Beyond Friending – Networking

By: Brittany Walker, Graduate Assistant

Imagine this concept: It’s months away from graduation and you receive an email notification. The email is informing you that someone new wants to join your professional network. Naturally, you quickly press “add” or “confirm” to accept this person, and that’s the last true interaction between you two. There isn’t much thought put into approving requests nor connecting beyond the brief acknowledgment.

Professional networking sites were created for more of a purpose than accepting requests. They are opportunities to expand one’s network while interacting with individuals immersed in their own career journeys. While connecting on these forums provides insight into the other’s career history, it is not a sufficient means of engaging a professional network. Below are three features that can enhance the user’s experience on popular networking site, LinkedIn, and offer more opportunities to build connections!

  1. Share Content!  The news feed is an effective mean to spread knowledge both related to one’s profession or any topic that incites creativity and productive discussions. A good article, picture, or video can break the monotony and spark interesting dialogue to learn more about those within your professional network.

  2. Profile BadgesProfile badges are a promotional tool to insert a direct link to one’s profile to be placed on a personal blog, portfolio, Facebook, and the list goes on. It serves as a subtle reminder that with the easy click of mouse, others can learn more about your talents, skills, and achievements.

  3. EndorsementsA recently added feature that allows users to endorse someone within their network of a skill advertised on their profile. It enhances the credibility of one’s profile and allows for real-time feedback on skills that have contributed to one’s growth as a professional. Instead of simply liking a component of your profile, they can endorse and/or add an additional skill you may not have mentioned!

These are just a few examples of ways to branch out through professional networking sites and remain proactive in building a dynamic network.



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