According to its statements, LinkedIn is the largest online professional network, which is active in over 200 countries and has 200 million members.

In May 2003, the website went online in California, USA for the first time.

LinkedIn’s CEO is Jeff Weiner. The management consists of former executives from Yahoo, Google and Microsoft, among others.

The company’s goal is to connect specialists and executives worldwide.

According to Alexa LinkedIn is one of the 500 most visited websites worldwide.



LinkedIn provides its users with access to people, jobs, news, updates and inside information. This is to ensure that the users act successfully in their professional life. The profile of the employee appears with a CV. This enables potential employers to make a well-founded selection of candidates for the vacant position. In addition, the user can set up a link to their website and thus actively promote themselves.

More functions:

  • Recommendations by other members
  • Insight into company profiles
  • Setting up a multilingual profile
  • Join and create groups.

The user can also register as a premium member via a paid account. Functions such as limiting incoming messages, network statistics and a targeted search according to the job level are then available to them. The costs vary between €20 and €350 depending on the service €. One advantage LinkedIn has over competitors such as Xing is that users can contact users through other members. This allows for serious network expansion. In addition, users can submit ratings about other members. The profile then shows whether, for example, you are a motivated and committed employee or whether you have the necessary skills as a manager.

LinkedIn advertising

LinkedIn offers advertisers the opportunity to place so-called “LinkedIn Ads”. Advertisers can choose between billing using the CPC or CPM model. The minimum CPC is USD 2 (as of December 2014).

A LinkedIn ad looks similar to a Google AdWords text ad but with the addition of an image. A LinkedIn ad consists of a headline of up to 25 characters and a description of up to 75 characters. In addition, the company name can be displayed. At the end of the text ad, a link target is given, which the user gets when he clicks on the corresponding ad.

A valid LinkedIn account is required to run LinkedIn Ads.

Ad positions

LinkedIn Ads appear in all major areas of the network. This allows the ads to appear on a member’s profile page, home page, user’s inbox, and search results page. There is also the possibility that the advertisements will be displayed on group pages.


The targeting possibilities for LinkedIn advertising are great. The ads can be placed by business, industry, type of job title or the area of ​​activity of the target group. Sociodemographic and geographic criteria such as age, region or gender can also be used. Interesting targeting options can also be “Company” or “career level” and “company size”.

Benefits for Advertisers

LinkedIn advertising offers companies an excellent opportunity to direct and advance recruiting. In this way, new employees can also be specifically advertised by selected companies. The target group can also be precisely aligned to a specific job that you want to offer. In addition, this form of advertising could also be of interest to conventional advertising for insurance companies or financial service providers. Because the possibility of selecting the career level as a targeting option also indirectly captures the financial potential of the target group.

It would also be possible to place advertising specifically on company accounts to refer to potentially better job opportunities in one’s own company.

However, the diverse and very precise targeting options are reflected in the high starting price of USD 2 per click. Depending on how many other companies advertise on LinkedIn, the click price could quickly reach double digits.


Consumer advocates have repeatedly criticised LinkedIn.

On the one hand, deleting a user account is extremely complicated because the functions required for this are not obvious.

Another point of criticism is the lack of data protection. In June 2012, a Russian hacker managed to publish the passwords of over 6.5 million members.

Stiftung Warentest was also able to gain access to the LinkedIn user accounts and their stored data within a few days.


With the IPO in 2011 and the acquisition of SlideShare in May 2012, LinkedIn shows that the website has longer-term economic goals.

LinkedIn is a serious site for networking in the working world. This is becoming increasingly important due to ongoing globalisation. In the long term, LinkedIn will probably prevail over its competitor Xing in Germany. The international orientation and networking with other social networks such as Twitter speak in favour of LinkedIn.


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