By Ignite Career Center
Remember the days when professional networking meant exchanging business cards with potential clients, vendors or employers? The business cards would end up in a pile in your office drawer or, if you were really organized, the cards would be filed alphabetically in a rolodex.
Today, professional networking has moved online to social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. In particular, LinkedIn has opened up a whole new world of building contacts and professional communities globally.
LinkedIn is your virtual handshake and the new virtual introduction. Your profile is like your business card. Your summary is your 2-minute elevator pitch. You add value to your network and market yourself through your posts and shares on LinkedIn.
Looking for a job? Trying to expand your reach? Trying to build up market share and acquire new clients? Need to collaborate among industry professionals? LinkedIn is the place to do all that and more.
It’s a place to make connections with potential employers or prospective clients. It’s the place to build your network and engage with professionals both in and out of your industry. It is a place where collective learning and sharing takes place. LinkedIn has become a supportive environment where professionals are helping each other advance their careers through networking, sharing and making meaningful connections.
Depending on where you are in your career, LinkedIn can be a valuable resource for you at literally any stage. Once you make the decision to use LinkedIn, you need to think about what you want to accomplish and create a strategy for getting it done.
Here are things to think about as you delve into the world of online professional networking:
- How can I benefit from an online professional networking site?
- What would my profile look like?
- Who would I connect with?
- What value can I bring to my network?
- Which connections can bring value to me?
Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned professional, the Ignite Career Center, a program of Jewish Community Services, can help you go farther and get there faster. Our highly experienced Career Coaches provide individuals of all backgrounds and abilities with the customized services and tools they need to stand out from the competition. For information, call 410-466-9200 or visit ignitecareercenter.com.