The professional's version of Facebook
for use as a career networking tool. You have a "public profile
" that corresponds to a Facebook "wall." Instead of "friends", you have "connections
." You gain access to the connections of your connections unless they "hide" them and you can hide yours. When you have a connection, you have their contact information. You can have professional recommendations posted on your page.
LinkedIn is also a frequently used sock puppet
for identity thieves. Never accept connections from people you don't know. Never put your real physical address into the contact section; give an e-mail address and an unlisted telephone number.
LinkedIn is also a tool that many recruiters
) use in a dishonest manner. Their attempts to connect with you are phishing
expeditions to get your connection list. The job that they claim to have is nearly always fake; it is bait, if you accept their connection you will never hear from them again or they will tell you that the job is filled. Recruiters always hide all their connections so you get nothing from them (all take and no give)
Ignore any offer for connections from a recruiter. If you want to contact them, do so outside of LinkedIn. Read their public profile (many recruiters have contact information there). If so, call or Email directly (use unlisted phone). If not, send an InMessage through LinkedIn giving them only an Email address and an unlisted phone number.