3 Steps to Leveraging LinkedIn to Enhance Your Professional Network
As the VP of Staffing Solutions, my goal is to identify and connect with successful people with whom I can foster long term and mutually beneficial relationships. Having a large professional network can be valuable for everyone; you never know what opportunities may arise for you to help someone. Furthermore, you may also never know what doors your connections may open for you in the future.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for growing and enhancing professional networks. But like all tools, if they are not used properly, they can render themselves useless. I wanted to share my thoughts on how I leverage LinkedIn professionally to make connections, initiate interactions and cultivate relationships so that others may enhance their professional networks as well.
Connect: It is important for me to identify and connect strategically with individuals in which I have something in common. When I review the “people you may know” section of LinkedIn, I search for people that work in a similar industry or at organizations that I want to know more about. I also review who they know, what they do, certifications and passions. I want to connect with people that have business goals, interests, passions and motivating factors that align with mine.
Initiate: While increasing the number of connections can broaden my exposure to content and increase my followers, I find it more important to cultivate and foster the actual relationships. I believe that all successful relationships are based on open and honest communication and so it is vital to carry this belief into my professional relationships as well. Once a connection is made, I kindly request time on their schedule for a brief, introductory phone call. As a hiring manager, sometimes this call is centered around a specific open job requisition. However, oftentimes, the conversation has nothing to do with career opportunities. Instead, I use this time to form the foundation of a relationship for future benefit of us both.
Cultivate: While connecting with people and getting to know them is great, if a relationship is not nurtured, then it will deteriorate rapidly. For this reason, I find time frequently to touch base and reconnect with my professional contacts. While specific opportunities will sometimes initiate this exchange, there is often no motive or specific agenda. I find that these interactions prove to be more valuable. It is through this type of open dialog that I have received the best advice or have been able to aid others.
Through cultivating these connections, I am frequently reminded that all successful relationships create a win-win for all parties. It’s never too late to start connecting, initiating and cultivating new relationships so I encourage everyone to begin taking the steps to enhance your professional network today.
As the VP of Staffing Solutions, Trent Dorroh brings over 15 years of IT experience to ABS. In addition to creating and cultivating industry relationships, Trent is responsible for spearheading strategy for ABS IT Staffing + Recruiting services