Networking Archives - Matt Black Ink
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There’s more to you in-person than on-paper. While the action verbs and adjectives peppered across your resume and cover letter are definitely your friends, they can only take you so far. What they can’t do is serve as a substitute for an infectious laugh or a big, bright smile. They also don’t capture the passion you have for [insert industry here] or describe how hard you worked to achieve [insert result here]. You tell me, what’s more memorable? Reading about some of your accomplishments or listening to you describe them, showing off your passion for the subject matter at hand? So how come so many people are apprehensive when it comes to “making the first move” and setting up networking meetings? In talking with countless students and young professionals, there's a genuine fear to do so – which I feel stems from a fear of rejection, the dreaded “what if they say no?” The truth is, some will ignore you... no point in sugar-coating that. But, others won't. And it's those others that you really want to capitalize on. Look at it this way: asking a potential employer or professional in the industry you’re exploring to meet over coffee helps humanize you and your candidacy/brand. And the value of building relationships before you ever craft a cover letter or polish your resume can’t be overstated. If you wait until your dream job is posted to reach out, you’re nothing more than a small fish in a vast ocean of candidates. Consider these other benefits that asserting yourself and setting up informal conversations can bring about:

Apps have become modern day lifelines. Consider this: in 2014, the way we do business changed forever when Internet usage on mobile exceeded desktop usage for the first time ever, with accessing content and information leading the way for reasons why. With mobility empowering the workforce more than ever before, offering your customers (and employees!) a great experience with your brand on their smartphones is non-negotiable. As somebody who spends a good hour or two on LinkedIn each day, my hopes were high when I first heard about ‘Voyager,’ in a presentation from CEO Jeff Weiner during Talent Connect Anaheim 2015. Aptly named after the 1972 NASA mission that sent a man-made spacecraft further than any other in history, the revamped app represents a dramatic overhaul from both functionality and design standpoints. Things just work better and look slicker. This idea of helping LinkedIn “[go] further than [they’ve] ever gone before” definitely intrigued me. Up to this point, I always felt as if I was on a weaker version of the desktop when I browsed LinkedIn on my smartphone. In fact, over time, I would rather wait to hop on my MacBook after-hours instead of using the app during my lunch. That’s the opposite of what you want your customers or members doing in 2015. Nonetheless, after spending a few days using ‘Voyager,’ I am happily immersed and excited to see how this new mobile experience impacts my efforts on LinkedIn. A quick watch of 'The Making of the new LinkedIn app Project Voyager' should give you a sense as to how much energy and how many hours were spent in development. Here’s why I feel this launch is a huge move for LinkedIn as we head towards 2016:

Spending a good chunk of my spare time in the digital universe, I’ve seen things get downright ugly between mutual connections.

Whether it stems from general frustration, differences of opinion or flat out cheap shots, online beefs go from 0-to-100 real quick. Why aren’t we treating each other better? Frankly, it’s an incredible thing that I’m able to wake up each day and engage in conversations across continents, spanning time zones, all with a few simple taps on my iPhone. So how come the marvels of modern technology can’t transcend or put a muzzle on hostility? Personally, I think people forget that social relationships are the same as relationships in “real life.” Friends on Bridge I find myself in conversations where I feel inclined to add the words “from Twitter” or “on Facebook” after I use the word “friend.” It’s a bizarre thing, but it happens regularly. And frankly, it got me starting to question why I do that…? We’ve become so used to differentiating between our real and online lives, and yet those who have built positive and productive communities understand that digital friendships are a huge part of their everyday. I mean, asides from bots and spammers, these are still other human beings behind these accounts… so why aren’t they as important as the colleague I see in-person each day? It all boils down to several misconceptions about the concept of building and maintaining relationships on social media. And frankly, some of these are the basic fundamentals of human communication! Nevertheless, it’s time to dispel some of the most commonly held myths surrounding your relationships on social:

“Unfortunately, we’ve decided to move forward with another candidate…” Cue the disappointment. Strike up the “boo-hoo” band. You didn’t get the job – and you’re pissed. Sometimes you’ll have every right to be; at other times you may have been in over your head. But no matter the case, it’s always upsetting to go through the application and interview process only to lose something you cared about to someone else. News flash: Even though you didn’t get the job of your dreams, life goes on. And while at the time it may seem like you’re never going to hear those two magic words – “you’re hired” – trust me, you will. Especially in the face of tremendous adversity, one of the most important traits we must master is resilience. Even when the answer seems like a never-ending “no” – each job interview offers you another opportunity to hone your story, improve your performance and demonstrate to employers what separates you from the pack. So how can YOU demonstrate maturity, leave a great impression, grow your future candidacy and continue to explore similar openings? Here are a few strategies to handle rejection like a pro:

LinkedIn has been building professional networks across the globe since 2002. Now, they boast over 330 million users. Their slogan, ‘Relationships Matter,’ captures the essence of the service and reminds users that the ultimate goal for everyone should be to seek relevant, meaningful connections. And to do that, your approach matters… a lot. Here are 5 strategies you need to adopt to maximize your chances of success on LinkedIn: