LinkedIn: Is the paid or free membership worth it?

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Houston101
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LinkedIn: Is the paid or free membership worth it?

Post by Houston101 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:05 pm

I have seen a lot of professionals (especially in business) use linkedin.

1) Has it ever helped anyone get a great job or any other benefit?

2) Is it really an effective networking tool outside the good old face to face contacts?

Can you guys please comment it is worth paying for the membership also?

natureexplorer
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Post by natureexplorer » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:23 pm

Personal offline connections are way better. The online networks are for the lazy.

infecto
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Post by infecto » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:33 pm

Not sure why you would need to pay for it.

It does not really hurt to have. Most of the functionality is free and depending on what field you are in, it can be beneficial for networking.

infecto
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Post by infecto » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:34 pm

natureexplorer wrote:Personal offline connections are way better. The online networks are for the lazy.
...the offline networks are for the inefficient.

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gunn_show
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Post by gunn_show » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:29 am

natureexplorer wrote:Personal offline connections are way better. The online networks are for the lazy.
Dumbest thing I've read in a while.

Yes, I agree, offline and personal connections are and always will be the best resources. That goes for almost anything in life. But to say online networks are for the lazy? I have to imagine this poster is of older age, and no offense to anyone. You must not be familiar with the internet... would you be having these conversations with fellow bogleheads if not for the diehards online network? Didn't think so.

I have been able to network immensely online, gaining access to recruiters and resources I could never have offline. I can't walk down the street and meet recruiters in San Fran offices, NY offices, you name it. That is possible online. Friends and co-workers can make recommendations on your behalf online. I've interviewed for jobs I would have never found before, that I found through L-I.

LinkedIn is the real deal, in my opinion. But, you get out of it what you put into it. Best networking tool on the planet right now.
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

tonythered
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Post by tonythered » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:54 am

Definitely use the free version of LinkedIn. It's helped me into my last two jobs, as I was able to locate old coworkers who were now working for the companies that I was applying for. They provided a referral that I otherwise wouldn't have known as an option.

I've also been pinged on there to provide recommendations on other's profiles, or referrals into my work.

Of course, it's probably only helpful if you have a decent reputation in the workplace. Otherwise, letting old coworkers know you are applying to work with them again might backfire.

D Newton
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Post by D Newton » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:21 am

Personal referrals are the best but use all available tools at your disposal when looking for a new job. The free version of LinkedIn is more than adequate. It will allow you to locate/connect with former co-workers who might be able to help you with leads...That's not being 'lazy'.
Regards, | Doug

Wagnerjb
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Post by Wagnerjb » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:50 am

About two years ago a former colleague (from the 80's) got in touch with me. He was unemployed and looking for a reference on LinkedIn. I did him the favor, but I needed to create a profile on LinkedIn in order to give the reference. A short while after that, two other former colleagues (who were also unemployed at the time) asked me for references on LinkedIn. Since then, I have gotten about a half dozen unsolicited calls from headhunters. Personally, I am not looking for a job...but I guess my current area of specialty is in demand, so I am getting quite a few hits. My assumption is that headhunters are doing a search of profiles at LinkedIn, looking for experience in a specific area.

While I haven't used LinkedIn as a tool to find a job, my impression is that it is rather harmless, but not terribly powerful either. I wonder how many people actually find jobs through that network. Neither my three former colleagues nor my sister-in-law (who was between contract assignments at the time) found work through LinkedIn.

Best wishes.
Andy

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Houston101
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Post by Houston101 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:32 am

Wagnerjb wrote:Since then, I have gotten about a half dozen unsolicited calls from headhunters.
Well, the profile is pretty much like a resume anyways. One one hand I want to put my 'resume' out there so I can be reached for a potential job from co-workers/headhunter but at the same time I don't want my resume to be public information also.

Once your resume is public along with your whole network and any remarks will easily flow through the chain and poison the whole network you worked so hard to establish. And this is exactly what I hate about online networks, they are a double edge sword.

