LinkedIn

LinkedIn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A look into how LinkedIn works

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

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By Alex Baer

LinkedIn recently celebrated its 10th birthday last Sunday. LinkedIn, sometimes referred to as “the Facebook of networking,” allows people to network with those they have worked with before, or those they would like to work with in the future.

It also allows users to build an online resume, easily accessible to potential recruiters. There is also a premium account offered. Users can pay for a different facet of LinkedIn: Business, for business professionals, Talent for recruiters, JobSeeker for the unemployed (or the curious employed), andSales for sales professionals. There are over 200 million LinkedIn users worldwide.

In July 2011, LinkedIn launched a new feature to the website: posting job openings directly on their website, and allowing users to apply from LinkedIn, linking their LinkedIn resume to their application.

Forbes once called it  “far and away, the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today.”

But enough with all the glitz and glamour. What does the data say? Perfect data is a little hard to find, as LinkedIn hasn’t traditionally published much about hiring statistics. Let’s parse through what we can:

-Back in 2010, a report was released that found that 50% of Fortune 500 Companies use LinkedIn.

-LinkedIn gets almost six times the number of job views than Twitter, and almost 12 times that of Facebook. LinkedIn also gets more than 8 times the job applications than Facebook, and 3 times more than Twitter.

Roughly half of LinkedIn users have anywhere from 0 to 500 1st degree connections, but the average LinkedIn recruiter has around 616, and 28% of LinkedIn recruiters have over a thousand connections!

-Of recruiters who use social networks to find potential employees, 48% use only LinkedIn, but only 1% solely use Facebook or Twitter.

-Potential growth is also a factor in networking. To double one’s network on Twitter, it takes only 2.7 months, or roughly 81 days.For LinkedIn, 7.6 months. For Facebook, a whopping 33.9 months (or just under three years).

– Traditionally, the most successful job postings and hirings seem to be sales. As of August 2011, there were about 6.1 million active members on LinkedIn who identified as working in sales. Academics, administrators, engineers, and IT specialists trail in the 4 to 5 million range.

-LinkedIn does have a number of immediately obvious advantages over Facebook and Twitter; namely, no teenage-angst, there’s little spam (as users are trying to create a likable persona), no vague relationship statuses, no birthdays to remember, changes to the user interface are fluid and appealing, but, most importantly, no Pokes.

-It also would appear to lend itself very well to the newest generation of job hunters: us. Having grown up with social networking as much a part of our lives as the duck and cover method was to the Baby Boomers. Sure, for every suave, future New Yorker columnist, there are half a dozen duck-facers, but growing up with “the game” from AOL Instant Messenger to Google Plus, but we seem to have a distinct advantage over the previous generation. As we mature, we learn how to conduct ourselves in the “real world,” but we also draw upon what we have learned.