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Networking Online

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Networking Online

The most important professional networking site is LinkedIn, with emphasis on the word "professional". The most important social networks are FaceBook and MySpace.

Control your network, especially your professional network. If you don't respect your own network, no one else will. Usually a bigger network is better, but if it becomes so big that the network becomes meaningless, than it's almost not like having an online network at all. Open networks, especially those with thousands or even tens of thousands of contacts will be greeted with skepticism. It indicates a lack of standards and devalues your contacts. The point is, don't let just any random person join your network.

Networking is often a valued job skill, so just the act of networking can positively shape perceptions about you. Be active and demonstrate value. Join groups, not only to gain contacts, but because you are often judged by the company that you keep and membership can imply expertise. Answer questions, which is also an indicator of expertise and a proactive personality.

Too whatever extent possible, try to keep your professional network distinct from your social network. Yes, overlap is inevitable. However, associates and friends knowing each other can become uncomfortable. Do you want to give associates entrée to the playground where you let your hair down? Don't let it down too much because that could come back to haunt you.

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