There are many professional networking sites which offer exceptional opportunities to expand your professional network and access to a wealth of information. Do not hesitate to investigate the many options available and create your online profile on ZoomInfo, Xing, Google, Naymz, VisualCV, Twitter or a Facebook Page. However, there is one site that should be considered mandatory, Linkedin. With over 65 million users today, Linkedin has experienced unprecedented growth and is listed as the top resource by HR professionals and recruiters making it the #1 professional networking site.
Establishing a professional online profile is fast becoming the most influential component of a successful career. Whether gainfully employed or in career transition, a Linkedin profile is critical. Opportunity is the key to success and Linkedin will generate opportunities for you if utilized in a proper, professional manner.
Not unlike your resume, the content for your Linkedin profile must be clear, concise and highlight your achievements. Click on the edit beside your Linkedin URL and customize it, removing the dots, dashes and numbers and share the link on your resume, other online profiles and add it to your email signature. Status updates should be maintained on a regular basis and received messages should be responded to within 24 hours. Join appropriate groups and contribute to discussions. Always remember that networking online or in person involves a balance of giving and receiving in order to establish long lasting, successful relationships. Be confident and honest in sharing what your needs are but don’t forget to advise what you are able to give back in return.
One aspect of Linkedin that you should pay strict attention to is the proper etiquette when requesting to connect with another professional. DO NOT request to add a connection using the canned text, “I would like to add you to my professional network” without further elaboration. Include an explanation of why you want to add the individual to your network. Advise if you have met them before. If so, where and when? Give them a reason to connect with you. A conscious decision to connect with strangers without explanation could result in the potential respondent selecting the option, “I don’t know this user”, rather than accepting your invitation. This will then block you from connecting with this individual again and your rating/reputation will be negatively impacted.
As with any organization, there are rules, policies and a proper etiquette that should be respected and adhered to when establishing and maintaining your professional profile. Don’t miss out on the potential for unlimited opportunities by utilizing Linkedin, the #1 professional networking site.
Have you established your professional profile on Linkedin? For further information regarding an online presence contact Elite Resumes.