With all of the social media platforms around at the moment, it can be quite hard to know which ones to opt for. Personally, I have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr. I use the latter two mainly for professional writing or any work I wish to promote, whereas the first two are a mix of business and pleasure. Well, I wouldn’t really call stalking Amanda Bynes to get updates on her latest wig-related incident pleasure but you get the gist. For me, it’s been LinkedIn that’s grown in popularity over the recent months as professionals and job seekers alike seem to be taking to the site. As with any social networking profile it has its advantages and disadvantages, which leads me to ask the question: To Link In Or Not To Link In?
Job Searching Tool
If you’re searching for a job, Linked In is a very useful resource to use. Once you’ve entered the skill-set you have on your profile, little adverts come up at the side of your homepage that are likely to be of interest to you. In just a few clicks you’re taken to the application page, it’s as simple as that. In addition to this, the website enables you to search for jobs that may not be in your usual sector of work but are of interest to you. If you’ve taken the time to upload an accurate CV to your profile, upon applying prospective employers can look at your profile to see if the details you’ve written are accurate. This is a great tool for employers too, as it allows digitally focussed companies to wheedle out the people who aren’t as social media savvy as they make themselves out to be. Note to LinkedIn users: use the website to engage with others and to implement social networking! This looks great when employers search for you, as it illustrates your ability to demonstrate interpersonal skills in a digital environment.
Remember that saying ‘It’s not what you know but who you know?’ This still applies. It’s good to network with people in fields you work in, or wish to work in, as they can pass on their pearls of wisdoms as well as giving you the heads up about any potential job openings that may be available. The LinkedIn feature of being able to “endorse” another user for a particular skill-set highlights somebody’s ability to use social networking, as well as their reputation among the digital community. Employers can tell if somebody is well-immersed within the social networking environment by looking at this “endorsement” characteristic. Whilst it could be argued that people “endorse” others in a similar fashion to how Facebook users “like” others’ statuses and pictures, it’s still an aspect of social networking. In an age where the internet and computers are taking over business, it is vital that you get this across to any company you wish to work for.
Whilst there are certain features of a LinkedIn profile that are kept hidden from people you are not ‘LinkedIn’ with, there is still quite a lot of substantial information that can be extracted by a user whom you aren’t acquainted with. If what I have previously said is true and businesses are looking for profiles that illustrate a high level of social networking, then anybody can pretty much see aspects of your CV. One could say that a CV is just a collection of words you’ve written about yourself and your past career experiences and so there should be no issue sharing it with anybody. Personally, I enjoy keeping things private and only giving out my personal details (however small they may be) to those who I deem to be relevant. It’s quite unnerving to know that anybody across the world can access certain aspects of your information without requesting to do so, especially considering a career is quite an important aspect of any individual’s life. LinkedIn has tried to overcome this flaw by possessing a feature which allows you to see which people and companies have viewed your profile. However I’m not sure this is advantageous, as it removes anonymity from the website. Whilst it does vaguely protect you from random people accessing your personal details, it doesn’t really help self-employed business minds. What if you’re unsure about working with a potential client and you look them up on LinkedIn? They’d be able to see you doing so and may be quite uneasy about this fact.
Uncovers Tax Dodgers
There was a recent article circulating the internet that told of a man from Sweden who has been ordered to pay $750,000 (nearly £500,000!) after authorities discovered he had a secret job via his LinkedIn profile. This made me smile, as people who don’t pay the right about of tax really wind me up. I think it’s a very useful tool for authorities when trying to uncover people who are tax dodging, as well as receiving certain benefits when they are working or able to work. To be honest, I don’t know why the man listed everything on his profile as you’d think somebody who was capable of dodging tax would want to keep it quiet. Apparently not and he broadcasted it to the whole of LinkedIn!
Exposure For Work
If you’re an aspiring writer or musician, LinkedIn is useful for getting exposure. I always post anything I write for online publications there and it’s good when people interact with the posts. Even for Yuppee Mag, I’ve had people comment on the post and then go and comment directly underneath the article on the website. For any digital publications that rely on aspiring journalists, this can be a great tool for making its name known. After all, it’s highly important in SEO writing to increase the amount of traffic to the article and therefore website. Sharing your work is a key part of this! Similarly with musicians, if you’re LinkedIn with industry professionals then it could be the ticket to getting your sound heard by influential people.
LinkedIn is a very useful tool if you’re a recent Graduate or currently a professional. However, it shouldn’t be used in the same way Twitter and Facebook are. It’s definitely not a good idea to post pictures of you drunk off your face from the weekend, nor is it wise to post status updates about what you’re having for dinner. Potential employers couldn’t give two hoots about the contents of your stomach. Be clever with what you’re sharing, as it could be the reason somebody decides to hire you over another candidate.