“Networking is making new friends, keeping up with old ones and helping a friend who needs it.”
Standing in front of a room full of Madison-based professionals, Megan Watt, career coach and speaker, opened her Social Media Breakfast keynote exploring the power of connection and explaining how LinkedIn can help people achieve their personal and professional goals. Megan’s presentation was both insightful and engaging, and if you missed it here are three big takeaways from the discussion:
Customize your Profile
LinkedIn has become an outlet to build a master resume. This space should be used to create a digital portfolio that includes a dynamic headline, a high-quality photo, an interesting summary and a completed experience section. Your profile should be updated regularly to keep your LinkedIn current. If your profile strength lists you as an “All-Star,” you’re doing something right.
Leverage your Network
The LinkedIn Alumni tool is one of the greatest online assets for job seekers. LinkedIn can help you search for individuals by graduation dates, location, profession, etc. The tool allows you to get as specific or broad as you want – meaning the opportunities to connect with an alumna in your intended field are almost endless.
There are two big lessons when it comes to making the most of connections. First, take advantage of every opportunity to meet new people. This means going to professional events, leveraging a mentor’s network and getting outside your comfort zone. Second, make sure to connect on LinkedIn shortly after meeting someone or attending an event. When you do reach out, personalize your note. There is nothing more important than this second step.
Megan concluded her presentation with her light bulb moment (and ours): LinkedIn is not only for job seekers, and people in sales or HR. It’s for everyone, and you should be on it!
Social Media Breakfast Madison is focused on providing education and sharing information on networking, best practices, strategy, tips, tools and measurement for all aspects of social media. Their monthly meetings cover a variety of topics and if you’re interested in learning more, visit smbmad.org/about.