Category: Networking


LinkedIn Etiquette You Need to Know When Networking Remotely

Even as businesses and offices start to reopen, networking is likely to remain virtual through the fall. Which is why it’s important for you to know how to use LinkedIn effectively, using proper LinkedIn etiquette. This means doing more than just setting up or updating your profile and letting it sit there on the platform.

Most people only create a LinkedIn profile and then expect recruiters to magically start sending them invitations for interviews. Or, they try to cold-connect with someone on the platform they don’t know, and expect him or her to immediately accept their connection request.

This is not how LinkedIn works. First, there are many more things you can do with LinkedIn beyond creating a profile, which is something I spend time teaching my clients. They’re always amazed at the different things I show them because they had no idea the platform could do those things.

Second, there are more things you need to do to build your network on LinkedIn. But, there is an etiquette to it. If you fail to follow proper LinkedIn etiquette, you’ll likely turn off the people you want to connect with most.

LinkedIn etiquette basics

1. Put a face with your name

Before you connect with anyone or ask for an introduction, make sure your profile includes your photo. No one likes to receive a connection request from a faceless stranger.

Make sure it’s a clear picture of you looking professional. The photo doesn’t have to be a professional photo as long as it’s clear and you look professional in it.

2. Don’t go on a connection rampage

If you try to connect with too many people you don’t know at one time, you run the risk of them indicating they don’t know you. If enough people say they don’t know you, LinkedIn will “black ball” you from being able to connect with other people.

At this point, the only way you’re able to connect with anyone on LinkedIn is if you already have their email address. This restriction can last for months or even years.

Only connect with people you know, people you’ve been introduced to by a mutual connection, or people you’ve previously met in another setting.

3. Ask for an introduction

So how do you connect with new people on LinkedIn if you should only connect with people you already know?

LinkedIn used to have a “get introduced” feature which let you choose a mutual friend to request an introduction from, directly from the profile of the person you want to meet.

But, in typical LinkedIn fashion, they changed this functionality after everyone finally got used to the “get introduced” feature, and then of course made it slightly more cumbersome. (Thanks LinkedIn!)

Now, to get introduced, you have to ask your mutual contact to go to your profile, and have them select “share profile via message” from the “more” button.

You’ll probably have to follow up with your connection to make sure he or she has done what you’ve asked them to do.

Always ask a mutual connection you know well, someone you trust to complete the task. And don’t forget to thank them for doing so!

4. Include a personal note

When connecting with someone, always choose the option to include a personal note in your connection request. This is common courtesy, but most people fail to take this extra step.

Your note should be brief, such as reminding the person how you two met. And it should NEVER include anything about asking for a job or asking to “pick their brain“!

5. Don’t spam people

Once your connection request has been accepted, don’t spam your new connection’s LinkedIn inbox. Spamming is one of the biggest complaints people have about LinkedIn.

Make sure you’re private messages are personalized and sincere. Take the time to build a rapport before asking for anything in return. I teach more about this when I discuss informational interviews in my on-demand program, The Secret to Successful Networking.

6. Be a contributor and a resource

Be helpful by contributing and sharing information that’s of interest to the people you’re trying to attract to your profile. This is especially important to do within the various LinkedIn groups.

(You are joining LinkedIn groups, aren’t you???)

Understand the audience within each group, and share links to articles and other information specific to the interests of each group. Avoid posting anything unprofessional or anything irrelevant to the group’s focus.

Also, like, comment, and share other people’s posts within groups. They’ll be more likely to connect with you without an introduction if you show a genuine interest in what they’re posting.

Stay current

As you follow the unspoken rules of LinkedIn etiquette, remember to also pay attention to the frequent changes in LinkedIn’s functionality.

As I stated earlier, it’s typical for LinkedIn to change its functionality much more frequently than other social media platforms do. If you don’t go into LinkedIn and peruse the site on a regular basis, you can easily get lost or confused.

So, always stay current, and always mind your manners!

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How to Land a New Job With the Help of a Face Mask

Regardless of your feelings or beliefs on wearing a face mask during the pandemic, you might want to consider it as a potential networking tool during these uncertain times. Especially if you’re currently in the market for a new job.

We know networking opportunities have been limited due to months of quarantine. But as I share in my on-demand program The Secret to Successful Networking, networking can happen any time, any place. Even at the essential places like the grocery store, the drug store, or the curbside of your favorite restaurant.

You never know who will be standing in line six feet ahead of you, or six feet behind you. It could be the person who works for a company currently hiring instead of downsizing. This person may know the hiring manager where he or she works. This is the perfect person to start a conversation with to begin the path to a potential new job.

But how do you do so when wearing a face mask?

A face mask is a creative conversation starter

The idea of using a face mask as a networking tool and conversation starter first came to me as a funny thought. I didn’t really take it seriously. But then, as I started thinking more about it, I thought, why not?

