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Advantages Of Using LinkedIn For Users

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Question:

Discuss at least 3 advantages of using LinkedIn for you at your current career stage. Detail at least 3 common mistakes people make developing their profile.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

LinkedIn is one of the largest social networking websites that connects more than 530 million users belonging form over 200 countries worldwide. More specifically, the company is a professional network with a vision to provide economic opportunity for the members of global workforce (Press.linkedin.com, 2018). The mission statement of the company seeks to provide a platform for the global workforce to connect with each other creating a successful web of potential employees and employers. This also includes the mission of contributing towards the developed economic graph. The initial idea of LinkedIn circulated around the mentioned idea that has considerably changed over time along with the development of the company. The developed form of LinkedIn provides opportunity to the companies create their customer base generate and distribute their product and service ideas in search of feedbacks from the potential stakeholders.

The company is the outcome of cumulated ideas of its founders in 2002, which later initiated its actions in 2003 (Ourstory.linkedin.com, 2018). The following report dictates the success of success story of LinkedIn over the short period along with the advantages it provides to its users. This also communicates the mistakes made by the users that limits of the potential advantages they can explore using LinkedIn and the recommendations could possible improve the situation.

 

Brief of LinkedIn

The company was launched in the year 2003 with the idea of connecting employers with the potential employees fit for the jobs. They later added additional features like group and partners with American express for extending their offerings to the small business owners in 2004. 2008 can be considered as their turning point as they took the business to the global level. The company transformed itself inside out in the year 2012 that enabled and unprecedented pace o product innovation and transformation of the website (Ourstory.linkedin.com, 2018). 2016 also played important role in development of LinkedIn as the software giant Microsoft completely acquired the ownership of LinkedIn. They further brought together the leading professional cloud and professional network drawing greater attraction of the international users.

The credibility of their success goes to the irresistibility of its content and the opportunity provided to the users. This professional networking site brings the employees and the employer under the same umbrella and provides the exposure to both the parties. However, what makes them different does the company provide the related opportunities. It enables the participants to engage themselves within particular groups or to recommend or receive recommendations from others (Florenthal, 2015). LinkedIn provides platforms to its users that bring together the professionals with similar interests. Involvement in the groups helps the users both sharing and gaining greater insight in the related field of interest. The platform also allows the users to connect with the popular businesses and peoples that can potentially increase the growth. The recommendation system introduced by LinkedIn helps the users to gain or provide greater exposure to the people connected (Forbes.com, 2018). The greater exposure enables the users to explore a large international professional market that helps in developing their carrier to the promotion of the brand in case of business organisations.  The connection made in LinkedIn provides international exposure to its clients and helps them create a complicated network that helps in the professional field.

 

Advantages of Using LinkedIn

Use of LinkedIn can provide a number benefits to its users, which includes:

  • Wider Connection – The search feature utilised by LinkedIn helps the users strategically connect with the people and business organisations and create opportunity for the individuals for prospect future. Business organisations on the other hand can gain advantage in connecting with the customers and seek out the beneficial employees related to the requirement (Utz, 2016). It also helps in identifying the minute details of the industry and competitors in the target market.
  • Building trust – LinkedIn also provides opportunity to the users for joining larger international groups and interact with the members on professional topics related to the industry. This enables the users to gain greater idea about the market and products being delivered to the potential customers and their needs (Florenthal, 2015; Forbes.com, 2018). One can also initiate discussion on the products offered by their own business and gain insight about various aspects related to it, which helps in bringing necessary modification on the particular products or brands.
  • Brand Promotion – LinkedIn also offers its users a platform for content marketing One can utilise this for the promotion of their brands and products. One can easily establish it as a trusted source, which will provide valuable business insight of the industry one is operating.
  • Gather Feedback – This Company also offers opportunity for the user companies to gain feedback to their concepts or newly launched products. This helps in identifying the disputes lies in the products or brand and help modifying accordingly to the customers’ demand (Cooper & Naatus, 2014). Moreover, this also contributes in the process of identification of potential customers in the market.
 

Common Mistakes by the Users

The LinkedIn users often make minute mistakes that can have greater impact on the promotion and modify the perception of others about ones’ profile. The major of the mistakes that have greater impact are mentioned below.

