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LinkedIn is a professional networking site where users connect with each other and share ideas and important information, including their availability for work. Professional networking sites function essentially the same as social networking sites except that they are focused on business or professional information (as opposed to personal). LindkedIn claims to be the world’s largest professional network with more than 175 million members in over 200 countries. Sixty-one percent of LinkedIn's members are located outside of the United States; members did nearly 4.2 billion professionally-oriented searches on the platform in 2011 and are on pace to surpass 5.3 billion in 2012.
Complete your profile
On LinkedIn, it’s important to complete your profile to the best of your ability — especially if you’re using LinkedIn for job searching or professional networking. As such, your profile exists as a summary of your professional life or career. In that sense, it's a kind of digital resume or vitae. To let you know how much of your profile you have completed, the site provides you with the “profile completeness” metric from 0-100%. The higher your completeness is, the more likely you are to appear higher up in LinkedIn's search results. When listing skills such as social media expert or health librarian, other social media experts and health librarians can see your profile and befriend you.
To ensure that your profile is 100% complete, LinkedIn recommends including the following:
One purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people with whom they have some kind of relationship called Connections. LinkedIn users can invite anyone from within their e-mail systems (whether they use LinkedIn yet or not) to become one of their connections. However, if the person responds with "I don't know" or this message is "Spam", this counts against the inviter. If too many of these responses are received, your account may be restricted or closed. To get your first “50 connections” in LinkedIn, make use of its many algorithms and data-mining features. First, do some basic searches to find some people that you know. Find the search box at the top of each page. Click the “Connect” button next to members' names to add them to your network. Send a custom message to them along with your invitation to make sure that you personalize it. Once you have made a few connections, see the “People You May Know” page. LinkedIn’s algorithm will help you to find additional contacts for your network. LinkedIn labels these connections by degree; if someone with whom you are already connected is a “1st degree” connection, some of their 1st degree connections will be shown to you as possible additions to your network.