Management July 23, 2010 Last updated July 29th, 2010 2,698 Reads share

LinkedIn: Beware the Bermuda Triangle!

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LinkedIn has revolutionised how we network for business and  job search. It has made networking more accessible to the masses. It has made networking less daunting by removing “the room full of strangers” scenario. As a result, larger numbers of businesses and jobseekers are embracing the power of networking.

I recently trawled my connections and I was shocked to find many had disappeared from my radar. I compared this mystery to a Bermuda Triangle on LinkedIn. Budding friendships, potential job opportunities and potential business lost to a mystical place. I decided to make an effort to find those lost souls and ensure other connections didn’t meet the same fate.

How to avoid the Bermuda Triangle Effect

The Flare Gun – LinkedIn allows you to communicate to your connections without direct engagement. This includes the network update section on the LinkedIn home page and network update emails. Increased activity on LinkedIn equates to more indirect communications with your network. I sometimes question the impact of indirect communications – Do people pay much attention to this? It’s a bit like shooting a flare and hoping someone will see it. Use this strategy but don’t rely on it 100%.

Send out an SOS – I firmly believe in the saying – “out of sight and out of mind”. I forget people who slip from my radar and I’m sure it’s the same for everyone. It is important to take direct action to ensure you stay on the radar. Changing status update regularly can help (If you use Twitter to update – please avoid overkill!!). For even greater impact, sift your connections and take the time to mail them via LinkedIn. Start at A and gradually work to Z. This takes more effort but is a worthwhile strategy.

Get in your Life Raft – I have stressed this point on many occasions. The most powerful and meaningful networking is in the flesh. LinkedIn supports real world networking but should not replace it. It is important to meet new connections but don’t forget about existing connections. I feel that there is a scramble to acquire impressive connection numbers and quality suffers as a result. Start meeting connections and don’t be afraid to meet connections more than once.

I think many people celebrate too soon when networking. They see the initial engagement as the victory and think job well done. This should be where the hard works starts. The secret to achieving effective results from networking is to build relationships and stay on the radar. Failure to do so could mean vanishing in the Bermuda Triangle on LinkedIn.

I would love to hear your views and comments on this topic…

NB: I would like to take this opportunity to tell my connections (especially those who did not get a LI email –YET!!) that contrary to rumours I am alive and well 🙂 I will be sailing my Life Raft to present at the Career Bootcamp 2 on Tuesday 17th August at National College of Ireland (9am-11am).

NB2: More advice for jobseekers – Networking, LinkedIn and much more @ Measurability Careers & Jobs Club on LinkedIn and Measurability on Facebook.

Paul Mullan

Paul Mullan

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