Tag Archives: networking

17 podcasts to inspire career success

Article by Belinda Fuller

17 podcasts to inspire career success

Podcasts can provide great inspiration across a range of areas. These convenient, bite-sized chunks of content are also a good way to up-skill or improve your knowledge about various topics, since they’re usually delivered by people with a passion for, and deep understanding of, what they’re talking about.

Whether you’re looking for your first career, searching for major change, struggling with your current role, interested in starting a business or just need inspiration and motivation, there is something for everyone! Here’s a few of our favourites.

Career Tools: A weekly podcast focused on specific actions you can take to grow and enhance your career – no matter what industry or position you’re in. With topics ranging from communication to meeting performance, productivity, workload, asking for feedback, relationships, changing jobs and everything in between, there is sure to be something of interest.

How did you get into that?: Host Grant Baldwin interviews people from all walks of life who are doing interesting or amazing things to make a living. Each episode includes a story about someone who wanted something more from life and made it happen. You’ll find interviews with entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, speakers, writers, filmmakers, photographers, athletes, venture capitalists, Etsy sellers, comedians, nutritionists and more, across all different industries.

Beyond the To Do list: Struggling to juggle life and work? This award-nominated podcast features actionable tips from highly successful people that can help you choose the right projects, tasks and goals in work and life. Host Erik Fisher talks with real people who implement productivity strategies in their professional and personal lives.

Miss Independent: Focused on a female audience, Natalie Hughes founded Miss Independent in 2017 and launched a podcast that features conversations with women in leadership and business. Natalie talks with a broad range of interesting, diverse and inspiring women in leadership and business. She discusses their successes and setbacks, as well as secrets and tips to inspire you to make your own career decision with confidence.

Flying Solo: This is a podcast for anyone starting or growing a small business. Host Robert Gerrish talks with inspiring soloists and expert guests on all things solo, micro and small business.

The Signal: Sometimes the news can feel overwhelming. This ABC Radio podcast helps to sort the news from the noise. It’s a quick (10-15 minute) dive into current news stories that matter, delivered every morning.

Business Women Australia Podcast: Another one focused on a female audience, this podcast is for ambitious women who are serious about business success and leadership development. It provides tips and ideas for those interested in building their knowledge and skills.

Happen to your career: Created for people who aren’t happy in their job, or need some guidance to find work they really love, this podcast helps people to match their strengths to work they will find interesting and meaningful.

Productivityist: Hosted by productivity expert Mike Vardy, this weekly podcast gives listeners tips, tricks, tactics and tools to improve productivity and time management in order to get things done.

The Good Work Revolution: This podcast looks at how you can feel fulfilled and make a positive impact through your work. Each episode includes reflections from different guests, or the host, Kate McCready, on how we can create ‘good work’. It explores people’s relationships with their work – how it influences fulfilment, wellbeing, engagement and a sense of contribution and connection. It’s also about lifting people up and helping them elevate their personal ability to have an impact – whether small and local or big and world changing.

The Tim Ferris Show: Author and entrepreneur, Tim Ferris – best known for The 4-Hour Workweek (which has been translated into 40+ languages), hosts this podcast. In it, he interviews highly successful people and discovers the keys to their success. Guests provide some great tips and tricks that anyone can use to accelerate their work style.

The Jack Delosa Podcast: Founder of Australia’s largest and most disruptive education institution for entrepreneurs, The Entourage, Jack Delosa also co-founded MBE Education, which helped SMEs raise money from investors. He’s been on the BRW Young Rich List since 2014 and is a two-time bestselling author. In The Jack Delosa Podcast, Jack answers questions about business, start-ups, entrepreneurship and the importance of mindset, and shares exclusive interviews with industry leaders and innovators.

Inspire Nation: A top self-help and spirituality show across 185 countries, this podcast features an inspiring new guest every day. Host Michael Sandler felt a calling to start his life-changing show after surviving two near-death accidents. The broad-ranging topics include how to find more energy, strength, happiness, peace, purpose, confidence, and heart to live your greatest life.

