What is LinkedIn used for and why is it important?

LinkedIn has nearly 800 million members in over 200 countries worldwide, which raises the question: "Why does everyone use it, and should I be using it too?", the answer is a resounding yes - and here's why.


What exactly is LinkedIn?


So, what is LinkedIn exactly? LinkedIn is a social network - but not linked the ones you're thinking about and it is owned by Microsoft. It is social because it is a platform that brings millions of people from different backgrounds, history and other classifications together. However, you won't find your nan posting embarrassing baby pictures of you here and that's because LinkedIn focuses more on professional, career and business networking, keeping up to date with business news, and individual career development. Beneath each of the three key functions of LinkedIn, there are a number of sub functions such as Recruitment, Job board, Head hunting, Training, Sales, Sales lead generation and interfaces with other technology solutions. However, much like Facebook, it's main purpose is bringing people closer together and making new connections through sharing posts, updating your profile and meeting new people. Another feature they offer is LinkedIn Premium, which allows you to view everybody who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days (which can lead to more connections), it also grants you access to over 15,000 online courses, more chances for you to be directed to potential job listings, and 3 InMail credits per month.



What is InMail?


LinkedIn InMail is LinkedIn's 'premium' messaging service - essentially it is a fantastic tool that allows you to contact (almost) anyone in the business world, specifically those who are important decision-makers in the company/industry you want to work in. However, to send an InMail, you must be signed up for LinkedIn Premium which gives you 3 'credits' per month - so what are these credits? When you send an InMail, you spend one 'credit', but if the message is accepted/declined or directly responded to within 90 days, that credit is refunded for you to contact somebody else. You should always make the most of this feature because the best case scenario is that you could make some great connections, and the worst case is that you can just try again next month.




Why should I make a LinkedIn account?


...4 people are hired through LinkedIn every minute.

LinkedIn will quickly become one of your most powerful professional tools in your career journey, not only will it act as a fantastic online CV that anyone can view globally, (Except if you choose not to be found or who can find you using the privacy settings), it will also allow you to network with ease, potentially getting you contacts that can stay with you for the rest of your professional career. If you can, it is a worthy investment to subscribe to LinkedIn Premium to gain access to the additional features previously mentioned for the advancement of your job search and networking capability. Regardless, everybody should make use of this fantastic tool because it is proven to provide results to it's users.

...4 people are hired through LinkedIn every minute.

That's almost 6,000 people getting new jobs, 6,000 organisations getting the talent they need and potentially, 6,000 families being positively impacted - daily. So if you do not already have one, it's important that you get your LinkedIn account started today and updated correctly to get your career journey on its way by starting to make connections!



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