I am not a very active user of LinkedIn yet but I have created a profile for myself to learn about the site. This is actually my second time creating a profile. My last one I had briefly but shut it down when I noticed a paid membership was required for some features. I did not feel that the benefits that a paid LinkedIn membership would bring to me were worth the expense at that point in time.
I keep this new one very private for now and haven’t connected with anyone. I use it as an easy way to link a resume to potential employers. I would like to network more in the future with my LinkedIn profile. I like the simple, clean, resume format the profile page has. I notice that some job postings now ask people to link resumes or profiles rather than emailing a resume in .doc or pdf format. If not always in place of an email attached document resume, I at least like the idea of maintaining a hyperlinked resume in addition to the traditional resume document.
I appreciate the various options given to individuals to customize their LinkedIn profile. A LinkedIn hyperlinked resume has the capacity to neatly nicely summarize various skills and achievements in one easily accessible document. I appreciate the ability to link to publications, add certifications, volunteer experiences, test scores. I think the feature that allows approximately 50 tags for self selected skills and expertise on the profile is also instrumental in making a well rounded profile. My initial tags are shown in the image below.
If you go to the “More” tab and then the “Skills and Expertise” tab you can type a tag into the search bar and a list of similar tags suggested to add to your profile appears on the left hand side. After exploring further from one interesting similar suggested tag to another, along with the accompanying list of professionals and groups associated with each interest, it becomes obvious how much potential LinkedIn provides to develop and strengthen professional connections.
LinkedIn seems to be the primary social networking site for “professionals” to connect “professionally” and I venture to guess once someone is bringing in a “professional” income then that membership fee would easily pay for itself. I probably will purchase the full LinkedIn membership at some point in the future.