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LinkedIn expands professional network

Column by Katherine Hunt

Hunt is a senior marketing and management double major and can be reached at katherine.hunt@drake.edu

Katherine Hunt-w2000-h2000The world’s largest professional network? As fancy and puffed up as it sounds, it’s actually true. LinkedIn.com is actually the world’s largest professional network, with over 200 million members, allowing business professionals from all over the world to connect on a social media platform devoted to careers and connections.

As a business major, I had to get a LinkedIn as a requirement for one of my classes. It was one of the best decisions (even if forced) that I have ever made.

While you can connect with your classmates, you can also connect with business professionals known from Drake University or internships. Also, LinkedIn doesn’t have a limit on how many experiences or how many activities a user was involved in. Using this feature, experienced students and professionals can list all of their accomplishments, experiences and achievements that may not fit on a one-page resume.  Since LinkedIn is a professional social media site, it’s a good way to stay in touch with network contacts without the embarrassment of last weekend’s drunken activities. LinkedIn also offers some features that other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook don’t. Mainly, LinkedIn gives young professionals a place to post their resume and successes that could give them a technological and competitive edge. Additionally, users can see who has been looking at their profile and how often their names have turned up in searches.

From a managerial standpoint, LinkedIn has even more perks. Recruiters can type in keywords into the search tab, and the top results that pop up are the potential employees that most likely have the experience desired. It also gives businesses a way to further research job candidates and to make sure their resume and cover letter match up with what their profile states.

Like any social networking platform, LinkedIn is not perfect. The full version costs $20, and that’s just for a single month. Also, making a LinkedIn page favorable takes a lot of time, effort and details. From extracurricular information to professional experiences, LinkedIn covers all the bases when it comes to creating a professional profile for employers.

While having a LinkedIn may be a little more tedious and time consuming than updating a Twitter or Facebook account, the professional and future perks are enormous. After all, as any College of Business and Public Administration major could tell you, it’s not what you know –— it’s who you know.

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