We’ve heard a lot about the “value” of LinkedIn for everything from finding a job to posting a job. “It’s free,” everyone says. (But for the time you invest, of course.)
How can something “free” be so “valuable”?
How you value your network depends on what you use it for—and who’s in it. Kevin Donlin, creator of TheSimpleJobSearch.com, values his network at $150—that’s how much you’d have to spend on his job searching products before you’d be allowed onto his buddy list of job seekers, recruiters, and hiring managers.
We did an informal poll (on LinkedIn, of course!) asking people how much they believed their networks to be worth.
Sara Moss of The Code Works responded succinctly: “$150? Sounds more like a typo or a Nigerian bank scam.”
Others found $150 a fair number; the logic being that the time saved by not having to build your own network far outweighed the cost.
Donlin defended the price, saying, “one in-person meeting is worth 20 e-mails or 50 phone calls.” And he cites examples of clients of his resume-writing business finding jobs through his network: “Tony Delisi [the client] met my cousin, and her husband is now his boss.”
Also note this article from 2007, which connects executive pay to the “connectedness” of the execs in question.
As far as we know, LinkedIn doesn’t put a quantitative value on what they believe your network to be worth—it’s all about how you use it and what value you get out of it.