Saturday we had the opportunity to team up with 40Plus DC and offer a workshop on LinkedIn® for job seekers and professionals. We started off talking about the participant’s core characteristics, the importance of communicating your story on the Web, and ways to connect to your target audiences. People are driven by emotion, and it’s important to recognize our own emotions as we craft our stories, not to mention being aware of our views of the world and the mental models from which we operate—they always shape the stories we tell.
Differentiation means standing out from the crowd. Job seekers need to differentiate their profiles effectively, and that means paying attention to goals, target audiences, message, and the benefits you bring to the party. Create your profile with these in mind and you’ll be in a better position to catch the eye of target audience members. Social networking without a strategy can be fun, but it won’t get you hired or improve your professional reputation. Make time for strategy or you’ll end up spending more of your time flailing around without moving closer to your goals.
Knowing the norms of your chosen social networking sites and using privacy settings to your advantage will also make a big difference for your efforts. Take the time to explore the settings whenever you start using a new social networking site—it’s a great way for you to gain confidence and stay in control of your message.
More than anything else, remember that social networking is about the interaction. It’s not enough to put up a profile; the interactions are what can make it work for you. Be brave, craft your story to reach your target audience, and start letting people know what you’re all about on the Web.