LinkedIn is a social network designed primarily for professionals. The website allows members to create a profile that serves as a sort of online resume. Currently there are over 120 million users. The site officially launched on May 5, 2003 in Santa Monica, California by Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly, and Jean-Luc Vaillant. Now LinkedIn has expanded to include a mobile version and there is an app for iphone and Android models. The company is publicly maintained and has a diversified business model with revenues coming from hiring solutions and premium subscriptions. More than half of LinkedIn members are located outside of the United States, spanning over 200 countries.

What is LinkedIn?:


  • Users maintain "connections" with people they have relationships with whether it be professional, personal, or acquaintance.
  • Members build a profile that includes skills, specialties, experience, education, and recommendations.
  • Connects users with potential jobs and business opportunities.
  • Makes staying in touch with past and present colleagues easier.
  • Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates.
  • Offers more than 900,000 groups that you can join. These groups have discussion boards, news boards, and jobs postings.
  • Users can follow companies to more easily connect with its employees.
  • LinkedIn Answers: allows users to ask (most of the time business related) questions for the community to answer.
  • LinkedIn News: creates a custom newsfeed relevant to the users' career industry.

LinkedIn vs. Facebook:

Although there are many similarities between LinkedIn and Facebook, such as uploading pictures and status updates; LinkedIn trumps Facebook for its superb professional networking capabilities.
The profile goes into great depth, asking for information such as "summary", "education", and "company" instead of "movies", "books" etc. This is amazing because it allows a person to pinpoint exactly who they need to find and allows them to be found as well. Each group has its own discussion board, news board, and jobs postings. In addition, there are answers boards that house over 2,000,000 answers to typical business and professional questions, yielding a fantastic resource for members. This type of networking is key to finding opportunities around the world and proves much more efficient and professional than Facebook.


I was persuaded by a friend to create a LinkedIn account and I was very unwilling at first. I figured that Facebook was the best way to stay in contact with someone. LinkedIn has a unique way of suggesting connections you should make with other people. I have received messages from my "connections" who are branching out to partner up with someone and make business deals with. Another great feature that LinkedIn has is that it is basically like having your resume on your profile. I have many friends who don't know the first thing to do when starting their resume and LinkedIn has every kind of subject you would want to exemplify on your resume. I am very glad I listened to my friend in creating an account. LinkedIn does what Facebook can't and that is show yourself in a very professional light.

Here is a link to my own LinkedIn account:

--Amanda Gerard

References and Related Links:


  • Profile: a user's profile serves as an online resume; a profile is comprised of a user's summary, skills, experience, recommendations, and more.
  • Connection: a LinkedIn user who has accepted an invitation to "connect".
  • Network: a user's "network" is comprised of individuals who can contact you through connections up to three degrees away.
  • Group: users can join groups centered around a topic all members are interested in.