LinkedIn, a business-related social networking site that launched in 2003, is primarily used for professional networking. The site reaches into more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, according to LinkedIn’s official website. LinkedIn is used to connect professionals within the field, as well as develop relationships and connections for business partnerships, professional networking and job searches. Parker Brook, a Research Consultant at Morgan Samuels Company describes how the firm uses LinkedIn to build relationships and identify executive talent.
“LinkedIn is one of the best available talent-finding tools in the marketplace today,” said Brook. “They are continually updating their product with new features. They leverage input from actual recruiters and customers to develop the LinkedIn product.” Brook believes that LinkedIn is an important tool for executive recruiters to find and connect with talent. LinkedIn provides a variety of options for users in order to customize to their needs and preferences.
“There are different types of profiles that you can get on LinkedIn - there is a basic account, an upgraded account, and then there’s LinkedIn Recruiter, which is the best and obviously the most expensive,” said Brook.
“LinkedIn is a relatively new social networking tool, but it is really gaining traction and popularity,” said Brook, “It is getting up there; it is kind of the business version of Facebook.” Brook believes that LinkedIn can be a valuable resource for anyone in business, as it provides a platform through which professionals can connect and build vital business relationships.
“You’re a dinosaur if you’re not plugged into LinkedIn,” said Brook. Brook believes that professionals not using LinkedIn are missing out. “If you’re an executive and you’re not on LinkedIn, not only are you missing out on career opportunities, you’re missing out on networking opportunities [, and ] you’re missing out on an opportunity to knowledge-share with other executives in your space.”
According to Brook, in order to be successful on LinkedIn, you need a full and complete profile that includes your strengths, experiences, education, abridged resume and awards. Brook also explains that you should never turn down a connection, because connections can only help you. It is equally important to update your status regularly in order to connect with as many people as possible and remain active.
“Stale information [or information that is not updated and accurate] is just as bad as no information. It is misleading, and you won’t be able to connect with the people you want to connect with,” said Brook.
If you are considering using LinkedIn, take advice from Brook, a professional within the field of retained executive search and a Research Consultant at one of the top executive search firms: “If you’re not on LinkedIn, get on LinkedIn. If you are on LinkedIn, make sure you have a complete profile and make sure you update it and keep the information fresh. It will keep you aware of career opportunities and business opportunities. It can’t hurt. It’s a tool. It’s the wave of the future. You either get on it or you get left in the past.”