Thing 14: LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social networking site, but for connecting with other people in a professional context.
Explore and sign up for LinkedIn
Signing up to LinkedIn follows a similar process to most social networking sites – Name, email, password etc, so that was pretty straightforward.
You can add various bits of information to your profile, including your current and past employment and education, as well as links to your website/blog and Twitter profile. Essentially the idea is an interactive CV hosted online.
An interesting box on the profile is the Contact Settings, where you can let other users know what you want from the site:  career opportunities, job inquiries, reference requests, getting back in touch, etc.
I have added a few details to my profile, and here’s how it looks so far:
It’s kind of ugly with ads down the right hand side, and especially since I don’t have any contacts!
I don’t particularly like LinkedIn, but I can’t quite pin down why. I think I’m uncomfortable with my details being on the site, when I won’t be using it to find a job or network.
Facebook and LinkedIn
It’s strange that I should feel uncomfortable with this site, since it’s designed to be professional, whereas I’m happy to announce on Facebook everything from my current mood to what I happen to be tucking into for dinner. That being said, I am careful what I choose to post to Facebook, and I also keep my privacy settings quite high.
A person could easily have accounts on both sites, which are intended for very different reasons. Many people have separate Twitter accounts for this very reason – a personal and a professional account. It’s important to keep social and work life separate, especially on the internet where you have no idea who might be viewing your profile.
Today, most job vacancies are posted on the internet, and I guess it makes sense to host a CV there too. However, it being for professional eyes, it is vital to keep it up to date. Not using LinkedIn before, I doubt I would do that. It’s an interesting concept, but I don’t think I’ll be using it in future, and will probably delete my profile shortly after the 23 Things are over.

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