By: Susan J. Anderson, CC – Communications Specialist
Continued from September 4, 2013
Yes, I’m one of the LinkedIn members who tends my online profile like a garden. We’ve heard that analogy many times, but, it’s true. Regular visits to nurture my network, keep my group vibrant and growing as well as updating my information has proven to be a productive use of time. I send email messages to inform contacts of my progress. Plus, I want to hear their news.
Because I cultivate my network, I’m known for having fresh information and have become a professional connector. If someone is seeking a contact in a particular field, and I know of someone in my network, I’m happy to make an introduction. The contact could return the favor to me in the future. In addition, I increase my reputation as a person who adds value, is worth knowing and is active in professional circles. I’ve made the choice not to be an open networker. My policy is to get to know you and learn about your background. Once I make a recommendation, my reputation rides with you.
LinkedIn profile photos are a feature I like. Resumes are a bit anonymous and can be easy to cast aside. The photos add a human quality and I aim to connect with professional people. Move beyond the standard placeholder image, a cartoon or artist’s drawing of your face. It doesn’t represent your true, authentic self. Perhaps you are avoiding some form of bias, but you aren’t being yourself.
Having a LinkedIn profile is no substitute for meeting people at networking events. It is a compliment to what contacts already know about you and may even be a source to close some information gaps. My experience has been that activity increases about the time you reach 300 connections. Individuals that are 2nd level contacts reached out more frequently to connect with me. If I have been in a large meeting where all present have given a 30-second introduction to the audience, I’ll accept the invitation because we have the common thread of being participants at the same event. Often, that will lead to a more in depth one on one conversation where I can speak with my new acquaintance and learn more about how I can help.
Linkedin is a great way to share information. I’m constantly amazed at the power and reach of the medium. Being visible increases my chances to land the position I desire.
Most of all, I keep the phrase “Givers Gain” top of mind. When I help others I help myself by feeling a sense of accomplishment and self worth.
How has LinkedIn been a benefit during your job search?