Quit being a weak link

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

In today’s ever-changing economy, it’s important to cultivate strategic connections to advance your career. Networking is a skill that supports you in the good times and is key to your survival in bad times.  

That’s why I strongly believe LinkedIn, which bills itself as the “world’s largest professional network,” is an invaluable tool for ad­­ministrative assistants. Not only is the site a source of quality content, it’s a powerful way to build relationships.

Here are four strategies to make you memorable to those you’re connecting with and make your profile stand out for the right reasons.

1.  Ditch the default invite language. When I open that email to connect and read the standard, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn,” it tells me you couldn’t be bothered to take a few minutes to let me know why you want to connect. It’s much more compelling if you let me know where we met or a colleague we have in common. Why not review their profile and speak to a specific skill or talent featured. “Noticed you’re an expert in SharePoint.”

2.  Make your reply personal. Take the time to reply with something specific to that person. For instance, I might say, “Thank you for reaching out. Couldn’t help but notice you’re in Chicago, so I have to ask, what’s your favorite pizza joint? If I can ever bring value to you or your team, please ask.”

3.  Who are you? If we’re strangers and you ask to connect, I’m reluctant to add you to my professional network unless you clarify why it’s beneficial for us. A wanna-be speaker from Australia recently reached out to me via LinkedIn, but he offered to provide support to my business rather than just be another individual who wanted to “pick my brain.” He got my attention and my ear.

4.  Use a current, professional profile photo. When you don’t have a profile picture, it makes me wonder if you are who you say you are.

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