LinkedIn: Old-School Social Network Isn't Short of Fans

Many of us web workers participate in more than one social network, and it’s well-known that beyond the simple social connections you can make, social networks can also be career safety nets. This was the subject of a New York Times piece from yesterday. In it, a Jupiter Research analyst asserts that LinkedIn, “though it lacks the glamour of more popular sites like MySpace and Facebook, is the place to be.” The article offers up a few interesting statistics.

“LinkedIn has more than 25 million members, and it is adding new ones at the rate of 1.2 million a month — or about one new networker every two seconds,” the article reports. It also reports that the average user of LinkedIn is a 41-year-old white-collar professional with an income of $109,000 a year. Is LinkedIn where the grownups are on social networks?

The New York Times piece cites several examples of people who have had great success in wing-walking from one job to the next using LinkedIn. In one example, a 32-year old employee found out his division was going to be eliminated in 45 days. Reportedly, within hours of updating his profile on LinkedIn, the employee got four job interviews resulting in two offers.

There are also some interesting observations from the folks at LinkedIn. They advise not to be too promiscuous in expanding a LinkedIn network, because “too many people can weaken your network.” There is also the advice to keep listed recommendations from people you have previously worked with up-to-date. And, there is the advice to promptly give recommendations to people who ask you for them.

LinkedIn gets talked about much less than the other social networks these days, but it is one of the oldest networks. What have your experiences been with it? Is LinkedIn still vital?


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