When did LinkedIn become a job search site dressed up as a social network?

Posted by procureinsights

As LinkedIn moves closer and closer to launching their long-awaited IPO I cannot help but recall a line from the 1976 movie All The President’s Men, when Deep Throat admonished Bob Woodward (played by Hal Holbrook and Robert Redford respectively) to “follow the money.”
To what am I referring and, what does Watergate have to do with a social network IPO?  Well simply put of all the analysis that has been done so far in which data such as revenues, assets, cash on hand as well as registered users and page views, it is the trending relating to LinkedIn’s revenue source that stands out.
Let me share the following numbers with you:

  • Job listings, Jan-Sept 2010: $65.9 million (41% of revenue)
  • Job listings, 2009: $23.75 million (29% of revenue)
  • Advertising, Jan-Sept 2010:$51.37 million (32% of revenue)
  • Advertising, 2009: $23.8 million (30% of revenue)
  • Premium subscriptions, Jan-Sept 2010: $44.1 million (27% of revenue)
  • Premium subscriptions, 2009: $33.2 million (41% of revenue)

While advertising revenue has increased slightly by about 2% between this year and last, it is the almost equal reversal in the revenue percentages generated from Job Listings versus Premium Subscriptions over the past year that is noteworthy.

What these numbers say is that even though the dollar amount relating to subscriptions increased from $33.2 million in 2009 to $44.1 million in 2010, it’s premium memberships dropped significantly in terms of its percentage of LinkedIn’s overall earnings.

Conversely, revenue generated from job listings not only grew in terms of dollars from $23.75 million in 2009 to an incredible $65.9 million in 2010, but its share of the overall revenue generated by the network in in this most recent year grew to 41%.

These are not incidental, by the way numbers.  What they indicate is a trend which would seem to tell us that LinkedIn has become one of the first social networks to discover its true revenue producing formula or model.  And if you follow the money, it is more than likely going to lead to a re-branded business centered around jobs, jobs and more jobs.

Of course, and as I learned during the dot com bust . . . and subsequent boom, most of the early high flyers in the tech industry admitted that they really did not have any idea as to how they reached the lofty stratosphere of big dollar success – a point that was proven with the collapse of so many companies into a remember when oblivion.

In short, I am not certain that the fine people that occupy the executive suites of LinkedIn actually planned to become a premier job listing exchange however, and after their having grappled with various revenue model mixes, you graciously accept the results and capitalize on it through, you guessed it, an IPO.

Now I am certain that the brain trust at LinkedIn will probably pooh-pooh my take on the above numbers, indicating that they are at their core still a social network.  No doubt they will point to recent revisions of the site to include follow options and open forums to support this claim.  But bell and whistle introductions notwithstanding, the bottom line speaks volumes in that in 2009 LinkedIn’s net income was minus – that’s right minus <$3.4 million>.  In 2010 net income grew to a positive position of $10.1 million.  The big question is simply this, if their job listings service had remained the same as it was the year before, would they have turned a profit if their revenue was based on the increase in subscription revenue?  Follow the money.

This in turn leads to another question . . . is the growth in job listings an indication that perhaps LinkedIn has finally found the market’s hot button that will enable it to establish a genuine revenue model versus a pie in the sky valuation associated with other virtual realm sites such as Groupon?  For those who are unfamiliar with Groupon, it is a group buying site that offers collective purchasing power to its members who pass around the savings opportunities to people they know at a viral rate that would surpass any of the worst pandemics in history.  A hot property, Groupon received a $1 billion valuation despite having no visible means of revenue level to support it.  Ahhh, it reminds of the glorious days of the dot com era, when sizzle trumped substance.

The point I am making is that while the majority of social networks and related social media are still struggling to find their income producing footing, LinkedIn just may have found the money artery so to speak.

