Networking with LinkedIn

Book Review

LinkedIn for Recruiting. Bill Vick and Des Walsh. HappyAbout Books, 2006/ 2008. 109 p.

42 Rules for 24-hour Success on LinkedIn.  Chris Muccio with David Burns & Peggy Murrah. Superstar Books, 2009. 117 p.

I’m On LinkedIn: Now What? Jason Alba. HappyAbout Books, 2008. 133 p.

About 30 million professionals use LinkedIn to network, exchange information, hunt for jobs, and recruit. Setting up a free profile allows you to strut your professional stuff and to ask and answer questions of practice. According to author Chris Muccio, LinkedIn’s average user is 41 years old and has a household income of $109,000.

LinkedIn reports that the typical user has about 80 connections and an extended network of about 30,000. Upgrading from a free to a premium account provides access to the whole 30 million–plus network.  Businesses use LinkedIn too. They research prospective partners, find industry experts, locate and get background information on potential employees, perform research on competitors, contact media, and close sales.

LinkedIn for Recruiting

Of the three titles reviewed here, LinkedIn for Recruiting is possibly the most valuable. Nearly 50 professional recruiters contributed comments, short case studies, and testimonials about using LinkedIn to place job candidates. Even if you’re not a recruiter, this book is interesting as it provides insight into how recruiters think.

Recruiter Shally Steckerl recommends posting a LinkedIn profile that goes beyond a standard resume. Rather than listing the highlights of your career, he recommends telling your story: what you are like, what makes you who you are, every job you have ever had.

Some recruiters use LinkedIn to collaborate and to arrange “splits,” in which two or more recruiters agree to share the search for candidates and split the fees. Recruiters remark on its value for finding people in really specialized positions, who may be “deep down” in a company and not readily located.

42 Rules for 24-hour Success on LinkedIn

Here’s a good starter book for general readers as well as recruiters. In 7 sections, Muccio and colleagues discuss what LinkedIn offers, how to create a strong profile, how to build your network, how to manage recommendations, how to raise awareness of yourself by posting and answering questions, how to search the LinkedIn database, and how to create or join an affinity group.

Muccio recommends setting aside at least an hour each week to nourish and build your network. He also recommends choosing your contacts judiciously: Fifty quality contacts are more valuable than 500 people you really don’t communicate with. The quality of your network should be measured by quality of the resources available from your network.

LinkedIn for the individual user

Jason Alba’s “I’m on LinkedIn, Now What?” aims generally at the individual user. He discusses LinkedIn contacts as a source of knowledge about business and political issues, career management, job leads, and consulting opportunities.

Alba recommends using LinkedIn for “your personal branding strategy,” a theme that informs the book. He shares some thoughts on netiquette and discusses using LinkedIn alongside Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and Yahoo! Groups.

Alba highly recommends participating in LinkedIn “Answers” service, and mentions the section called This Week’s Top Experts. A particularly helpful hint is his pointer to Guy Kawasaki’s essay called “LinkedIn Profile Extreme Makeover”

This book’s pace is sometimes slowed by numbing technical details and a tendency to be pedantic, e.g., “LinkedIn has over 90,000 Groups. When you join a group you get access to the other Group members.” Nevertheless, it’s chock-full of information for users new to the service.

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