Why It’s Imperative to Build a Professional Network on LinkedIn

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Have you put your profile on the professional networking site LinkedIn? That is, did you put up your name, a few of your past employers/positions, asked to link with a few former and current co-workers and then left it at that?

If so, you haven’t really used its power.

Here’s a short primer on the importance of using LinkedIn as you build a professional network and how to do so

As you create your profile, be sure to keep your accomplishments and work history honest. You’ll never know who will read your profile, see that you’re lying and out you, possibly on LinkedIn itself, for the world to see! Bad for your career.

LinkedIn allows you to upload your e-mail system’s address book to contact those people within it. Do so and ask to link to those who are already LinkedIn members.

Expand your connections by reaching out to others in your network (either through your e-mail history or people you know of) and ask them to connect to you.

Recommendations are key to creating goodwill. Make recommendations for as many people as you can. Chances are many of them will return the favor (and if they don’t automatically, you can e-mail them with a polite request to do so). Recommendations are wonderful because the recommendation given to you shows up in your recommender’s profile, thus expanding your network.

How LinkedIn Can Help You Create a Terrific Career

The more connections you have, the more likely you’ll be found in LinkedIn searches by folks who want to hire you or form a business partnership with you. Since people like to hire people they know (or who are known by other people they know), many connections helps you become known exponentially by more people.

Many companies use LinkedIn to perform preliminary reference checks. You can do the same, checking out potential hiring managers and companies before you apply for a position or head to an employment interview.

You should join a few LinkedIn groups that interest you.  You can ask questions of the group and receive quick responses from other industry professionals — which you may then parlay into LinkedIn connections, thus expanding your network ever more.

You also should try LinkedIn Answers, which allows you to ask business-related questions. Since LinkedIn is a network of professionals, you’re more likely to get thoughtful, accurate answers from a wide range of people in a wide range of industries, which you can then — again — add to your LinkedIn connections.

More and more business people and hiring managers go to LinkedIn first when they are searching for candidates. Build a great LinkedIn profile, coupled with several recommendations as well as dozens of connections, and don’t be surprised if hiring managers, headhunters and business owners contact you about jobs without you ever having to send in an application or resume.

Use RealStreet Staffing, as well as LinkedIn, to help you find a terrific position quickly in Washington Metro construction, architecture and engineering companies. We look forward to hearing from you.

RealStreet has been an excellent partner in understanding our programs’ unique staffing requirements-skills, experience, clearances, seasonality—and consistently provides qualified and highly productive team members who are often recognized by our customers for their performance.

Cheryll Bissell

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