Is LinkedIn different from other social networking sites?
The biggest difference between LinkedIn and other social networking sites such as Facebook is that you can’t “friend” someone unless you have a verifiable relationship with them. Typically that means that you’ve worked together at the same company, or belong to the same group or are friends in real life.
The theory is that by discouraging the collection of random connections, each person in the network has more meaningful contacts.
Then of course you can use your meaningful contacts to help introduce you to their meaningful contacts like I did with my friend to get an “in” with the marketing director I wanted to reach.
This is business networking done the 21st century way!
Isn’t LinkedIn mainly for recruiting and job searching?
It’s true that LinkedIn has stumbled into the role of being one of the largest de facto job search sites online. It’s also true that many professional headhunters and recruiters use LinkedIn to either screen applicants or actively search for potential applicants.
It makes sense because LinkedIn is an ideal tool for that purpose.
In the case of potential applicants, recruiters are able to search for people who either currently are or recently have been in positions similar to those they need to fill.
For existing applicants, they can compare resume history against the claimed employment history shown on LinkedIn. Recruiters can also use LinkedIn to cross-check references or see if they share any connections in common with the applicant.
For example, if both the recruiter and the applicant have a connection in common (two degrees of separation), it’s an easy matter for the recruiter to call or email the friend they share. During the course of ordinary conversation, the applicant’s name could come up and the recruiter could pick up a great deal of valuable insight.
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