Networking Online and Credibility

If you are in control of your career and actively seeking advancement, you are aware that networking is the most valuable tool available to anyone. 80% of successful job searches are as a direct result of networking.

Networking organizations and events offer an opportunity to introduce yourself with a firm handshake, exchange business cards, present a well rehearsed infomercial and share common information; all of which will leave a memorable impression. A neat appearance and a well articulated message will ensure your professionalism and credibility shine!

The impression you generate when networking online is just as critical requiring careful consideration as to how your invitation to connect will be received. Will the recipient know who you are? What information are you providing? You may have thought a previous encounter left a memorable impression but will your name be remembered? In order to ensure your credibility and the acceptance of your invitation there are 3 key areas to be addressed:

1. A professional photo; one that really does look like you so you’ll be easily recognized.

2. A custom introductory message which states who you are, why you want to connect, details regarding your knowledge of the individual such as how you met or a shared connection. Include information which will instill an interest to connect. Do not send a canned message: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

3. Customize your URL. This link to your personal profile should contain your proper name and requires a simple edit to remove the default numbers and dashes when originally established.

Increasing your network on Linkedin provides an extraordinary resource with the potential to reach out to over 150 million professionals!  However, your professional network is a reflection of you. If you are creating a network of connections consisting of strangers without professional photos or customized URLs it will damage your own credibility.  What impression will your next online invitation generate?

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