In the Huffington Post on August 14, 2013, Adam Wexler provided several interesting insights regarding the ways in which LinkedIn is gaining social media prominence over Facebook. As he explains,
“LinkedIn possesses an inherent advantage over all of the other social networks: it is a professional network. If you’re a recent graduate pursuing anything in the business realm, I don’t care if your great-grandfather is on the network — you need to be joining him. For this reason and many more, I believe LinkedIn has some great growth ahead of itself as I’ve long maintained.”
Wexler’s prognostications aside, I have been encouraging students in my Professional and Technical Communication courses to manage their online identities. One aspect of this management is to create a LinkedIn account and keep it up to date with accurate information about skills, experiences, and qualifications. I was inspired to do this by a Rose-Hulman alumna who recounted her most recent job change. She wasn’t even on the market, but a company scouted out her background on LinkedIn and made her an offer.
As part of my work with students, I ask them to join my network on LinkedIn, which helps increase my own network of Rose alumni. I also don’t have to worry about learning something about them that I would rather not know!