Behind the Media: The Australian’s media diarist Stephen Brook hosts this weekly podcast where he interviews journalists, writers, editors, presenters and other media careerists. This podcast is sometimes casual, sometimes serious but presents a diverse range of guests discussing the state of the media industry and their own careers.

Thought Capital: This is a relatively new podcast created by Monash Business School. Host Michael Pascoe delves into topics you probably won’t read about in the business pages. What’s the link between Big Data and election rigging? How can you identify the true ‘key players’ in an economic meltdown? Is there a ‘tax paradise’ and can you live there?

The Leadership Dojo: Hosted by Alex Barker, this podcast features interviews with some of the greatest and most inspirational leaders, from business CEOs to famous Olympic athletes to best-selling authors. Alex aims to help listeners learn success principles from leaders and how to apply them to daily life.

48 days to the work you love: This is a 48-minute weekly podcast hosted by US-based career expert and author Dan Miller, which helps listeners discover their true calling, find work they love, and explore business ideas and opportunities. Dan helps people overcome procrastination with a mission to foster the process of imagining, dreaming and introspection, so they can find purposeful and profitable daily work.

Podcasts are a great distraction during long commutes and there are plenty to choose from across every area of interest. Simply search on a topic and select from a list of top-ranked podcasts. For Australian-specific podcasts, check out the Australian Podcast Awards, an event that brings together podcasters to celebrate the medium’s ability to entertain, inspire and engage audiences worldwide. The site includes a list of annual winners and nominees across different categories to give you some listening inspiration.

Are you happy at work? Career counselling can be an invaluable tool for helping you explore your options and decide on a new career path or course. To find out how we can help, read about our career coaching services.

Tis the season! Holiday job search tips

Article by Belinda Fuller

Tis The SeasonIt’s about this time of year that people begin to think it’s too late to start applying for new roles. Even if you believe you won’t be able to secure a new role between now and the new year, there are things you can (and should) be doing over the festive season to help you gain a great head start come January. Whether you’ve been at it for a while, or are just starting your job search, keep it up during the holidays.

While it may be unlikely you’ll be offered a job between now and the new year, that doesn’t mean you should cease all activity. On the contrary, using this time could pay huge dividends down the track. Here’s our top five things you can do now to help your job search in the new year:

  1. Know what you want: Go through job search sites such as Seek and LinkedIn and search for specific titles, companies, industries and keywords. Play around with combinations and open your search out to other geographical locations or industries to expand results. While the market may be quiet and you might not find exactly what you’re looking for, there’s a strong chance that some positions will be a close match to what you’re after. Read the job ads closely and get a feel for what’s required. Doing this allows you to decide what’s important to include (and just as importantly exclude) from your application – as well as determining if you have any major gaps in your capabilities.
  2. Get organised: Today’s job market is not only competitive, it’s complicated. There are many avenues to tap into – including advertised and unadvertised job markets. Getting organised will help you to more efficiently find and apply for all the positions you may be suitable for. Set up automated job searches, identify relevant recruiters, update your application materials, polish your interview skills, use LinkedIn, check your social media settings, and think about who you could be networking with. Read our previous article Winning Job Search Strategies for detailed tips on developing a structured job search strategy.
  3. Update your materials: This includes your LinkedIn profile, Resume and Cover Letter. Many recruiters use LinkedIn to find suitable candidates, so it’s important to optimise your profile with keywords, so you can be found. Include comprehensive and up-to-date content, a current and professional photo, and try to complete every section. Make sure to leverage the summary section – use it to introduce yourself, provide an overview of your key skills, experience and strengths – a picture of who you are and the value you could bring to an organisation. Your Resume should also be updated and we recommend writing a customised cover letter for every job you apply for – addressing as many ‘job requirements’ as you can. Use the holidays to prepare sample letters and/or paragraphs that can easily be modified to suit specific roles as you apply. While you will have to tailor them for each position, getting these documents into shape now will make the job much easier when the time comes.
  4. Prepare for interviews: The biggest mistake you can make when searching for a new job is not preparing for the interview. Ways you can do this in the holidays include brainstorming the types of questions you might get asked and coming up with some examples that demonstrate your success. Think about examples that demonstrate strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, and how you’ve handled different work situations. Having a bank of these examples will ensure you feel more confident and prepared during the stressful interview process. Read our previous article here that talks about using the STAR approach to help you formulate them for an interview.
  5. Network: Think about who you know that you can connect with now. Let your network know you are seeking new opportunities. While it may not be the best time to reach out to everyone who might be of assistance to you in your job search, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the ball rolling. Do your research, brainstorm and scroll through LinkedIn for potential people to contact, then start drafting emails that can be sent in the new year. Be mindful of people taking time off and coming back to an inbox full of emails which may get overlooked – think about your timing before sending. Remember all the different ways to connect with your network and use them – phone calls, emails, Facebook, LinkedIn, face-to-face and online networking groups.

