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I have never used linkedIn even though I have a bare account created for years. Off late, I keep on hearing facts where Employers screen potential candidates through social networking channels. Also people leverage the professional connection to expand their network which help them to switch jobs or be appraised about new things happening around them.

Most profiles in linkedIn have an IT background but I was wondering, does someone from non IT background (a teacher/ a doctor/ sales representative) would get benefits in creating and maintaining linkedIn profile?

Another feature I have seen in linkedIn is the recommendation. How reliable is it? Does employer or interested parties take these seriously while evaluating a linkedIn profile?

Finally, is there any other constructive way I can use linkedIn instead of searching JOBs and new opportunity?

marked as duplicate by jcmeloni, Jim G., gnat, Jan Doggen, CincinnatiProgrammer Aug 26 '13 at 12:44

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  • @jcmeloni this is specifically asking "other than searching for JOBS" - I see it as a separate question. – enderland Aug 24 '13 at 15:20
  • @enderland hence, "possible" :) i do think all the questions asked in this one are encompassed by other questions on the site, but I'm on my way out & can't look for them now. – jcmeloni Aug 24 '13 at 15:26
  • Recommendations are valuable, endorsements are not - the first ones demand effort from the authors, the latter ones are just LinkedIn 'click on this button' prompts to your connections. Luckily you can now tell LinkedIn to not show endorsements on your profile (instead of having to remove them all). – Jan Doggen Aug 26 '13 at 6:47
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Having a well maintained LinkedIn page is a good idea if you're looking for work, or holding out the hope of getting better work.

Does someone from non-IT background (a teacher/ a doctor/ sales representative) get benefits in creating and maintaining LinkedIn profile? Yes. Teachers and doctors may not get much out of their efforts, but both positions are high in social interaction, so appropriate use of social media is persuasive. For a sales rep, this would be pretty much mandatory - if you can't put your best foot forward on a business social networking site just what is it you're selling?

How reliable is [the recommendation]? Does employer or interested parties take these seriously while evaluating a LinkedIn profile? This depends on the stature of the person(s) making the recommendation. If the person evaluating the recommendation knows the person making it, it's a lot stronger than if they don't. If the people making recommendations seem to have a weak relationship with the person they're recommending, then it looks like fluff. If the recommendation is from your boss of 10 years and details specific things he or she admires in your work, it counts a lot.

Is there any other constructive way I can use LinkedIn instead of searching JOBs and new opportunity? 'Instead of' - no. It all plays together. LinkedIn is one tool in the toolbox. If you don't use all you have you're simply discarding opportunities you should exploit.

You need to participate in discussions, and those discussions need to focus on things you understand. Therefore, if you're a programmer in JavaScript, sign up to JavaScript groups and answer questions. Asking intelligent questions is as good as answering them, it gives people an idea of the 'bases you've already covered'. A good question in this context would be 'How to I create an object array in JavaScript?', a miserable one is 'Can you recommend a good introductory book for JavaScript?'. The first indicates that you understand the JavaScript object model up to a point, the latter suggests you haven't lifted a finger to learn anything.

Static content, such as a resume, has the potential to create confusion. If you customize a resume for an employer, and they find a different one on LinkedIn, they may try to 'mash them together' to see if they synchronize. If you have a number of short term gigs on the resume on LinkedIn, this might not be a good thing. Check off the skills you have and be conservative in your strengths. In short, if you think you're a 5 on C#, rank yourself as a 4. If someone sees your message postings in conjunction with your skills, they'll rank you according to their criteria in any case.

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How would linkedIn help me in my career

Adding to what Meredith says, I use Linked-In frequently even when not searching for a job.

  • There are jobs on Linked-In, I don't pay much attention to them but companies post jobs. I have no idea how this process works but they definitely are posted there
  • Use it to network. If you want to learn more about a company message someone with some questions. People like to talk about themselves and flattery goes a long way
  • I use it as my professional social network. I do not to use Facebook with coworkers but having some connection to people I've worked with is nice. I suspect longer term this will be even more beneficial.
  • I frequently use it to see coworkers/interviewers backgrounds. If you go into a meeting/interview and have some knowledge about those you will be interacting with this is quite helpful and can help jumpstart conversation (however cheesy "hey I saw you went to the same school as me! awesome!" is it also is effective)
  • There are professional groups which can provide insight into your area of expertise. These help provide connections as well as knowledge
  • +1 for "professional social network". I do too. Good tip " see coworkers/interviewers backgrounds". – Peter M. May 6 '14 at 17:42
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Most profiles in linkedIn have an IT background but I was wondering, does someone from non IT background (a teacher/ a doctor/ sales representative) would get benefits in creating and maintaining linkedIn profile?

Yes, I know various non-technical people that do a lot with LinkedIn as some may maintain groups, send messages or use it as away to build themselves up. After all, look at the Influencers on LinkedIn and most of business people or celebrities and not the IT gurus.

Another feature I have seen in linkedIn is the recommendation. How reliable is it? Does employer or interested parties take these seriously while evaluating a linkedIn profile?

Somewhat reliable though I would note there is something to be said for the mutual back scratching that can happen where I recommend Bob because Bob will recommend me back.

The information may be useful though it is likely to be somewhat discounted a bit.

Finally, is there any other constructive way I can use linkedIn instead of searching JOBs and new opportunity?

Yes, building a network as enderland answers is one way to go here. There may be groups specific to your city where you could build connections. I remember in a previous job, that someone found me on LinkedIn related to my expertise and while it wasn't a job there may have been a project that could come from that for my employer. At times, I use LinkedIn groups to communicate with others on various passions of mine that can also be useful in my career as knowing my skills can take me far.

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