It’s LinkedIn week here in my world, and I’ll be speaking to three different groups this week about using LinkedIn. The first presentation will be to a group of job seekers who are participating in a 10-week Job Search series sponsored by a community group, the second at a local Chamber of Commerce to business owners and professionals, and the third to a group of senior executives in career transition working with an outplacement firm.
As a LinkedIn fan and avid user since early 2006, it’s not hard for me to talk with all types of individuals about the benefits of using LinkedIn and share some tips and strategies to maximize its potential for job search, personal branding, employment branding or business development. (By becoming a regular reader, RSS or email subscriber to this blog, I’ll share that information with you as well!)
However, I’m always careful to point out that using LinkedIn – or any social networking or online tool – does not replace the need to get out and meet people, build real relationships and help others. I like the way Jason Alba, author of I’m on LinkedIn – – Now What??? lays it out in chapter 2 of his very informative book:
While LinkedIn is a networking tool, it is not a networking silver bullet. Timeless networking principals such as “givers gain”, etiquette, long-term relationship nurturing, and investing time and effort in others are critical. LinkedIn is not a replacement for your networking efforts (online or offline); rather, it is an excellent tool to facilitate some facets of your networking strategy.
That’s right – using LinkedIn is only ONE part of any job search, business development or networking strategy – so don’t forget that! It’s definitely important in today’s world to understand how to effectively utilize LinkedIn and other social networking tools, but some of the old-fashioned 1.0 tools – the telephone, a drop in visit, face-to-face meetings, handwritten Thank You notes, are still the best ways to make a meaningful impression and to build rich relationships.