Author: Patrice-Anne Rutledge
Publisher: Que, 2010
Aimed at: Potential, new and existing users of LinkedIn
Pros: A format that suits mastering technology
Cons: May be too detailed
Reviewed by: Sue Gee
LinkedIn is a professional network that has a large following in the IT industry.
But do you need this multi-media guide?
By being part of Que's Using series this book offers different ways to learn about LinkedIn which can be accessed once you have registered your copy of the book. You can then read the book online - which has the advantage of color screenshots.
Books in the series differ in the the amount of content they provide using the audio and videos. In some of them the same material is repeated in the book but in this one the author seem to provide opinions in the audio snippets that she doesn't commit to in print. For example in the very first audio file she recommends exploring the free version of LinkedIn before contemplating subscribing to a premium account - and this idea isn't stated as strongly in Chapter 1.
As in other titles the Show Me videos walk you through the steps required to perform specific tasks but on the whole they didn't seem at all necessary in this book. There are also step-by-step instructions in the Let Me Try It sections that are illustrated where necessary with screenshots and these seem sufficient for most of the tasks.
LinkedIn is a social networking site for professionals that is fairly well known. In her Introduction Patrice-Anne Rutledge writes:
This book is for anyone who wants to tap into the power of LinkedIn for professional reasons. LinkedIn connects you with a network of professional colleagues and enables you to maintain an online presence, find a job, recruit employees, promote your business, find clients and partners, get answers to professional questions, perform market research, and much more. It’s a viable business tool that opens up new ways to connect with others who can help you achieve your business goals.
The book presents information in a straightforward and logical order. Personally I found Chapter 1 Introducing LinkedIn unsatisfactory because it didn't tell me when, why or how this social network originated - although it does list major companies that use it and the fact that President Obama has a profile.
Subsequent chapters on Creating Your LinkedIn Profile and Developing Your Linked in Network will be relevant to new users of LinkedIn and as the book progresses it will also be useful to existing LinkedIn members. For example Chapter 5 on Maintaining your Linked in Profile covers posting updates and promoting your profile on the web and Chapter 6 on Communicating with your LinkedIn Network covers LinkedIn messages, InMail (a service that is "free" only to premium account holders) and requesting introduction and managing such incoming requests. There is also a chapter on searching for people.
Chapter 8, Saving Time with LinkedIn Tools has Show Me and Let Me Try It help for installing browser toolbars that integrate LinkedIn with Firefox, Internet Explorer, Outlook and Lotus Notes (is that still current?) and the JobInsider tool which assists in a job search by finding contacts within a company that has posted vacancies on popular job sites. The next chapter goes further into job search including the choice of profile keywords to attract attention from recruiters. It also introduces the idea of getting recommendations, a topic that is covered in more depth in Chapter 10, Managing LinkedIn recommendations. The other side of the coin, responding to requests for recommendations is also covered here and then Chapter 11 is on Recruiting Job Candidates, that is using LinkedIn to search for job candidates and perform reference searches.
The next four chapters could be grouped together as "Going further". Chapter 12 looks at some LinkedIn applications - including one to create polls and one for displaying WordPress blogs on your profile; 13 looks at participating in LinkedIn Groups; 14 explores LinkedIn Answers and 15 shows how to take advantage of the Service Providers directory from either side of the fence.
Chapter 16 is on Creating a Company Profile - and prompted me to follow the steps in the Let Me Try It only to discover that this aspect of LinkedIn has undergone some changes since the book was published and I encountered problems it doesn't address - not a major criticism of the printed book as change happens but given there is a web version it would be good to see it updated.
Chapter 17 looks at the two advertising options on LinkedIn - for those with huge budgets and DirectAds for shoestring budgets and the final chapter is on accessing Linked in from mobile devices with generic information, links to follow if you use Apple devices with iOS 3.0 and later or Blackberry and a short Let Me Try it for Palm Pre.
By being very specific and hands-on this book already seems dated because of changes outside its control and it also provides a lot of detail for tasks that many readers will find easy to follow without the help of a book.