LinkedIn is growing up

The only constant is change.

LinkedIn is growing up.  With age come wisdom, but also a yearning for youthful energy and a simpler time.

LinkedIn is closing in on a run rate of a billion dollar business with over 200 million members.   In 2012, they overhauled the way a Profile page looks, introduced endorsements and put to bed: lawyer ratings, legal updates, my travel, portfolio display and the ability to link your Word Press blog to your homepage.  What does all this mean to your Career Branding?

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Honestly, not much from a feature-function point of view.

The most notable of these changes was the introduction of endorsements.  This is a simple ‘like’ button to show   your belief that a connection possess a certain skill.  It’s an interesting engagement play by LinkedIn, and like any data it’s interesting, but requires one to further segment and analyze the data to get at what really is happening. Here are a few observations:

  • Which skill becomes dominant in your profile, is an interesting marker for how you are perceived by your peers.
  • Anyone with more than 10 skills listed really needs to rethink their branding.
  • If you have more connections, your probability of more endorsements goes up.  If these endorsements prove to carry social or career status, this flies in the face of building quality connections over a quantity of connections.
  • People are endorsing people, for skills that they are not in a true position to judge.  How is this of value?
  • Many folks are marketing  for endorsements through direct solicitations via email.  Does this change the value?
  • It’s really interesting when connections add skills to your profile and endorse you for something you choose not to list.
  • I have observed business leaders who I put in the highest 10 percent in terms of skill with few endorsements and weaker skilled business folks with literally hundreds of endorsements.  How will a recruiter value this?
  • If someone takes the time to write a recommendation, isn’t that worth 10x hitting a plus sign next to someone’s name when you log into LinkedIn?
  • I like how “endorsements” provides you an excuse to lightly ‘reach out’ to former colleagues you may have lost touch with.

LinkedIn continues to build momentum as a business person’s critical online identity.  LinkedIn is where recruiters mine.  Ten times as many recruiters pay LinkedIn for advanced access to their system than did so 3 years ago.  It serves as both a recruiting platform and a database of leads.  The leads are there for recruiters and job seekers alike. Think about this:  Nearly 14,000 recruiters pay $8000 per year for the ability to mine your profile data in a more intelligent manner!  New companies are signing up for this service at a pace of over 500 per quarter.

There is no doubt networking is still king in job search, and that LinkedIn is becoming the ultimate platform to rule the kingdom.

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