Congratulations if you have your profile on LinkedIn. But that is only a small part of how valuable this digital tool can do for you.
A goal for you to start with, is to have 100 contacts. Who do you know? Think back to your former jobs and the people you worked with. Who do you remember? Are they on LinkedIn? I bet they are! Sometimes a person’s name comes to my mind. Yes, I often go to LinkedIn to see if I can find them. I found my first HR boss who hired me as his assistant and mentored me. When he hired me, it would change my career journey and I was always grateful. After I found him, I wrote him a note about how much I appreciated him believing in me. While he is now retired, I was so pleased to have been able to share the impact he had on my career and life.
What’s amazing with LinkedIn and yes, sometimes scary, is that LI will soon suggest people to you. I think it has one of those formulas to find people where you worked and went to school and again, contacts of contacts. You’ll find people you forgot about and there they are, all you have to do is click.
But wait! Before you click on the standard connect tab it provides, write a personal note. Remind the person how you know them and perhaps a few nice words about your previous relationship. More people will accept your request if you go the extra step and write a few words to them.
Once they are on your list and if you’re looking for a job, you should “shop” for people that may be of interest to you and/or can help you with information either about a company, an industry, or a career. Then ask them for 2 or 3 more people you can talk with…always building your network. If you are trying to connect with a contact of one of your contacts, you will probably need your contact to introduce you. That will increase your chances of a reply.
Don’t be disappointed, though, if someone never responds. It happens. Don’t take it personally, and keep trying. There are many great people out there that are willing to give back to people wanting to advance their career.