In our ongoing effort to educate the home care industry on what's going on in technology, here's an introduction to LinkedIn from Ankota's CTO and resident software geek.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. It allows you to connect with people who you've worked with and keep up with them. It's a great way to be able to see what's happening in their careers and to keep in touch, plus you can publish updates about your own situation...
Here's the LinkedIn main menu (that you see when you're logged in).
Let's talk about some of the things you can do in Linked-IN:
- Home: your home page gives you a view of the latest updates from the people who you're connected to.
- Profile: allows you to post a personal profile (essentially a mini resume) including a summary of what you're doing in your career, your job history, education, etc. You can also share your email address and tell people what you're interests are on linked in. A nice thing about having a profile on LinkedIn is that it shows up very prominently when people search for you on the internet. As you'll see in the screenshot below, when I search for my own name on google, my LinkedIn profile is the first thing that pops up. (You'll also note that the next item listed is outdated - a job I left in 2005 - so it's nice to know that your LinkedIn profile will be at the top of the list.)
- Contacts: Allows you to maintain a list of people who you are connected to. Connections are made via a request and an acceptance. So if you sign up, you can search for people you'd like to connect with and invite them to connect. Similarly, you'll get connection requests from others. A trick is that if you don't want to connect, you can simply archive the request so you don't offend anyone. For example, I'll occasionally get a connection request from someone at Virginia Tech or Babson College (where I did my masters and my MBA) who I don't know and I generally archive those if I don't know the person.
- Groups: this allows you to sign up for groups that interest you. There are tons of groups such as schools you've gone to, companies you've worked for, etc. There are also a few home care groups and other health care groups (for example I subscribed to the Connected Health group, and the the Home Care Executives group). The content from the groups can be hit or miss... Sometimes people use it to advertise their wares, so you need to filter out the "spam", but the groups often have good content such as interesting articles, other discussions and job postings.
- Jobs, Messages, Answers and More: Other topics on LinkedIn are job postings (these are paid for, whereas pretty much everything else in LinkedIn is free), messaging (such as when someone is interested in connecting with you), and Answers (a place where you can post questions or answer questions where you have expertise).
I find that LinkedIn is useful to be a part of and doesn't take a lot of time to keep up with. Many people find jobs through people they know and LinkedIn is great for keeping those connections.
You can go to Linked in at www.linkedin.com.