  • Profile Photo – This is of primary importance as it helps people perceive the primary idea about the profile being explored. Leaving the space blank will make the viewer lose interest to go through the entire profile, hence limits the traffic. Moreover, people fail to distinguish LinkedIn from other social networking sites and posts completely unrelated profile photo in their LinkedIn (in, 2018). This also drives the traffic away as it can pose negative impact on the viewer. Hence, a professional profile picture related to the field is necessary for drawing greater attention and popularising it over the international users.
  • Profile Summary – This is the part where the chronological development of the carrier or business needs to be posted. This field requires the short and exact details one attained in their professional life. Moreover, one needs to use professional keywords in this particular section to increase the interest of the viewer in the professional field (com, 2018; Zide, Elman & Shahani-Denning, 2014). Exaggerating keywords such as ‘highly ambitious’ or ‘workaholic’ will create a negative impression on the viewer. Moreover, irreverent description is also put into the profile summary by a large number of users in LinkedIn that contribute in driving the viewers away from the profile losing the popularity of it.
  • Planning Activity – The last major mistake made by the users of LinkedIn is the unplanned exploration and engagement with the professional groups in the network. This contributes in losing the popularity as they explore largely out of their area of interest. One must formulate precise plan of exploration before engaging with any groups and activities within the network (com, 2018).
 

Recommendations of Using LinkedIn

Multiple examples based on the issues identified can be made to have a professional LinkedIn account that will help in getting exposure and popularity in the international market.

  • Profile Picture – The section of the profile picture should never be kept black under any circumstances. One must immediately link a picture to their profile for helping the viewer perceive an image of the individual or the organisation. The criterion for putting a relevant profile picture in the LinkedIn profile is that the picture should be related to the carrier path and field of interest of the individual or the business organisation. In case of individual profile, the profile picture should be formal unlike to other kinds of social media. This helps the employers or the viewer to grow decent idea about the individual or the organisation.
  • Profile Summary – The profile summary should be precise and related to the field of interest to hold the interest of the viewers or employers. As mentioned above, the use of unusual or irrelevant keywords will likely distract the reader and lose their interest in continuing with their reading. Hence, professionalism should be maintained in summarising the content. Moreover, only the data that are relevant to the field should be posted in the profile summary. For example, inclusion of cooking skills of a software engineer in their LinkedIn profile is completely irrelevant and out of context in relation to their professional field. This leads to the loss of the professionalism of the profile, which makes the employees lose interest in viewing the profile. Hence, the precise information like the languages known by the software engineer will help them gaining popularity and increase the demand of the individual.
  • Planning Activity – Planning of activities in LinkedIn is necessary. It can be recommended for the users to stick to their field of interest for exploring in LinkedIn and getting attached. For example, and construction firm should only attach related to the construction related activities and product discussion instead of exploring the overall market in available.

Conclusion

It is possible to draw conclusion from the above discussion that LinkedIn provides diversified opportunities for the users that supplemented in the fast growth of the company. However, a lager segment of the users fails in proper utilisation of the platform that fails to bring success to the individuals or organisations. Some of common mistakes have been highlighted in the discussion. They can better attain popularity and success following the recommendations made

 

References

businessinsider.in. (2018).  7 January 2018, 19 terrible LinkedIn mistakes you're making. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.in/19-terrible-LinkedIn-mistakes-youre-making/You-have-a-profile-picture-but-its-a-photo-of-you-and-your-significant-other-or-worse/slideshow/52731849.cms

Cooper, B., & Naatus, M. K. (2014). LinkedIn as a learning tool in business education. American Journal of Business Education (Online), 7(4), 299.

Florenthal, B. (2015). Applying uses and gratifications theory to students’ LinkedIn usage. Young Consumers, 16(1), 17-35.

Forbes.com. (2018).  Everything You Need To Know About LinkedIn. Retrieved 7 January 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2012/02/08/everything-you-need-to-know-about-linkedin-recommendations/#59c6339477b8

Forbes.com. (2018). Important LinkedIn Features. Retrieved 7 January 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamarruda/2014/08/19/the-5-most-important-linkedin-features-you-arent-using-correctly/#518524ed682c

Forbes.com. (2018). Mistakes That Are Killing Your LinkedIn Profile Retrieved 7 January 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2016/04/03/ten-mistakes-that-are-killing-your-linkedin-profile/#db1803331de1

Ourstory.linkedin.com. (2018). A Brief History of LinkedIn. Retrieved 7 January 2018, from https://ourstory.linkedin.com/

 Press.linkedin.com. (2018).  About LinkedIn. Retrieved 7 January 2018, from https://press.linkedin.com/about-linkedin

Utz, S. (2016). Is LinkedIn making you more successful? The informational benefits derived from public social media. new media & society, 18(11), 2685-2702.

Zide, J., Elman, B., & Shahani-Denning, C. (2014). LinkedIn and recruitment: How profiles differ across occupations. Employee Relations, 36(5), 583-604.

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