We all depend on professional and social Networking to form the relationships and to obtain the information that we need to survive socially and professionally. “Networking” and “Connections” are impersonal terms to use when describing a human activity that is as old as human society and the spoken word—such terms make us sound as if we are part of the Internet. Unfortunately, these terms have become a part of popular culture.
Recently, professional virtual networking, especially via the LinkedIn professional networking web site, has become popular among many of the active members of the Washington D.C. chapter.
LinkedIn is built around the assumption that each of us has a circle of trusted collaborators, colleagues and friends, and that each of them has their own circle, and so on. If each person in these concentric circles has an online resume, and the linkages between them is known, then you could, for instance, quickly identify someone who works at a company where you just interviewed, even though they’re a “friend of a friend.”
A basic LinkedIn membership is free, and creating a profile on LinkedIn is like posting your resume on Monster. You can create a basic profile for yourself in less than 30 minutes.
Hopefully, you can look past the mechanistic connotations of the terms “Networking” and “Connections” and use these resources to help you take advantage of the opportunities for meeting and interacting with your colleagues that professional virtual networking sites like LinkedIn offer.
“Networking for Job Search and Career Success”
L. Michelle Tullier, Ph.D. JIST Works, c. 2004
“Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets For Networking Your Way to RICH Relationships”
“Everyone wants to connect with someONE for someTHING or some reason. This book is about how to make value connections, not just acquaintances.”—Jeffrey Gitomer
“Make Your Contacts Count: Networking Know-How for Business and Career Success” 2nd Edition
Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon. American Management Association c. 2007″
This is the definitive book on person-to-person networking. It’s a complete methodology, i.e., step-by-step “cookbook”, on how to network.”—The Business Ledger.
International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA)
Social network analysts “. . . believe that how an individual lives depends in large part on how that individual is tied into the larger web of social connections. Many believe, moreover, that the success or failure of societies and organizations often depends on the patterning of their internal structure.”
Networking for Shy People
Networking for Nerds—HP.com Chief Architect on Using LinkedIn
Introduction To Virtual Networking
Expand Your Connections Through Online Networking from the Wall Street Journal CareerJournal.com Executive Career Site
The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals OnLine
David Teten, Scott Allen, AMACOM/American Management Association c. 2005
This is an excellent book on virtual networking. It is available as a free Acrobat download or you can borrow it from your public library.
Book Report: The Virtual Handshake
FastCompany.com Networking Resource Center
Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age
Duncan J. Watts, W.W. Norton & Company c. 2003
Business Development/Networking Blog
Discussions about the importance of building a network, creating your professional brand, embracing marketing and fine tuning sales skills.
How To Do Virtual Networking
Ten Steps to Dramatically Improve Your Network with Social Software From David Teten and Scott Allen
LinkedIn Profile Extreme Makeover by Guy Kawasaki
Scobleizer, a blog with lots of comments about LinkedIn
My LinkedIn Power Forum, a discussion list with almost 6,000 members
Job Searching with LinkedIn
Virtual Job Search Networking from About.com
About the author: Hugh Owen’s LinkedIn profile