2016-06-22 / Columns

Microsoft polishes up LinkedIn’s resume

COMPUSCHMOOZE
STEVE LUBETKIN

There haven’t been many blockbuster deals in the tech world for a long time, so the recent news that Microsoft Corporation was acquiring professional social networking site LinkedIn.com for $26-billion was a bit of a surprise to many.

The transaction demonstrates how important Microsoft thinks it is to be in the business side of the social media space. Virtually all companies use Microsoft’s office productivity applications, like Microsoft Word or Excel. And if you go to a networking meeting, nearly all of the participants have a profile on LinkedIn.

“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet.”

It’s regarded as the “serious” place where you carefully prune your resume and profile, so that potential clients or employers can find your unique skills and offer you that dream job.

With the Microsoft acquisition, LinkedIn users can expect to see greater integration of their profile information into software like Microsoft Outlook, the email and calendaring package. For the past several versions of Outlook, you’ve had the ability to click on the name of the person sending you an email to see information about them from LinkedIn. The connection is likely to become deeper for things like meetings and group discussions. Expect to see LinkedIn profile information in the voice and video tool, Skype, which Microsoft acquired several years ago.

LinkedIn users have access to a number of “groups,” which serve as town halls or communities, focusing on business specialties or supporting real-world networking organizations as online discussion forums. There is also a job-searching tool that uses individuals’ profiles to match skills and experience with jobs posted on the site by hiring companies. LinkedIn subscribers (there are several paid levels offering additional networking tools, but there is a basic free level also) can also connect with each other through a private messaging system, or ask people they know and trust to introduce them to LinkedIn members they want to meet.

On the flip side, LinkedIn generates enormous revenue through its “Recruiter” tools used by executive headhunters and human resource professionals to identify and recruit job candidates based on their profiles. The site has more than 433 million members worldwide.

Microsoft was also certainly attracted to LinkedIn because of its own success with mobile apps. The company recently delivered several mobile apps designed for job-seekers, group discussion participants, and for networking online while on the go.

The Redmond, WA-based tech company also must be thinking about ways to leverage the software training resource, Lynda.com, which offers subscription based video training courses for hundreds of popular software packages. LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com a few years ago and makes introductory videos available free to its members.

If you have LinkedIn or other social media questions, write to me at steve@compuschmooze.com s

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