Social media is the name of the game today, and if you can’t play ball, you’re going to have to work twice as hard as everyone else to make yourself stand out among a sea of tweeter, posters and bloggers. Relax, social media doesn’t have to be scary. You can use it to your advantage and learn to network in the new millennium using your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have one already, I would suggest starting your account right now. It only takes a few minutes and it’s free.
Fill out Your Profile
Don’t just open an account and keep it bare. Add some depth to it. Put up a current photo, update your resume to reflect all of your past jobs and add friends you know to expand your network.
Keep it Professional
Remember, this isn’t Twitter or Facebook, it’s not the place to share all of your quirky habits and pastimes. Let your profile have some personality, but still keep it professional so that you don’t scare off any potentially interested companies.
Build Your Network
Actively add friends and colleagues as you see them on LinkedIn. If you see someone who may know someone you would like to meet, politely contact them and ask them if they can make an introduction.
When you build up a wall of recommendations, it allows interested parties to read referrals before they even contact the list of referrals you gave them during an interview. People can see your strengths and glowing reviews and feel confident in hiring you.
Nurture Relationships in the Real World
LinkedIn is perfect for making professional connections, but in order to keep them, you’ve got to nurture the connections in real life. Whether this is over coffee or martinis, be sure that you spend time with your new connections face to face so they can get to know you better.
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