Why not have a little fun with a face mask and perhaps open a door to a new contact who can lead to your next job offer? It could be something worth trying, kind of like an interesting social experiment.

So what exactly does this look like? What if you were to write your elevator speech on your mask?!

I know, this may sound strange, but hear me out on it. If you follow the rules I give on how to write a better elevator speech than the outdated recommended rules, it could actually work as a creative conversation starter.

How to write an elevator speech like none other

Keep it short and create opportunity for dialogue

Most career experts will tell you your elevator pitch should be 30-60 seconds, as if this is considered brief. If you’ve ever listened to someone go on for 30 seconds or more about their work, you know it feels very long. Especially if you don’t have a clue what the industry jargon they use means.

Other career experts will also tell you your elevator speech should be a statement about your skills. This is not the way to start a conversation or pique someone’s interest in what you do.

Instead, your elevator pitch should just be one simple question about other people’s common problem. Specifically, a common problem you have the skills to help solve.

Why a question? Because it opens the door to a dialogue, a real conversation, instead of a sales pitch monologue.

And, you should be able to ask your question in seven seconds or less! You never want it to be so long or confusing they have to ask you to repeat the question. In other words, it should be so short you have the space to write it on a face mask in letters big enough to read from six feet away.

Make it relatable and create curiosity

So how do you come up with a concise yet clear question?

When thinking about the typical problem or challenge of your market (this can include the employer or the employer’s customers), what words do they usually use to describe it?

For instance, I’m a career coach who specializes in helping people make career transitions to work they’re more passionate about and cut out for. But this is not what I use as my elevator speech.

Instead, I take into consideration the words my market uses when they first reach out to me. Typically what they say is, “I feel stuck.”

Almost everyone can relate to this feeling at one time or another in their career. Therefore my elevator pitch is,

“Have you ever felt stuck in your career?”

This question is simple enough to resonate with most people, short enough to write on a face mask, and thought-provoking enough to lead to a dialogue. And even in the rare chance the other person hasn’t felt stuck in their career, it’s likely someone close to them has.

When the person responds to my question with a “yes,” I say:

“Well, I help people get unstuck.”

That’s it. That’s my whole elevator speech. It’s at this point most people are curious enough to want to know how I do this.

So when they ask me how I help people get unstuck in their career, I now have their permission to tell them more about my skills and experience. Then, I continue to ask more questions to better understand their concerns. This keeps the conversation going.

Face mask or no face mask

Writing your elevator pitch on your face mask may or may not be the best idea. But the point is, having one that’s simple and short enough to do so, is a good strategy. It’s the first essential piece in networking your way to a new job.

And it’s a much better approach than forcing people to listen to a monologue. You’ll stand out as refreshing and interesting, compared to the job seeker who bores everyone with their cookie-cutter elevator pitch.

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Here Are the Top 10 Most Popular paNASH Blog Posts of 2019

Can you believe we’ve reached not only the end of another year but also the end of another decade? I’ve been writing much of the past decade, and for the past four years I’ve been writing blog posts on topics related to pursuing your passions and finding new work and career paths that you can be more passionate about.

I’m so grateful to all you readers and listeners who loyally follow the paNASH blog from week to week. I love hearing your stories of how a particular blog post helped you succeed in your job search or your career. Your support and feedback means so much to me!

As a thank you, here’s a collection of the top 10 most popular paNASH blog posts of 2019.

Top 10 Most Popular paNASH Blog Posts of 2019

  1. How to Write Networking Emails That Will Get Responses
  2. What Is the Best Way to Describe Yourself In a Job Interview?
  3. Stop! Watch Out for These 10 Red Flags In Your New Job
  4. How to Know If Your Burnout Is Killing You?
  5. Is There Such a Thing As the Perfect Job? No (and Yes)!
  6. Why You Need to Stop Overthinking Networking
  7. How to Avoid Common Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Career
  8. 5 Things You Should Never Say In a Job Interview
  9. How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out
  10. How to Be Patient When You’re In Between Jobs

Please share

Please share any of the above blog posts or other paNASH posts on your social media platforms and with your friends so they can also benefit from them.

Stay tuned

Stay tuned for a new year and a new decade of posts to help you create a career you can be passionate about! If there are any topics you’d like to see covered in the upcoming year, please share your requests in the comment box. Thank you!

top 10

How to Build a Better Network for Your Job Search

Guest post by Michelle Noel. Michelle is a native Nashvillian whose work supports leaders across all industries. She can be reached at michellenoel@outlook.com or at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kmichellenoel/

Whether your goal is to grow your business or land a new job, networking is a valuable tool many people neglect. Let’s look at some reasons it’s effective and how you can use it to build a better network for your job search.

Letting others speak for you

Your resume is a valuable tool, but letting other people talk about your skills and experience is even more so (this is where personal branding comes in!).

People trust the opinion of those they know and are more likely to take action on their words than they are after reading the credentials of a stranger.

