In recent weeks I’ve had the great privilege of working with a leader in the recruitment industry, Bill Vick of Dallas, Texas, as his co-author on the book Happy About LinkedIn for Recruiting (link temporarily removed – site access problem). I learnt a lot from the exercise, about recruiting definitely, but also about online networking.

In the process, I learnt that LinkedIn is actually an even more impressive professional networking tool than I had previously realised.

The book draws on interviews with a range of online networking experts and leaders in the recruiting industry, interviews which explore just how LinkedIn is used in practice and also uncover some of the capabilities of LinkedIn that are not fully appreciated or fully utilised by many members.

Certainly I have gained a huge amount professionally and in terms of newfound colleagues and friends, from being a member of LinkedIn and related groups, such as My LinkedIn Power Forum, LinkedInnovators and especially LinkedIn Bloggers, the group I moderate with help from colleagues Dave Taylor of various blogs including Intuitive Systems and Dennis McDonald whose All Kind Food blog is about “managing technology, media and life in a digital age” .

One thing I’ve found is that a business membership of LinkedIn gives you a lot more scope to access and leverage the network, than does the free personal account I had till recently. But while I like the benefits of a premium, business membership of LinkedIn, I am very happy to recommend to friends and colleagues that they join and test the system with a free personal membership if they are not ready to go for a premium membership immediately.

LinkedIn really is an amazing tool – and I’m not saying that just because of the book  

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