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Post by Sidney » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:51 am

Houston101 wrote:
Wagnerjb wrote:Since then, I have gotten about a half dozen unsolicited calls from headhunters.
Well, the profile is pretty much like a resume anyways. One one hand I want to put my 'resume' out there so I can be reached for a potential job from co-workers/headhunter but at the same time I don't want my resume to be public information also.

Once your resume is public along with your whole network and any remarks will easily flow through the chain and poison the whole network you worked so hard to establish. And this is exactly what I hate about online networks, they are a double edge sword.
I think there are different approaches depending on the type and level of jobs being sought or recruited. Before I retired, I mainly recruited to fill middle management roles ($150K-250K total compensation) but the roles were ones that were targeted for people who have the potential to achieve an upper management (e.g. CFO, CEO etc) within a relatively short period of time (typically 5-7 years). We rarely took seriously candidates who were actively looking. Normally we would go after people who were pretty well positioned where they were but would look at another opportunity to break out of the pack they are in. Most of the contacts came from personal relationships. We did use headhunters but mainly to do profiling of candidates and coordinate psych exams.

At lower levels, on the other hand, I think the online tools add more value than recruiting firms do. Lower level jobs tend to demand better matching of technical skill and experience with the job and my experience has been that the recruiters can never know enough about your business to add much value in this regard.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

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Houston101
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Post by Houston101 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:00 am

Sidney wrote:Most of the contacts came from personal relationships.
No sarcasm intended, speaking from a realistic point of view would you agree that gold course and country club memberships etc. actually work & is worth the investment?

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Scott S
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Post by Scott S » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:21 am

Interestingly, I've been getting spam for LinkedIn lately. If you do click on one, make sure it's legit! :shock:
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RTR2006
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Post by RTR2006 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:55 am

I use LI Free, and feel that the $29.95 per month for the paid version is simply too much for what it offers. I also do not know of anyone who is using it.

These are what you make of them. I do not use Facebook, MySpace or any other online social networking forum. Using LI I have been able to stay connected to current and past work contacts, and in several instances while looking for a job, in every case where I have reached out to an LI contact they have offered to present my resume as an 'employee candidate referral' to the hiring manager.

This in itself is invaluable. Again, it is what you make it.

RTR

Sidney
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Post by Sidney » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:41 am

Houston101 wrote:
Sidney wrote:Most of the contacts came from personal relationships.
No sarcasm intended, speaking from a realistic point of view would you agree that gold course and country club memberships etc. actually work & is worth the investment?
I don't think there is a right answer here. In some environments, places like country clubs can be good for networking.

I also find that many very meaningful contacts come through high level community/charitable organizations.

That said, on a personal level, I wouldn't view either of them as purely a networking resource. I would view the networking as a knock on benefit if those organizations otherwise met my personal needs.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

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Post by Curlyq » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:52 pm

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Last edited by Curlyq on Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dandan14
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Post by dandan14 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:49 pm

Interesting. I'm surprised that I haven't seen some pro-subscription comments. I joined the premium for a few months when I was job hunting (earlier this year) and definitely saw some benefit. I saw my response rate go up significantly -- worth my $30/month.

There are 2 things you are really buying.
1. When you apply for a job, your resume goes to the top of the stack.
2. You can reach out to people who are not in your network -- without having to ask for introductions.




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Post by ncaraway » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:09 pm

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natureexplorer
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Post by natureexplorer » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:28 pm

Curlyq wrote:I am underemployed and am currently working with a local executive recruiter. He said that most recruiters are using LinkedIn as a sourcing tool and that a good profile on LinkedIn is critical. He also said that recommendations from others on LinkedIn are also very important.

LinkedIn is a very useful tool for researching a company in preparation for a job interview. I can also find out some background about the people on my interview panel.
When I said that online networks are for the lazy, that included lazy recruiters. If a recruiter had a lot of contacts on LinkedIn, I would think that I would probably be wasting my time with him. Sidney is providing a recruiter's perspective. And by the way, many top jobs are also not sourced through recruiters. Personal communication is where one gets business done.

