Let’s face it, Web 2.0 is quickly becoming the hottest way to market and evangelize your business. No only is it the most effective way to build a professional network, it’s the fastest. Social networking tools can help build strong relationships, but it’s still an artistry that takes effort to make them effective and fruitful.
Yes, when it comes to professional networking, you may call me promiscuous. In the past, I’ve been known to network with anyone…. that is, until today.
My recruiting role is all about networking, building and fostering solid professional relationships. My philosophy has always revolved around complete open networking. Just ask Valerie Gonyea, recruiter at RHI and one of my favorite Tweets. She can speak first hand about our open debate regarding “open” versus “closed” networking. Valerie is far more conservative with those she allows into her network than I am.
BUT, now I am drawing the line in the sand and setting up rules for engagement.
The countless invitations to connect on LinkedIn via faceless profiles, the infamous “canned invite,” hidden connections, no endorsements and profiles lacking substance has got to cease. I want to get to know you better before jumping into a professional relationship.
This isn’t a blind date.
Social media has enabled us to simulate and portray ourselves however we choose. The public persona is an amazing branding tool, but it has it’s limitations if not populated just right or if left blank.
How does that saying go “top talent attracts other top talent”?
So, don’t you want put a little business value into your online profile before extending your offer to connect? After all, if you were going out to a face to face networking event, you’d “put your best foot forward” rather than showing up in a dingy sweat outfit and ski mask? Am I right? LOL.
Before sending your next invitation to connect, keep in mind the person on the other end. Are they after a quickie connection in order to increase their network numbers? Or, are they like myself and into long term professional relationships? How will you know with that “canned invite”?
So I’ve decided to take a stance. Show some good value proposition! I will, however, accept your faceless “canned invite” on one condition:
“I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours.” (I’m talking about your LinkedIn connections here)
What say you? Shall we dance