Today’s job market is competitive and complex so being organised and prepared will help ensure your success! With so many avenues to pursue, using the quieter holiday period to plan your strategy will ensure you are ready and raring to go in the new year.

Would you would like help developing a winning resume, detailed job search strategy, or professional LinkedIn profile? Perhaps you’d like to work on your interview skills? If so, please see our Resume Writing, Job Search Coaching, and Interview Training services.

How to make a lasting first impression

Article by Belinda Fuller

How to make a lasting first impressionBuilding a network to become a valuable working asset is a key component of your future career success. So how do you turn those people you meet at industry events or conferences into strong connections that help you (and them) succeed in the future? Many people we talk to don’t have a problem meeting people – it’s the staying in touch in a meaningful way that they struggle with.

So you’ve just met a new contact at an event and you really hit it off – your like-mindedness on so many issues was surprising and refreshing. You exchange business cards or details and mention you’ll keep in touch. If you’re like most people, following that exchange, nothing much will ever come of it. Sure, if you run into them again, you’ll strike up a conversation, perhaps picking up where you left off, however in terms of creating any meaningful or long lasting relationship, following through on that initial meeting falls short.

Here’s a few quick tips on what to do to significantly expand your contacts and start to build a network that’s valuable for your career.

  • Be interesting AND interested: If you’re meeting someone for the first time and you are truly interested in learning about them – this will show. While it’s good to have something to offer in terms of advice or support, often when you meet someone for the first time professionally, simply being interested in them and what they do will have a positive and lasting impression. If you’re genuine in your interest about who they are and what they’re doing, your conversation and connection will often flow more easily.
  • Take notes: After meeting someone new, take some brief notes about your exchange and include both personal and professional information if you can. It’s a great idea to do this straight away while all those details are fresh in your mind because once life gets in the way, you won’t remember them. Store your notes anywhere that works for you – a list on your phone, in Outlook, under your phone contacts, in a purpose built database, on the back of their business card, in your diary or you could use one of the many purpose built tools out there like Evernote – whatever works best for you. You’ll be able to use that information to strike up a future conversation or reach out for a catch up when it feels right. If it feels appropriate, send them a short email thanking them for their time and mentioning how much you enjoyed the conversation. You could also suggest a future catch-up time (then set a reminder to follow up so you don’t forget).
  • Use LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the best tool for professional networking. As soon as you get back to your office, send your new connection a request to connect and include a short personalised message about your time together. Doing this makes it very easy to stay in touch in a personal but non-pressured way. You can comment or like their updates, share articles and announcements you think they might be interested in, or even send personal messages where it’s warranted.
  • Schedule a catch-up: It’s great to meet someone, get along, take notes and connect with them on LinkedIn but if you want to keep in touch and develop that relationship further – schedule a catch-up. Ideally you’d wait a couple of months before touching base. Contact could be in a variety of ways – examples include sending them a friendly email asking how they are; sharing a link to an article you think they might be interested in and suggesting you get together; specifically inviting them to meet up for coffee (don’t forget to remind them how you met and what you had in common in case they’re not as organised as you!); or use an upcoming industry event as an excuse to connect.

