Don’t Just Lurk in the LinkedIn Shadows
By Greg Simpson on April 27, 2012
Networking through LinkedIn should be a relationship-building exercise, not merely a delivery system for contacting people and asking for information.
In the Forbes article “Why Most LinkedIn Users Don’t Get Results,” author Dan Schawbel interviewed Jan Vermeiren, a LinkedIn networking expert, to see why a lot of professionals “are on LinkedIn but few are maximizing it as a networking, branding and career tool.” Vermeiren maintains that most people don’t understand or apply the fundamental principles of networking: give and receive.
Networking is a mutually beneficial relationship. Congratulate your LinkedIn contacts when they’ve changed positions, send emails when they’ve updated their profiles, comment on their posts, provide suggestions for groups they may want to join or, if appropriate, offer to write them a recommendation. If you know they’re in a job search, offer to make introductions. Your generosity will yield a huge return on investment.
Vermeiren also touts the “Know, Like, Trust factor” and advises people to build it throughout their participation in LinkedIn groups. Do you join groups, but passively “lurk” in the background, reading postings rather than adding comments, articles and other feedback? Instead, demonstrate your thought leadership and business acumen by becoming an active participant. It takes more than one person to keep the conversation going.
Remember to continually nurture your networking relationships. Chances are your current job won’t be your last job, so keeping your LinkedIn network alive is a vital and ongoing component of your career development.
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