Using Social Networking to Your Advantage

Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, CERW, CEMC, is a Certified Professional Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, named one of Forbes “Top 100 Career Websites”.

Networking today is vastly different than it was even 10 years ago. Often times, people who plan to attend networking events already know many people who are also planning to attend the same event, even though they may have never met face-to-face. The power of social networking is phenomenal and plays a significant role in c-level personal branding. Everything you do online is critiqued and criticized, so it can be easy to make mistakes and derail your job search. Here are a few effective ways to make your social networking efforts work in your favor.

Create Unique and Thoughtful Posts 

It’s important before you begin reaching out to potential connections, that you look at your profile objectively. You want to make sure you have fully optimized your LinkedIn profile as much as possible. Once you’ve got the basics covered, then put together a string of insightful posts that are attractive for your targeted audience. This should include a mix of original thoughts, ideas or article, as well as articles from other sources. And when you identify people you want to connect with, start sharing their articles and posts as well, and they will take notice of you.

Interact With Connections Appropriately

You know when you get that feeling someone is watching you? Well, you don’t want to be THAT person. You don’t want to come across online as a stalker, but you do want to reach out to people appropriately to demonstrate your c-level personal branding. Targeting people on LinkedIn or other social media platforms means identifying people who work for companies you may be interested in working for. It could also mean connecting with people and developing mutually-beneficial professional relationships with them. You can start off by making subtle comments on their social media posts and eventually reaching out to them to introduce yourself.

A key aspect of social networking is joining various groups related to your industry.


Develop Your Online Brand 

A solid LinkedIn profile is attractive and can tell anyone who visits it a lot about who you are. However, it is critical to build that social networking relationship upfront. The chances of someone accepting your invitation to connect without any form of contact is very low. One way to begin that relationship is to post original articles and comment on your connection’s posts while participating in meaningful discussions. Developing positive social networking relationships can open up doors to many different opportunities in your future.

Join LinkedIn Groups

A key aspect of social networking is joining various groups related to your industry. These groups allow you to network with professionals who aren’t currently a part of your network. Whether you’re actively searching for a job or just looking to build credibility, joining groups with your LinkedIn profile is valuable. These groups allow you to build your credibility, grow your network, learn from other experts in, and outside your industry and develop new networking opportunities.

Create Networking Opportunities

Sometimes you’ll come across people who are close to your home or office and can easily meet up for coffee or lunch, or can possibly attend a networking event together. Just make sure you’ve interacted with them for a while and can see the value of meeting them in person. If so, don’t hesitate to extend an invitation to them. Simply being conversational is the first step to creating valuable networking opportunities that can lead to much greater things.

LinkedIn profile development is a critical aspect of your job search efforts. Too many executives make critical mistakes with their social networking, and they damage their job search, as a result. The main thing to remember is to always be conscious of what you post online, and ask yourself if it helps your c-level personal branding or hurts it. 


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