If you have ever asked for the name of a good handyman or plumber from a friend, you are already practicing networking!

It’s not always who you know

It’s great to have friends and contacts you can rely on, but you can go a step further by letting them know you are actively networking and asking them to keep an ear to the ground for opportunities that may help you.

So often, it’s not who you know, but who they know that can help boost your career.

Where to build a better network

First, think of the places you go on a regular basis. Church? The gym? Your dentist? Let those people know what your goals are and ask them for referrals to people they may know.

When I lived in New Orleans, a librarian friend told me the community college was hiring. She called a friend there and I was invited to interview. Two weeks later I was offered the job.

Take advantage of social networks

Meetup.com is a website for people to meet others near them with similar interests. You’ll likely find groups there whose sole purpose is networking. It’s free and gets you connected with new people in your community.

Are you on Facebook, Instagram, or other social platforms? Let your followers know you are looking for work or trying to grow your business. They may know someone who knows someone.

Some final tips to build a better network

  • Keep your personal business cards handy. You never know who you will meet while you are going about your day.
  • Attending a networking event? Arrive dressed as if you are going to an interview. First impressions are crucial.
  • If the meeting is at a venue with alcohol, consider having a sparkling water with lime or some other non-alcoholic drink. It’s important to be at your best when meeting new people.
  • Running errands? While you don’t always need to dress as if you’re going to work, be sure you’re neat and tidy with your business cards on hand. You may stumble across an opportunity while you are out. I have given out quite a few personal cards to people I have met while out during the day. Two of them resulted in my making connections and one of those resulted in an interview.

Networking is as easy as having a conversation with a friend. Don’t forget to keep it in your collection of career-building tools!

For more networking tips, get my latest e-book Secrets to Networking With Ease and Confidence for free when you purchase my on-demand program The Secret to Successful Networking: How to Do It Naturally and Effectively.

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How to Stop Networking for Good Contacts and How to Be One!

I’ve written many times about networking and the importance of making sure your efforts are a balance of give and take instead of just take. But today I want to dive deeper into this subject and focus on the “give” by teaching you how to be a good contact for someone else.

In doing so, you’ll not only grow your own network naturally and organically, but you’ll also increase the quality of your contacts and professional relationships.

5 Ways to Stop Networking and Become a Good Networking Contact

1. Be the one making the introductions

Instead of wondering who your contact can introduce you to, try and think of someone you can introduce him or her to that would benefit both parties. Who in your current network would be a good resource for someone you’re trying to connect and build a rapport with?

Make sure whoever you introduce your new contact to is someone who will never make you look bad with their own behavior. This means you should think of someone who not only will be a great resource but also someone you’ve known long enough you can trust them to represent you well. Because after all, who you refer reflects back on you.

This is why networking takes time. You may have to first prove yourself as a trusted contact before someone will introduce you to their contacts. Be just as discerning in your own introductions to maintain your reputation.

2. Share something of interest

Share something you read you know would be of interest to people in your network. This could include simply tagging them in an article you saw on LinkedIn or sending them the link in an email with a personalized note.

When you take an interest in someone else’s interests, you endear yourself to him or her. It also shows you’re willing to contribute to the relationship.

3. Be a resource and give your own advice

A lot of my clients feel like they don’t have anything to offer in return to someone who seems to be further along in their career or seems to have more knowledge or expertise than them.

This is not true!

The people you want to connect with don’t know everything about everything. Surely there’s something you know how to do or knowledge you have which could be helpful to them.

For instance, I have a mentor who’s also a career coach with more years of experience than me. I learn a lot from her. But every time we meet, she always says to me, “You’re such a wealth of information!”

This is because I share with her some of the technologies I use to help me run my coaching business more efficiently or ideas I use to get more views of my blog. Most of them are ones she hadn’t heard of before. Therefore, I’m providing valuable information for her instead of just taking her advice without offering anything in return.

So think about things you have knowledge of that have been helpful for you. Then, when you see someone with a need for those things, tell them about it!

4. Be a good listener

Sometimes, others just need someone to listen. Especially if they’re usually the one doing all the listening. Giving them a break from listening and letting them talk can be a great relief for them. It’s probably the simplest and easiest way to serve as a good contact for someone else.

5. Show interest

Show genuine interest in others by following their social media updates and commenting on them. You don’t have to “like” or comment on every one of their posts. But do so for the ones you find most meaningful.

This shows you’re staying connected to them, paying attention to what they’re doing, and supporting them, even when you can’t do so more directly.

Conclusion

When you follow the above tips, you’ll start to build a strong network that’s not just based on quantity of contacts but also quality of contacts. And you’ll also be viewed as the type of quality contact people are excited to introduce to their contacts!

Want to learn more networking tips? Get my latest e-book Secrets to Networking With Ease and Confidence for free when you purchase my on-demand program The Secret to Successful Networking: How to Do It Naturally and Effectively.

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