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Join author Richard Colback as he shows you how to get started with the world's largest professional networking site, LinkedIn. The course demonstrates how to build a profile that will get the attention of employers, recruiters, fellow professionals, and potential clients. Richard walks you through creating an account, adding pertinent information such as skills and work experience, making connections and joining groups, accessing LinkedIn from apps, and monitoring your stats to continuously build a better profile. Along the way, learn to grow your personal brand and become a more visible community member by participating in group discussions, asking and answering questions, and engaging in other ways that add to your profile's integrity.
Your approach to networking may take one of several paths know as open or closed networking. In an open networking approach, you indicate that you'll accept an invitation from anyone to join their network, regardless of whether you have a prior business relationship. In a closed networking approach, you only invite or accept invitations from people you know directly. Open networking allows you to grow you network very quickly as you'll receive invitations to join networks from a large number of similar minded networkers focused on growing the communal resources. If we take a look at Kirk's profile, come across to Profile and down to View Profile, Kirk has taken an open networking approach and with his category of account, which is a business account, he has been offered the option to join the open link network.
You can see this by coming across the top on right-hand corner where this circle icon indicates that he has joined the network. This allows anyone on LinkedIn to send him a message or job opportunity for free without an introduction in mail, or knowing his email address itself. You can also choose to mention you're an open networker in your title or further down in the Summary section. I would advise you to moderate this approach. As indiscriminate linking means you cannot provide any real insights to who the different people in your network truly are and where their strengths may lie.
Alternately, completely closed networking will restrict your ability to grow your network as you close off all communication from outside sources and much of the visibility of your profile. This prevents opportunities from arising by virtue of shared groups, interests, education or work experience. I suggest you to take an intermediate approach, starting with a base of contacts that you know and build out from there. For instance, by adding strategic contacts in target areas, or industries, this intermediate approach will allow you to control the growth of your network. Whilst also providing enough information about each of these contacts to be able to provide value to the relationship.
My test of this is to ask whether I would be willing to offer at least one skill endorsement for each of the people within my network, or could at least suggest one area of strength that is a strong skill for them. If you're growing a network in a new area, we'll need to add less well-known contacts. Take a while to get to know the person's profile, particularly their skills and experience before inviting them. You can do this through searching for people, you can also do this by reviewing their network to see which companies they have worked at, which schools, locations and industries they've been in.
You may also decide to focus on getting to know a few open networkers that you can recommend and visa versa, as this will increase your network size considerably. Their first degree connections are added as your second degree connection to your network, which grows your network exponentially. Again, we can see this by coming to the home screen and across to the network summary, where if we click on the link, we can see how many first degree connections and second degree connections. And open networker in the first degree will add a large number of secondary connections to you. Regardless of your networking approach, you should personalize your communication within each invitation, so that the people you invite understand that you value access to their networks.
Everyone has a slightly different approach to networking, but they all value the work they have put in to create a network and appreciate you showing your respect for that.
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