Thursday, January 31, 2013

Are You Making One of These LinkedIn Mistakes - Part 3

In this third installation of common LinkedIn mistakes, I want to evaluate your communications that take place through this valuable social networking tool. Let's look at two facets of communication - within the LinkedIn site itself and outside of LinkedIn.

Communication Within LinkedIn
The creators of LinkedIn were so generous when they launched the site. Any time you go to communicate with someone within LinkedIn - sending an invitation, requesting an endorsement or simply sending an email - the website generates an automated communication. However, if you want to truly use LinkedIn to its full potential, never send the automated communication.

  • Always customize your communication with a personal note - even if the contact is someone you work with on a daily basis.
  • If attempting to connect with a recruiter or establish a networking contact within a company, preparation is key. Research the company's needs, problems, and values to identify how you can be of assistance to them.
  • Reach out to human resources or hiring manager contacts by sending a customized invitation to connect. This invitation should state your background and skill set and convey your desire to keep on top of what is happening in that company's industry by making connections via LinkedIn.

Communication Outside of LinkedIn
Use the connections you form on LinkedIn to take that online relationship outside into the "real world." Don't rest on your laurels and revel in the number of connections you have established on LinkedIn. Instead try to form real human relationships using your LinkedIn connection as a launching point.
  •  Request informational interviews where you can either meet in person or speak on the phone for 15 minutes and get the chance to pick your contact's brain for additional inside scoop.
  • Think of LinkedIn as a resource that you can proactively use to build your network. Be willing and available to make recommendations and endorsements when requested. In order to expect assistance and referrals from your network, you must be willing to make the effort to help them as well. 

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