Networking in the digital age requires new tools. Of course, the classic principles are still true as ever. Keep your goal in mind, and the following three keys will help you adapt to be head-hunted in the new world of networking.
Your timeless goal is to widely showcase your unique personal value to a targeted professional audience.
Relational investment in your professional ecosystem won’t ever be replaced. But now, there are new mediums to communicate your unique value. This month’s post will tell you about these tools in Key 1, and Keys 2 and 3 will get you ready for next month’s post.
Key 1: Tell your story digitally. Control your voice.
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+
How are you telling your career story to the world?
LinkedIn is your professional front door. This tool is as important as your resume because it validates your resume and can contain additional unique content such as endorsements, recommendations, mission statement, creative project displays, external links to professional blogs, websites, or groups, for instance. LinkedIn isn’t going anywhere, so get comfortable with it.
Twitter can be a more cheeky voice, selectively commenting on industry news and company happenings. Twitter is how you show people you aren’t a careerist robot, but that you are actually interested in the work you do. It’s also a great way to begin to make informal connections with people you want to network with.
Facebook is all about tight control. Manage your privacy settings like a hawk. Wild college days? You need to be aware of technology called “reverse image search” where images that have ended up in the public domain through someone else sharing them can be traced back you. Have you tried to use the Facebook graph search? You can be found by photos you have been tagged in, where the photos were taken, where you attended school, where you’ve worked, what you’ve “liked..”, and the list goes on.
Google+ is gaining wider adoption all the time. This is another avenue for you to leverage a “mixed voice” similar to Twitter.
Feel a little behind? It’s never too late to start an account, or start fresh. Have fun with it, go from the top-down.
Key 2: Start to be a connector
Introduce, Share, Advise
You may not be the right person with whom your contact should be partnering. Consider referring someone you think may be a fit or interesting for your contact to meet based on commonalities. The worst that can happen is either side doesn’t take the meeting. Introducers get introduced.
Briefly share industry information, resources, news, or best practices with your contact when appropriate. Relevant small-talk allows for laughs and insights to reveal our personhood (remember, you aren’t a career robot.)
Freely advise. They may not take your counsel into serious consideration, but advising is a way we help others and demonstrate our forthrightness and confidence.
Key 3: Focus on active and selective relationships
Professional Groups, and Keeping in Touch
Are you aware of professional organizations in your field? Certification bodies, conferences, or professional networking groups are all examples. Consider volunteering for these groups, or giving a speech at a conference. You will learn while helping others and gain recognition as an expert in the process. Publishing whitepapers or research papers is a second avenue.
Who do you find thought-provoking, enjoyable, or outgoing in your profession? Stay in touch with them! Send them a hand written note once a year, wish them happy birthday, or send an e-mail to see how things are going for no reason. You don’t have to want something to get in touch with someone!
Try testing just one of these keys, and you’ll start to notice yourself getting noticed for the right reasons!
Stay tuned for How to Be Head-Hunted, Part 2, next month, which will enable you capitalize on your work getting your digital story told and tuned with more ideas to get you noticed in your profession.