Back in the day, we had job postings in newspapers and made dozens of phone calls to various companies. Today we have LinkedIn, which has become one of the most powerful websites for both individuals and companies to look for the next step in their careers, fill open positions, and expand their network. In fact, LinkedIn has grown from 37 million users in 2009 to 450 million users this year.

If you don’t know, LinkedIn is a networking website founded by Reid Hoffman, and it is used primarily for people who are looking for a job and companies who need to fill a position. However that’s not the only purpose of LinkedIn.

For those of you who need a job, LinkedIn offers lots of opportunities. Chron describes the site as “a professional social media network, where users create profiles highlighting current and prior work experience.” Basically, LinkedIn is like an online resume, where anyone can see your profile. People are also able to give you recommendations that show off your skills, you can create groups and add connections, and share content that is relevant to your followers. (For those of you that aren’t connected with us, here is our account).

According to LinkedIn, their site can also be used to improve your network. LinkedIn realizes that a majority of their users are professionals who are established in their fields and are looking to market their product or company to others. Whether there’s a lighting problem in the office or a CEO who needs a taxi service, LinkedIn is able to connect users.

Some people believe that they don’t need to create a LinkedIn page because they have a Facebook or Twitter profile. However, LinkedIn is more useful than those two sites because it is only a business and networking page. Facebook and Twitter show more of your personal side, whereas LinkedIn is used to show off your professional side.

For more information on what to and what not to post on your LinkedIn profile, check back in with us next week.