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Master LinkedIn’s advanced search tips to get ahead of the competition

In a recent post, I talked about leveraging LinkedIn as a resource to help you identify both decision makers and competitors. To do that successfully, you have to get used to doing advanced search queries in LinkedIn’s vast database. I’m going to give you a few scenarios below with specific examples to help you understand how to do this. If you’re not technically inclined, it may seem a little daunting at first, but if you take the time to try these tips, you’ll find that a wealth of information can be available to you in your job search.
Scenario 1: Research the Competition (Competitive Analysis)
Say you want to find competitor profiles to see how you stack up against them. If you’re a writer, type in “writer” in LinkedIn’s search box and you’ll be presented with results that include “writer” in the profiles.  If you’re a project manager, however, you have to include quotes around your search terms to find “project managers,” instead of just profiles with the words “project” and “manager.”
Type in: “Project Manager”
When you search for project managers, you’re going to get profiles from various backgrounds. To exclude the non-relevant results, use the NOT feature (i.e. NOT construction would exclude results containing project managers with a construction background.) It’s important that you use the word NOT in ALL CAPS.
Type in: “Project Manager” NOT construction
Scenario 2: Industry Networking
What happens if you’re trying to set up informational interviews at various companies and you want to target people you may not already know? Say you’re a software developer, and you know from experience that potential hiring managers would have the titles “Engineering Manager” or “Software Development Manager,” etc. You can use the OR feature of LinkedIn to display both results.
Type in: “Engineering Manager” OR “Software Development Manager”
Scenario 3: Research Decision Makers (Prospecting)
Now you see a particular job at Microsoft that intrigues you, and you’re tempted to blindly submit your resume. Then you remember from my columns that companies like Microsoft can get as many as 900 applications, so you don’t want to be just one of the masses. You know that if you can speak to the potential hiring manager, you can learn more about the job beyond the job description and that can help you better tailor your application.

Top 10 Social Networks for Entrepreneurs

EpicLaunch

There are hundreds of social networks out there. You can’t be everywhere and we all need to focus our efforts and time on the most effective social networking sites. Here are the social networks I would recommend most for entrepreneurs.

Linkedin – Over 50 million professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities.
Pro: Largest business network on the web.
Con: Some features require payment.
Entrepreneur Connect – Start networking with entrepreneurs just like you.
Pro: Free membership.
Con: Self promotion is not encouraged.
PartnerUp – Network with other small business owners just like you.
Pro: Free membership.
Con: Very wide range of topics.
StartupNation – Source for Small Business Advice and Entrepreneur Forum.
Pro: Many resources available and advice.
Con: Limited networking capabilities.
Biznik – Business Networking.
Pro: Free membership.
Con: Small network.
Perfect Business – Powerful Business Planning Software , Find Startup Funding.
Pro: Resources and networking.
Con: Very small network.
Young Entrepreneur – Small Business & Entrepreneur Community.
Pro: Very active community.
Con: Forum is a bit difficult to use.
Ryze – Business Networking.
Pro: Very easy to use.
Con: Design is poor.
Xing – Social Network for Business Professionals.
Pro: Second largest business network.
Con: LinkedIn is better to use for mass networking.
Musts:
  • Facebook – Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.
  • Twitter – Twitter is without a doubt the best way to share and discover what is happening right now.
  • Flickr – Flickr is certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world.
Reposted from EpicLaunch

Recruiters Rethink Online Playbook

By JOE LIGHT

As recruiters wade cautiously back into hiring mode, they’re throwing out their old playbooks. Rather than sift through mounds of online applications, they are going out to hunt for candidates themselves.

Sodexo’s U.S. unit has cut job posts on third-party sites since the recession started. Above, its Paris offices.
Many plan to scale back their use of online job boards, which they say generate mostly unqualified leads, and hunt for candidates with a particular expertise on places like LinkedIn Corp.’s professional networking site before they post an opening. As the market gets more competitive again, they are hiring recruiters with expertise in headhunting and networking, rather than those with experience processing paperwork.

Inundated by online applicants, McLean, Va.-based government contractor Science Applications International Corp. plans to cut the number of job boards it uses in the coming fiscal year to six from 15 or so, says company vice president Kara Yarnot.
SAIC has asked its 125 U.S. recruiters to find candidates for analyst, engineering, and other jobs on professional social networks instead.

“It’s almost a throwback to the old, dial-for-dollars method of recruiting,” says Ms. Yarnot. “We need to reach candidates earlier, before they’re being pursued by competitors.”

About 24% of companies plan to decrease their usage of third-party employment websites and job boards this year, according to a December survey from the Corporate Executive Board Co., a business consulting firm. Meanwhile, nearly 80% of respondents said they plan to increase their use of job-board alternative methods this year, such as employee referrals and other websites like Facebook Inc. or LinkedIn.

