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Online Networking: Are You Click-Worthy?

Back in the analog days, significant effort was required to give something like a recommendation. Someone need to pick up the phone, leave a voicemail, wait for a return call, and finally connect. In other instances, recommendations were delivered in the form of a letter. If you wanted an associate to introduce you to one of her contacts, it would require the associate to pick up the phone and make something of an informal presentation in advance of an introduction. That’s how things rolled in the 1980s and even the 90s. In today’s business world, chats are out and clicks are in.

What Does it Mean to Be Click-worthy?
Today people receive prompts from LinkedIn suggesting that they click to endorse someone for a suggested skill.  Or, you post an article and the readers are prompted to click to show you like it. Your connections must determine if you are click-worthy.  Do your project management skills merit your connection’s royal click of approval?  That’s a pretty small commitment. This is just the beginning.  Your stronger connections can provide powerful online recommendations and ultimately phone calls on your behalf should you be a finalist for a job.

Virtually Real Relationships
Online relationships can be limited to online interactions or they can take on a real world dimension.  All relationships can be cultivated through sharing and communicating information. In the online world you should take time to re-tweet on Twitter, endorse people on LinkedIn, “like” posts in various forums, and mention followers in a Follow Friday (#FF) list on Twitter. Be genuine and selfless in your interactions.  Also, enhance your brand and click-worthiness by building your online presence on social media, blogs and a personal website.

 

Online Networking (Photo: iStockphoto, Wikimedia Commons)

 

Recommendations Worth Showing
Create a pitch that concisely explains the value you offer your target employee. A pitch provides your recommenders with a ready-made story to use when they recommend you. Share a point with each associate not included on your resume or shared with other associates. Each person should represent you from a unique perspective. Examples of connections that make for good recommenders include direct managers, coworkers, staff, customers and vendors with whom you have built trusting relationships. If you receive a LinkedIn recommendation that does not support your brand, you can elect to hide that recommendation.

Pay it Forward
Even a click takes a bit of time and energy. Recommendations and calls require a bigger commitment. Take the time to thank the people that recommend you. Do the same for those people, as well as, others in your network. Only provide sincere endorsements and recommendations.

The days of chat have not completely surrendered to the age of click.  At some point, hiring employers want to talk to your references before hiring you. In the early stages, the “likes” and LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations are important. They reinforce your brand. So, start by making yourself click-worthy and nurture these virtual relationships for deeper commitments.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at debra@careersdonewrite.com.

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