Education Career Services

February 17, 2009

LinkedIn or Out?

Struggling to match your career objective with reality, your resume and career summary may be hitting the mark but it takes more than paper and pen…you must get the word out: you are the right person for the job.  Not an easy task for anyone!  Being a professional resume writer, I know!


Getting THE message out takes time, effort, persistence, and often novel mediums.  Are you taking full advantage of all networking sources?  Most people, I count myself in this group of non-maximizers, do not spend adequate time with their career upkeep.  In particular, electronic networking is not something topping my list of to-do things after a long day at work.  Unfortunately, this lack of action is a disfavor to my career.  I rationalize by suggesting no one with a full-time job has time or energy, but that’s just an excuse to cover complacency.


Take, for instance, the effect LinkedIn has had over the past year.  I remember the world without this site.  I blinked twice and the world changed: according to Francois Dufour, LinkedIn’s senior director of Enterprise Marketing, they receive approximately one new member per second.  Can you imagine?


I sport a profile on LinkedIn but my professional network is not what I would call impressive.  As a business owner and professional career management and textbook writer, I simply do not have the time to work the room.  Being passive in this arena, if you are looking to increase your network by one, find me at LinkedIn, I’m always looking to expand my network—a simple invite and the rest will be history; that is, when I get around to it.


Good news for job seekers and networkers, electronic networking sites are rarely audience limited; most welcome students through senior-level executives.  It’s hard to believe, but LinkedIn has over 35 million members globally and the site has doubled membership over the past six months.  With the unemployment rate approaching 8% (some say it will be officially this level next month), your career survival may require electronic networking.


Besides LinkedIn there are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of electronic networking spots such as FaceBook and MySpace—many others are in the form of specific associations.  For students looking for guidance, your career services department is always an excellent first stop shop in conjunction with personal industry specific networking.


According to NPR, job losses are going to explode this year with no sign of repair.  This means everyone must not only develop an effective career portfolio, everyone must take advantage of all networking opportunities, including electronic networking.


I invite you to share hints and stories for our readers as we are all barely chugging along in a boat requiring a new stimulus package, economic and employment.  Networking takes a great deal of time but survival requires we all make the investment.  As for me, I need to check my account; new peers may be sending invites…see you on LinkedIn.


Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

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January 30, 2009

The NBA: it’s more than a game…it’s a networking bonanza!

Last night I took my annual trip to watch the Orlando Magic outmuscle Cleveland; but this blog is not about the game and the excitement surrounding the arena.  Today’s entrée is about halftime…no not about the great flippers putting on a show; it’s about discovering the perfect networking opportunity.  Hmmm, how many thought I was going that route?


Halftime came and the atmosphere was filled with smiles and energetic non-tangibles.  Knowing most were in a good mood, I decided to walk around and begin speaking to people open to conversation.  Come to think of it, there was a common bond uniting everyone at the arena—could there be a better time to meet and greet?  The fact I knew little about the game itself didn’t seem to matter.


Walking through the arena, I stepped up to several people, began talking about Dwight Howard and Lebron James and the gates of conversation broke without abandon.  “Really great players and what a contest,” I began.  Faces lit immediately as those in front were looking for an outlet to express their passion for the game.  Without pause, I met two executives, one regional sales manager, and a slew of mid-level managers working throughout various industries (all in about 12 minute’s time!). 


Wow, I could hardly believe how a common setting, an energetic atmosphere, and a load of people could create such opportunity.  Of the people I spoke to, five shared their business cards – I handed out over 15 cards myself….leading to the title of the entry, the NBA: it’s more than a game; it’s a networking bonanza!


No matter your career level, take advantage of your environment.  One thing I found out this evening was people WANT to talk to you.  With the Super Bowl in a few days, all you have to do is mention how them Dallas Cowboys are gonna rock the world (oh no, can you tell I don’t know much about football either?).


Hey, gotta go. My phone is ringing off the wall!  Don’t recognize the number—bet it’s a fellow NBA fan from last night.


Danny Huffman

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