LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking tool. It is mainly used for professional networking but is an excellent tool for recruiters and managers when hiring or looking for staff.
It allows registered users to connect with colleagues, associates, friends, former work-mates etc. You can promote your work history and achievements on your profile and receive endorsements for your skills and recommendations from past clients. A good start is to connect with the people you know, your past and current clients and work associates. LinkedIn will then recommend people you may like to connect with. By requesting to connect with people who are linked to your connections, you can start to network outside of your immediate circle. It’s generally against LinkedIn etiquette to connect with people who you don’t personally know, but asking for a referral from a friend is a great way to make a warm introduction.
As a marketing tool, LinkedIn allows you to present your work history and the services that you have to offer and for this reason can be very beneficial to sole traders. It also supports the formation of interest groups, the majority of which are employment related. This provides another opportunity to boost your profile and promote your services amongst like-minded participants.
Purchasing a premium account enables you to connect with people outside of your network and this is a popular option with recruiters and for sourcing help or hiring people.