Social Media is everywhere! So many choices, so much time to cover it all. Where do you begin? You don’t need to jump in to everything at once – or ever! I recommend starting with the tool seems to be the most widely used for general business – Linkedin. This is a great way to network, generate sales leads, look for a job, hire great people and even reconnect with former colleagues and friends. If you are not there yet, these tips will get you started and on your way to the world of Social Networking!

1) Build a Linkedin Profile (Web 2.0 Resume)

Linkedin profiles are replacing the resume. Linkedin offers you the ability to quickly look at employment history, accomplishments, and recommendations (references). You can search for people you have in common and perhaps get a more complete and honest assessment of the person as an employee than may be received through traditional reference checking process. Up to 80% of offers are coming through networking.

What to include:
• A professional picture of yourself
• Finish the profile as completely as possible
• For each position you have held, describe achievements and significant contributions. Be specific.

2) Build out your connections

• Current and Past Supervisors
• Current and past Coworkers
• Current and Past Vendors
• Current and Past Support staff or people you supported
• Family and Friends
• Friends and advisors to Friends and Family
• If in school or recently graduated-Classmates/Professors/Advisors/Deans/Alumni
• Join Professional Groups
• Connect to industry leaders-you want to be in their circle
• Write recommendations and ask people to do the same for you
• Join TopLinked and Open Networkers Groups
• Build your network so it is working for you when you are not working on it.

3) Maximize Your Efforts

• Become active in discussion groups
• Answer questions asked by other members
• Add links to external articles you comment on or publish
• Add relevant industry books that you are reading to your profile-Amazon section
• Update your status regularly-updates are published to your network’s home page
• Stay current and publish thought provoking information that others can benefit from
• Consider using the simple WordPress Application for Blogging!