LinkedIn: friend or glorified recruitment tool?

With a , LinkedIn has some credence in its claims of being the world's largest professional network. Now, with , it's clear that the site has captured the attention of many in the local workplace.

But a careful look at the statistics the social network is quick to flaunt can reveal something a little disturbing about the network. Of the Australian base currently on the network, 1276 users claim to be a "guru" at some field or other, while a further 12,108 users have "social media" in their title description.

These are tiny proportions of the overall base, to be sure, but reveal a fact the company may not be willing to: While catering specifically to professionals, it is, after all, a 'social' network.

Recommendations from friends and colleagues, urges to add more and more personal information about oneself and invitations to join personal interest group can at times seem to cross the line between a professional's work and personal life, something that can be met with derision from a potential employer.

Even taking away the social aspect, for some LinkedIn has become a glorified recruitment tool, a place where job seekers and human resources departments alike can poach and pick their prey.

Nevertheless, amongst the criticisms that could potentially be laid at the network, there are some redeeming factors. The ability to customise what your LinkedIn profile Web address provides the opportunity include a personal feature on one's resume - a great way to have an up-to-date profile online that can be easily accessed by a potential employer.