Why LinkedIn’s 300M Account Milestone Benefits Users

 

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheilascarborough/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheilascarborough/

LinkedIn users are in great numbers online. The professional social media website is larger than Twitter by about the total population of Italy. As of Friday, LinkedIn officially has more than 300 million accounts, which is slightly below the current population of the United States. While some of these 300 million users are inactive, the 187 monthly active users the company reported in its last quarterly report is certainly a good number of users for people looking to network on the social media site. And the more users on LinkedIn, the more useful the site is.

Americans and residents of the United States are those best connected to network since about 100 million of those accounts are users based in geographic networks based in the United States, but international users also have plenty of opportunities to connect. LinkedIn released an infographic that shows the United States is the top county in terms of number of users. India and Brazil round out the top three countries on LinkedIn. For all users, LinkedIn’s growth is good news for three key reasons.

The first benefit is that anyone can network with people or companies in any country. The professional job search has always relied in part on whom you know, so the professional social media website offers an opportunity to expand who you know and to find out who your connections connect you to in one big web of opportunities.

LinkedIn’s feature that allows users to create additional profiles in another language or two is especially handy here because it allows users to connect with people internationally. This is also useful since LinkedIn includes educational, workplace and professional networks, making it easy for you to connect with thousands of users worldwide, allowing a user’s network to grow.

Secondly, even if your personal network remains on the small side, LinkedIn getting so big has some major benefits. More and more companies have profiles on the website, making researching a company’s culture and job openings at a company a lot easier than it used to be. Chances are an average user may even have one or two connections to a company via third degree connection — someone who knows someone who knows someone.

Third, the growth of LinkedIn means that more companies with online applications will allow users to use LinkedIn to autocomplete job applications, making the application process easier, at least until it comes down to crafting that perfect cover letter that is often an applicant’s first impression upon the company.

Even if a user is not sold on LinkedIn, it’s still pretty useful to get one. It’s better a LinkedIn profile shows up when a potential employer does a Google search on your name than those old Facebook, or even MySpace photos (Yes, they still may exist in cyberspace.) that you would like to pretend never made it online.

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