With networking sites like LinkedIn serving as a tool for establishing and maintaining professional relationships, it is important that you know how to use them effectively. Part of that involves presenting yourself on a network in a professional way. One of the ways to do this is to become familiar with protocols and etiquettes that are appropriate for professional networks. This can go a long way in ensuring that you get the most out of the professional relationships.
Set-up a complete profile:
Ensure that you create a complete profile on a professional networking site. For this, you should provide as many details as possible. This will help others get a comprehensive idea of what you can offer. Some of the areas that you should fill out in your profile are your work history, professional summary and qualifications. Also include your biggest accomplishments in the field.
Send requests for recommendations or introductions:
If you want recommendations from former colleagues or bosses, you should ideally send requests. These should be sent individually, not as a group request. There is a higher chance of a person replying to a request addressed to him, than to a group. If people write recommendations for you, express your gratitude through mails addressed individually. In case you want to be introduced to someone on a contact’s list, request it. Also convey the reason why the introduction is important.
Connect only to those you know
It is best to connect only with those you know. These can be people you know very well or are just acquainted with. However, avoid connecting with people you are unfamiliar with. You should ideally not send or respond to requests for connecting, from people you don’t know. In case you come across such a contact, but one that you know is reliable, you can connect after making inquiries. The more your professional network has people you know, the better is its credibility.
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