Thursday, December 11, 2008

Link to LinkedIn

Put online networking to work for you. LinkedIn can provide you with opportunities to build your professional network and your reputation.

//Ask & Answer
Use LinkedIn Answers to ask a question of the online community and gain perspectives from people around the world. Better yet, answer questions posted by others with thoughtful responses that reflect your positioning and your expertise.

//Share Kind Words
Write a recommendation about one of your connections. [But, if you don't mean it, don't write it because it becomes part of a permanent record outside of your control and as part of your profile.]

//Build Your Network Purposefully
Ask for introductions. One purpose of LinkedIn is to leverage your connections. Remember, though, neither you nor your contact is under any obligation to connect with someone or make an introduction. If you're not comfortable, decline politely. Scott Allen on Linked Intelligence recommends handling these situations with an e-mail, perhaps beginning, "Thanks for inviting me to connect on LinkedIn. I would like to start a dialogue, get to know each other and find out how we might be of service to each other ..."

LinkedIn can be a helpful tool for you or your organization. Leverage it carefully. Be authentic and consistent. And, remember that whether you're networking on-line or in-person, proper etiquette goes a long way to positioning you as someone others want to get to know.
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