I have just finished reading ‘The Facebook Effect,’ a great book about both Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook’s founder & CEO) and the internet phenomena itself. Within the book it points to Zuckerberg’s expressed belief that the world should be more transparent and that people will care less and less about their personal privacy. In some ways, I believe that this will naturally become the case with the astronomical growth of the internet, but equally I feel that people should have there own option as to what information they choose to share about themselves. This led me to think about how much information I share online and where I choose to share my information.
Personally, I choose to differentiate my personal and professional online presence, presuming that my family and friends probably don’t want to be updated about my attendance at a conference. Equally, my work colleagues hopefully wouldn’t be too fussed that I have been dragged to see the latest chick flick at the cinema by my dearly beloved. Like 500 million other people across the globe, I entrust Facebook with the personal information I choose to share with my friends and family.
For my professional presence I choose LinkedIn, a purpose built social media site designed for developing an online professional profile, utilised by more than 80 million users.
The benefits of building strong business relationships and the strength of networking need very little explanation. I believe, in today’s digital world practicing strong online networking is as, if not more, important than traditional networking. Becoming ‘Linked-In’ is a great way to get started.
The service is primarily utilised by senior professionals, with around 48% of its users being at management or director level and 66% being considered decision makers within their business. In essence the site allows you to transfer your curriculum vitae online, gives you the ability to be recommended by industry colleagues, join groups, manage your connections as well as find or offer jobs.
Some of the key benefits that I have found by using the site are;
Keeping in touch with colleagues from previous workplaces
Defining comparable industry pay rates
Passively keeping in touch with the job market
Promoting my experience and achievements
Securing public recommendations
Searching people by name, company, group or education (always helps when you’re trying to get in contact with the people you met at TRENZ and can’t find their card!)
A great benefit of the site is, that it not only allows you to view the profiles of your direct connections but those connected to your connections and their connections too. According to the site this feature links me to 1,503, 506 professional’s from my mere 200 connections!
My advice would be to sign-up and maximise your career potential…after all – its free!