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Why LinkedIn is worth $26.2 billion and how to make it work for you

Posted June 22

When Microsoft announced last week that it would purchase LinkedIn for more than $26 billion, some observers were confused.

The social-networking site presents itself as a valuable tool for job seekers, but for every success story, there seems to be a tale of someone who created an account after college graduation and then promptly abandoned it.

"I remember the surprise I felt a couple of years ago when I learned that LinkedIn has been enjoying robust growth. I joined LinkedIn about a decade ago, but I didn't find it very useful," writes Timothy Lee for Vox.com.

Confusion about LinkedIn's value stems, in part, from the fact that the site is more popular and effective in some industries than others.

"Professionals going into marketing or finance will probably get more out of it than, say, scientists or engineers," MTV News reported in 2014.

Some workers may sign-up and receive countless job offers and connection requests, while others regret ever taking the time to upload a profile picture and resume.

But people in this second group may want to reconsider their stance, according to career experts. LinkedIn holds many benefits for job-seekers of all stripes, even if they're not immediately obvious.

"LinkedIn is a massive database, and within its gazillions of records are critical elements in your job-search plan and strategy," Forbes reported.

Users can learn about how the people who have their dream jobs got to where they are today and learn how to reach out to leaders at companies they admire, the article noted.

"Using LinkedIn, you can see who your friends know, where people have been and what they're interested in, what people are talking about and who's gone from Company A to Company B. If you're paying attention, LinkedIn can absorb at least 30 percent of your job-search related research load," Forbes reported.

However, people do need to work hard to get the most out of the site, experts said. LinkedIn compiles information, but individual users need to make creative use of it.

"LinkedIn matters, but with the disclaimer that it's only as effective as the user," said Stacy Harriman, UCLA's counseling manager, to MTV News.

The recent LinkedIn acquisition shouldn't change much about how the site functions, at least at first. Microsoft will allow the company to keep its current chief executive and operate as an independent brand, The New York Times reported.

Email: kdallas@deseretnews.com Twitter: @kelsey_dallas

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