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Post by TigerNest » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:51 pm

Sidney, that was interesting, thank you. I'd love to hear more.

I'm on LinkedIn, but I rarely use it. It's basically facebook for the unemployed.

I suppose it's been useful by giving me a way to keep in touch with people that have been laid off over the past 2 years. That's about it so far.

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Post by Noobvestor » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:18 am

It's worth putting up a free profile for reputation management. LinkedIn (like Facebook and other big sites) ranks well on search engines, so when you put up a profile and someone Googles you they will get that result before, say, that drunken frat picture you never want anyone to see, or your little sister's blog. So ... put something up, anything - give as much or as little info as you want - but ideally include a city/state combo so folks looking for you will find it. Can't hurt.

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Post by Carls » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:16 am

News today about another problem with LinkedIn:

>>> LinkedIn Email Spam Packs Malware, Steals Bank Info

If you've recently received an abundance of email LinkedIn invitation
requests from strangers, you're not alone. A new form of malicious spam
attack is making its rounds, consisting of what appears ...

http://go.infopackets.com/e20100929-03

Hard to imagine that this won't affect the overall impression of contacts made through that service.

Carls

natureexplorer
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Post by natureexplorer » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:04 pm

On Facebook you can deactivate your account and reactivate it anytime simply by logging in again and all your friends will reappear. Does LinkedIn have this functionality or will closing the account result in permanent closure of your account?

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Post by RobG » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:13 am

I just had a headhunter contact me today, but I'm not sure how he singled me out. I belong to a few groups which always have posted job openings so that seems worthwhile. It is great for keeping a list of contacts in case you need to knock on doors looking for work.

I use the free version. What do you get if you pay?

rg

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kellyfj
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Post by kellyfj » Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:34 am

FWIW I've gotten my last two jobs via LinkedIn - in fact I get pinged so much I usually update my LinkedIn profile first, and my resume second.

It's particularly useful if some / most of your professional contacts have moved - I have several who have emigrated.

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Houston101
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Post by Houston101 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:49 am

kellyfj wrote:FWIW I've gotten my last two jobs via LinkedIn - in fact I get pinged so much I usually update my LinkedIn profile first, and my resume second.

It's particularly useful if some / most of your professional contacts have moved - I have several who have emigrated.
How does ping work in LI? do you get an e-mail from a job hunter? I am just curious how the process works.

If a contact moves do you get 'status updates' similar to facebook?

TRC
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Post by TRC » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:15 am

The paid membership is only useful if you want ot send "in-mails" to people you are not friends with. (ie. typically good for headhunters or people in sales). You can accomplish the same thing with a free membership if you join the same "group" that the person is in, which allows you to send them inmails for free.

Being in software sales, I really like the tool. It allows me to study up on the people I'm meeting with and keep in touch with them very easily after the initial contact. It also allows me to keep track of where they go if they ever leave the company. The status update feature is pretty cool too, as I can send broad updates on upcoming webinars, press releases, etc. I'm finding that traditional email is getting less and less useful as people are bombarded with hundreds of emails every day.

Personally I'm not a fan of using it as a way of promoting my Resume. I have mine structured as a way of telling potential clients how I can help them. If I were looking for a job, perhaps I'd update it more for a resume style. But you need to becareful if you do this, especially if you're friends with existing co-workers. Typically when they see a revamped Linkin profile with all sorts of new reccomendations, it's a big redflag that someone's looking to jump ship. I've seen this bite people in the but at my company.

smackfu
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Post by smackfu » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:11 am

natureexplorer wrote:Personal offline connections are way better. The online networks are for the lazy.
Heh. Given that I am lazy, and much more likely to maintain a connection if there is no actual effort involved, I find it useful. Mainly to keep track of ex-coworkers.

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ryuns
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Post by ryuns » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:46 am

Curlyq wrote:
LinkedIn is a very useful tool for researching a company in preparation for a job interview. I can also find out some background about the people on my interview panel.
Glassdoor.com is also quite useful for this.
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