VOICE December 2017 - page 3

Develop a strong profile for yourself.
This is your
‘shop window’. A recent professional photograph is
essential. The information in your profile needs to
be up to date, clear and focused. From there it is im-
portant to make sure whoever visits your profile un-
derstands who you are, what you do and what your
skills are. There are some excellent YouTube videos
and presentations about how to create an effective
profile.
Set the protocols for your LinkedIn profile the
way you want them.
Unlike many of the social me-
dia sites, you can go into your protocols and design
them in such a way that they work for you. Again,
there are good YouTube videos on how to do this.
My customised protocols can restrict who can send
me invites and I have my settings so emails via
LinkedIn arrive in my inbox on one day of the week.
This sort of preparation saves you time and reduces
the unwanted interruptions. LinkedIn started in the
US and has expanded to the rest of the world. As you
have control over how you set the protocols, you can
have your network as open or as closed as you wish.
All networks need to be based on a certain amount of
trust and this comes from the safety and security that
people feel when they are using it. Unlike some of
the more social networking sites, LinkedIn does have
the scope for you to report people who may be mak-
ing unwanted approaches to connect. The rule is, get
reported three times and you are out!
Plan who you want in your network of contacts.
For your existing contacts, this may require a bit of a
clean-up. Start by mapping who you already have
and how you are connected to them. A mind map is a
good way of doing this.
Work out where the gaps in your network are and
over a period, close the gaps:
Professor Herminia Ibarra, Professor of Organisa-
tional Behaviour from INSEAD recommends thinking
about mapping 3 types of networks.
Consider if you have a mix of these 3 types in your
contacts, so that you can ‘tap in’ to your network
when you need to. Many managers excel at build-
ing and using their operational network, but can
overlook or ignore the importance of their personal
and strategic networks. If your circumstances
change in some way – you get a promotion, you
need to change jobs or move to a different part of
the world – then you can spend time seeking out
the right people and resources at a critical time.
Better this than desperately trying to update your
contact details when you could be yielding good
advice and support from your network to get things
moving.
Top Tips for LinkedIn
Operational
– the network of people that you
need to accomplish your current job in the short
to medium term.
Personal
– those people you have connected
with outside of your job who are perhaps in dif-
ferent professions.
Strategic
– these are the toughest contacts to
build, but are the ones you need for your long-
term plans.
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