Thursday, March 18, 2010

Linkedin Has Revolutionized Professional Networking

It was back in 2007 when I first created my profile on LinkedIn. I'd like to tell you what made me land on It was the emergence of Facebook as a social networking platform that tickled my mental curiosity buds as to who can build a community as populated as them.

One day while searching for the competitors, I came across this simple interface that was engaging me to connect professionally to exchange information, ideas and mostly importantly "OPPORTUNITIES". I was immediately sold out on it. Once i started creating my profile on LinkedIn, I did not give much attention to recommendation section, groups, etc. I just created a simple profile to mark a presence. After 10-11 months approximately, I got an email from an HR Department of a well known organization based in USA to share my contact number with them so that we can discuss mutual benefits.

I was taken aback and thought it was a spam. I did a search on the person's name that I had an email from and found it to be a legitimate email. But just to be safe, I called them instead (I found the number in the signature of the person's email). To my utmost surprise, they had seen my profile on Linkedin and wanted to discuss whether I would be interested in a career move for a position that was vacant in their organization. During that time, the word "Recession" was alien to me and I was doing quite well within the organization that I was working for, hence I decided to stay. But the whole event changed the way I used to think about these online networking platforms.

I used to be mostly an introvert before being associated with LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.. Being in a customer services industry, I used to have enough time talking to so many people that I hardly had time to build further networking professionally. Today, LinkedIn has become more important to me than newspapers. First thing, when I reach home, I have to make sure I check whether someone has sent a request to connect to me. I also make sure that I contribute in professional discussions within the groups that I have joined. I also make certain that I post vacancies within the jobs section of the groups if ever I come to know about them.

Lately, the latest added feature of sharing your blogs through added applications on LinkedIn has instigated me to become a blogger. If i sum up how LinkedIn has changed my life and what have I achieved from it, I would make sure that I mention the following points:

1. LinkedIn has provided me with an opportunity to connect to professionals that were not reachable at one time due to limitations of technology.

2. It has assisted me in professionally presenting my profile in front of the professional and educated crowd. Today, it is not just about having a CV. It is about having recommendations published directly from people you have worked with, directly or indirectly. It is also about adding files, presentations, blogs, etc. to your profile in order to share knowledge and demonstrate your versatility and resourcefulness.

3. It has supported me in keeping myself updated through discussions and topics posted by leaders right on the top of the industry.

4. It has made me feel concerned about how can I always keep learning new ideas of approaching people and minimizing the inaccuracies.

I can keep on blogging about it whole day but one thing is for sure and we all might have consensus on it:

In future, companies will definitely develop an interface that would enable users to submit profile data directly on the company's website through LinkedIn. Visualize for a while, how easy would it be to go to a recruitment website, fill in your LinkedIn ID and Password to retrieve all the data from your profile and submit to the website as opposed to visiting the recruitment websites and company websites filling in all the professional details about oneself again and again. It is a wakeup call for all the headhunters and HR professionals. You can cash on it today. Many people don’t apply for open positions due to the fact that it requires them to fill in their entire academic and experience details manually.

I always say “Get Inspired, motivated and strengthened to make it to the top. Make yourself known through your sword of intellect.” Today in order to get yourself known and strengthened, you should have a presence on a professional and intellectual platform such as LinkedIn.

M Zeeshan's Views

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