Food services company Sodexo USA, owned by Paris-based Sodexo SA, slashed the number of jobs it posts to third-party job boards by more than half since the recession started, says vice president of talent acquisition Arie Ball. The number of applications to some executive openings at Sodexo rose more than 50% to 300 since the downturn started, Ms. Ball says, but the increase brought many unqualified candidates.

“Recruiters had to put in all this extra time to read applications but we didn’t get benefit from it,” she says. Now, the company is hiring different types of recruiters who specialize in headhunting, including finding candidates to poach from competitors, rather than those who are good at processing and filtering applications.

Companies are adapting their plans as they start hiring again after the downturn. Between November 2009 and November 2010, the total number of job openings rose 32%, according to the Labor Department.

Job seekers who were reluctant to leave their existing jobs—as well as unemployed workers sitting on the sidelines—have begun casting about for opportunities, too. Between December 2009 and December 2010, recruiters saw a 17% increase in applications per opening, according to the Corporate Executive Board.

The trend has in many ways been a boon for job boards, which say they haven’t noticed any impact from some companies’ pullback. But some of the largest sites acknowledge that the new environment means they must do more to keep customers happy.

In the coming months, Monster Worldwide Inc. plans to roll out technology that ranks candidates based on how well their applications fit requirements set by the recruiter, says chief global marketing officer Ted Gilvar. The product has been available to some customers since late last year.

Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group Inc. remains concerned that relying too much on job boards could be bad for business.

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Beyond LinkedIn — Creative Ways to Land a New Job


There was a time when careers advisors would warn jobseekers against printing their resumes on pink paper, using strange fonts or including pictures to make their names stand out in the pile. It was enough to have good skills, solid results and a persuasive cover letter to grab attention, they would say. The rest was up to the interview. Not any more. In an age of almost 10 percent unemployment, LinkedIn profiles, job sites and social media, tech-savvy jobseekers are using all their skills to grab attention and win an interview.
YouTube is for Lolcats and Video Resumes
It worked for Justin Bieber, and for countless other amateur music stars who shot footage of themselves singing into the vacuum cleaner, uploaded it to the Web’s biggest video site and found a record contract and a new career waiting in their comments. Almost. But these things are rare. The more usual route, even for bands, is to build an audience on the pub or student circuit then watch bootlegged versions of their gigs appear on the site once they’ve made it. For people looking for jobs whose descriptions don’t include bad haircuts or television-tossing though, video resumes are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to Word docs and PDFs. Search on the site for “video resumes” and you’ll be offered a list of more than 235,000 results, including both resumes themselves and guides from “experts” explaining what to include and how to make a good impression.

And for some people, it seems to work. When Graeme Anthony began searching for a job with a PR company in England he uploaded a video that showed himself sitting at a table with a guitar in the background. Having introduced himself, he then invited viewers to click through to other parts of his resume, with the clicks leading to new, more detailed clips. It was all well done, very professional and won him a job with a PR company.
But not all video resumes are that well done. Too many look dull and lifeless, with little to offer the viewer but an audio speech. While written resumes needed very little writing skills, the best video resumes need some pretty keen awareness of video editing — and of copyright too.
If the technical challenge of creating a video resume isn’t a big enough hurdle, there are also a couple more.  The resume has to be seen, first of all. Serious jobseekers can’t expect to upload the story of their life and wait for the offers to pour in. Employers, like everyone else on the site, are looking for lolcats not potential employees. Even Graeme Anthony’s video was unlisted and viewable only by those who had the link. The video might be the resume but you’ll still need a cover letter to persuade people to look at it.
And there’s also the matter of being taken seriously. Some of those 235,000 results for video resumes include some pretty toe-curling spoofs.  You don’t want to look anything like Dave.

See More Great Tips and The Rest Of The Article

26 Tips to Enhance Your Experience on LinkedIn

By Debbie Hemley

With more than 85 million users and “a new member being added every second,” LinkedIn is often regarded as the premier social networking site for business professionals. Companies also see LinkedIn as a valuable place to promote their products and services.
Let’s explore LinkedIn together and see if you can identify new ways to enhance your user experience by considering the topics discussed below. As I’ve done in the companion pieces to this post, 26 Twitter Tips and 26 Facebook Tips, I’ll introduce LinkedIn Tips from A-Z.

These tips will reference both personal and company perspectives. But before we get started, let’s go over a couple of LinkedIn basics—who’s on LinkedIn, creating your LinkedIn profile and developing your list of LinkedIn connections.

