Ajay Jain has written a good overview and guide to the professional site LinkedIn. It’s by no means a puff book on the site, and the author is keen to point out it is not an official guide. To prove his point, there is a section near the back detailing criticisms of the site as it stands and possible problems ahead.
This section warns the site about possible problems if it were to, say, sell the site to those who did not get the vibe of the entire endeavor. Many sites have started with great promise, only to fall into disrepute with their users because of their losing the plot. One thing LinkedIn seems to have learned from these sites’ demise is to do whatever they can to prevent it becoming a glorified home for spammers. There are probably a few too many restrictions on the contacts between users.
LinkedIn is great way to keep in touch with your professional and non-primary work contacts. The book details a great many first-person experiences with the site. They are mostly positive, but there are some with cautionary tales. Many users have had positive professional and monetary outcomes from the site. This book aims to help people tweak their profiles and methods on the site to get the most out of it.
What is quite clever is that the author frequently reminds users that while its not as casual as Facebook, neither is it as formal as a job interview. LinkedIn is more like a formal contact dinner/cocktail party, but at the same time a bit casual. It’s necessary to avoid the stuffiness of a CV (curriculum vitae, or resume) if at all possible.
I am not convinced LinkedIn will necessarily be that helpful for those who have cottage cheese resumes (like me) with lots of different skill sets. It does seem rather useful for people who know what they are looking for – whether employer or potential employee.
One is curious to see where LinkedIn will head with its 17 million users now that its attracting users worldwide. This book is a great introduction, guide, and roadmap to the site. Jain has written a book that reads well, but remains informative. It’s well worth seeking out if you are a LinkedIn user or someone considering using a professional networking site.