By Faye Katz
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?
If you are considering expanding your LinkedIn presence, please join the JCS Career Center on June 27 for our free webinar, Leveraging LinkedIn, to find out how to optimize your profile and add social media to your business/career development strategy.
Faye Katz is the resume writer for the JCS Career Center.
The JCS Career Center offers comprehensive employment assistance that helps job seekers of all abilities and skill levels find and maintain employment. Services include career coaching, career assessments, resume and cover letter services, interview preparation, job readiness training, vocational rehabilitation and job placement assistance. For more information, call 410-466-9200 or visit jcsbaltimore.org.