other people that you know. They might already be using LinkedIn (you can easily find out), or they might not, in which case, you’ll need to invite them (via a handy form, that can do batches at once).
Thirdly, you should promote yourself and your contacts. LinkedIn has this extremely easy way of adding and requesting recommendations.
Doing all those things, you build a network. You are at the center of your network. Then you have people that you know directly. Then you have people that people who you know directly know directly. People get connected. And that is all possible without using a Nokia phone, if you know what I mean.
Here is a little image that shows how fast and how large can your network grow.
It says, that I’ve only added five contacts. Those the people that I know directly. (Of course, I know more people directly, but these five happen to be either using LinkedIn or joined upon my invitation.) Those five people have added some people that they know – happenned to be 27 people. And those other people have added people that they know. Overall, the number of people that are networked to me in this way is more than 2,300.
Now, getting a closer look at those other people, it is easy to notice that I have suddenly became linked to people in different industries, of different professions, in different parts of the world…
Well, LinkedIn, in this manner, brings together people who know how to do their job (professionals), and those, who are looking for people who know how to do their job (employers).
By the way, if you an employer, or looking for professionals for some other reason, there are a whole bunch of tools available for you, ranging from a simple search, through advanced search by titles, locations, etc, to job listings.
This post is getting too long, so let me just end here. Or almost here. I’ll just provide you with the link to my LinkedIn profile, and an urge to go to LinkedIn website and really check it out. Register, create yourself a simple profile, and add some people to your contacts. You’ll see how useful and virally interesting that stuff (or should I say staff?) is. Really.