Develop a network of relevant connections.

Who’s on LinkedIn?

To put it simply, everyone; full- and part-time employees, contractors, freelancers and key decision-makers from any given industry or company can be found on LinkedIn.

Creating Your LinkedIn Profile

If you’re just getting started on LinkedIn, you’ll want to strive for 100% completeness on your personal profile by adding your current position, at least two past positions, information about your education, a summary of your background/experiences, a profile photo, details about your specialties and at least three recommendations. And if you’ve been on LinkedIn for a while, think about profile changes you can make to further demonstrate who you are and what you have to offer.

Developing Your List of LinkedIn Connections

You can grow your list of LinkedIn connections through webmail contacts (email contacts who are already on LinkedIn), colleagues and classmates, and through networking on LinkedIn groups.
Your connections are what make LinkedIn work for you, so taking the time to expand your reach is time well spent. A unique perspective on connections is offered by Stephanie Sammons in her post, How Connecting Your Connections to Connect with One Another Will Help Elevate Your Social Status.

LinkedIn Tips From A-Z

#1: Applications

As LinkedIn suggests, you can add third-party applications to “enrich your profile, share and collaborate with your network, and get the key insights that help you be more effective.” There are currently 19 applications to choose from. Depending on what you want to highlight, you can give a good example of your specialties, areas of interest, and work samples.
For example, on my LinkedIn profile I’m currently using Reading List by Amazon, Blog Link and the new Publications feature. You can have a total of 15 modules and/or applications on your profile. A message bar will appear at the top of the page if you need to remove an application prior to adding another.

#2: Blog Links

You can bring your blog posts into LinkedIn with applications such as Blog Link or WordPress LinkedIn. It’s a powerful way to engage your connections with material you’ve written and if they hadn’t already been visiting your blog on a regular basis, your posts will make it in front of their eyes when they receive their LinkedIn updates.

#3: Company Pages

LinkedIn has offered company profiles since 2008 and last month the profiles were upgraded to “Company Pages.” Companies can now showcase significantly more about their business. With the new Products and Services tab, companies are able to feature products and services with descriptive overviews. Videos can also be embedded on the page, one per product or service. At this time, you can only upload videos from YouTube, although LinkedIn expects that to change in the near future.

linkedin company page

Recommend your favorite products and services on LinkedIn Company Pages

“Since the Company Page roll-out, 20,000 companies are sharing over 40,000 products. Companies of all sizes and industries are using Company Pages,” said Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn’s director of product management. When a LinkedIn member recommends a company’s product, they share the recommendation with all of their connections.
Ryan spoke about the power of recommendations for businesses, and referred to the Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, in which Nielsen found that recommendations from personal acquaintances or opinions posted by consumers online are the most trusted forms of advertising. Ninety percent of consumers surveyed noted that they trust recommendations from people they know, while 70 percent trusted consumer opinions posted online.

#4: Direct Ad Campaigns

LinkedIn Direct Ads allow you to target ads by industry, company, geography, job function, seniority, gender and age. Ads can appear as a media box, banner ad or text hyperlink. Ads are pay-per-click or by impressions and can be stopped at any time.

#5: Events

With the LinkedIn Events application, you can browse by event type, topic, location and add your own event for users to find, promote and attend. Coree Silvera has a helpful post, Promote Your Event by Using LinkedIn Event Application. As she suggests, you can share with your contacts and also purchase paid advertising options targeting a specific audience on LinkedIn. This would entail going outside your own network of connections using advertising methods such as CPC (cost-per-click), CPI (cost-per-impression) or text ads.
You can also follow LinkedIn events on Twitter.

#6: Follow Companies

Company follows make it possible for you to keep your eye on key events happening at companies you’re interested in. You’ll see information regarding new jobs, new hires and promotions, what it’s like to work there via employee testimonials and how to contact a recruiter.

#7: Groups

LinkedIn Groups are a great way to stay on top of topics of interest to you and to network with others in your field. You can see who was most influential in the group the past week and follow their activities on LinkedIn. To find groups, go to LinkedIn Groups Directory.
LinkedIn has restrictions about whom you can reach out to with a free account. The person has to have been a colleague, classmate, someone you’ve done business with or a friend. One of the best bonus features of Groups is that you can send InMail to group members without having to upgrade to a premium account.

Tips 8 – 26 and Complete Article