Thursday, November 22, 2012

Three Ways to Show Gratitude Through LinkedIn

As we celebrate Thanksgiving today, I want to examine a few ways that job seekers and professionals can show their gratitude to those people in their professional network through LinkedIn. First of all, if you do not have a LinkedIn profile your first step is to take care of that oversight.

LinkedIn has become one of the most important networking tools for professionals. People are getting found on LinkedIn for job opportunities, being selected for consulting positions, and connecting with long-lost professional contacts. However, you can also use LinkedIn to build relationships. Here are three ways you can show your gratitude to your contacts and build solid relationships using LinkedIn.

This is a relatively new tool on LinkedIn. When a person has selected their skills and expertise, you can go into their profile and offer a personal endorsement of that skill. If you have first-hand knowledge of your contact's ability to successfully utilize one of their selected skills, all you have to do is go into their profile, hover over the skill they have selected and click on "endorse." This will build your contact's credibility.

This takes a bit more time and thought, but offering a personalized recommendation is another way to show appreciation for your contact. When writing a recommendation for your contact, think about the skills they have discussed in their profile and their skills and expertise section. Write a minimum of two to three sentences about your impression of their skills. Include a brief example or story of how they have impacted you in your recommendation to increase the validity of the message.

Networking, especially social networking, is about making new connections. Always be willing and available to assist your existing network of contacts to connect with each other. When done right, networking is a give and take relationship that benefits everyone involved. Reach out to your contacts with a personal message about the person you want to introduce and clearly state what they are looking for and the type of assistance they need. People can't help unless they know what is needed.

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