LinkedIn: Pioneers of more than just the first major social media IPO

On May 19, LinkedIn went public. Shares rose as high as 171 percent on the first day of trade on the NYSE and closed at more than 109 percent above the IPO price. Hats off to you, LinkedIn. Your success is well-deserved. Here's why.

With over 100 million users in 200 countries around the world, LinkedIn is an endless database of contacts, candidates, marketing leads, jobs, clients, and resources with unlimited opportunities that span as far as the mind can imagine. LinkedIn has capitalized on and stayed true to two enormous markets: hiring and marketing. They have stayed focused on the user experience, technology, innovation, and agility to an ever-changing market.

As a recruiter, I've been no stranger to LinkedIn since its infancy, and like a childhood friend, it has grown and evolved with me. I used this tool for sourcing, researching companies, enhancing my personal and professional brand, discovering new business opportunities, and networking, just to name a few.

Fifty percent of my hires come from LinkedIn, taking the lion's share in comparison to all other tools in terms of effective sourcing strategies. And did I mention that all of this can be done for free?

So thanks LinkedIn. Enjoy your success, as thanks to you, I have enjoyed mine.

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