While networking is about meeting people, it’s also about making meaningful connections and developing lasting relationships that can help you (and them) with future career goals.

Are you interested in obtaining some career advice? If so our career advisors are experts in their field and can provide comprehensive Career Coaching. We also offer LinkedIn Profile Writing Services with experienced writers who can help you connect with like-minded industry experts and ensure your profile sets you apart from your competitors.

 

9 effective networking tips – even if you’re an introvert

Article by Belinda Fuller

9 Effective Networking Tips - Even If You’re An Introvert Research suggests that a huge proportion of jobs are now found through networking alone with many jobs never even advertised. This can make it difficult if you’re an introvert since the prospect of making small talk with a roomful of potential ‘contacts’ can be very daunting. If you find it hard to establish rapport with new people, we’ve discovered some sure-fire tips to help you handle it.

Small talk doesn’t come easy to many people and it can be a huge effort to establish rapport with people you’ve never met before. I was fairly shy when I was younger and I really struggled to open up to strangers. As a marketing communications manager for a global IT firm, I was expected to attend many functions for work and this was often intimidating for me. I learnt little tricks to help me navigate this essential ‘social’ part of my career and here’s a few I thought I’d share:

TIP # 1 – Prepare: If you get nervous talking to new people, research who’s going to be there and have some questions or topics pre-prepared. If it’s a networking event, you can talk about their career or yours – questions like ‘How did you get started?’, ‘What do you like best about what you do?’, ‘Why do you attend networking events?’, and ‘What other networking events do you attend?’ are all great starting points.

TIP # 2 – Realise you’re not alone: Think about how others feel and recognise that you won’t be the only person feeling this way. Remember that many other people are also not fond of networking events so just start a conversation – you might be helping someone else to feel more comfortable! ‘Have you been to this event before?’ is a good opening line.

TIP # 3 – Listen: Once you start a conversation, try to remain present. Ask lots of questions and listen to what the other person is saying. Don’t let nerves get the better of you by constantly worrying about what you’re going to say next. Practice your listening skills and be interested in what the other person is saying. This will drive further questions and contributions from you and hopefully you can have a mutually enjoyable exchange!

TIP # 4 – Smile and keep your body language positive: Don’t hide with your arms crossed in the corner. If you’re looking more casual and giving off positive vibes somebody might just walk up to you and initiate a conversation. This won’t happen if you’re not looking approachable.

TIP # 5 – Leverage social media: Introverts often communicate better in written format, so taking advantage of social media, email and other online forums is a great natural fit. You can use this strength to your advantage after any physical networking opportunities since many people never even take the opportunity to follow up. Sending a brief post-event email or LinkedIn connection request is a quick and easy way to cement your new contact.

TIP # 6 – Focus on quality not quantity: Don’t focus on how many people you talk to, but rather the quality of the conversations you do have. If you make one quality connection at an event, that’s better than talking to ten different people and making no connections. And forcing yourself to speak to lots of different people will put you under even more pressure whereas giving yourself permission to do much less takes the pressure off.

TIP # 7 – Learn to brag: Kidding……. kind of. You need to be vocal about your accomplishments, however this can be hard if you’re not that kind of person. Try thinking about your achievements and accomplishments as little mini stories you can tell about what you’re good at. Think about the things and projects you’ve worked on that make you feel good, and that you’re excited and/or passionate about. It will be easier to talk about these with strangers and it will feel more natural talking up your achievements.

TIP # 8 – Challenge yourself to a time limit: If you’re at a physical networking event that you really don’t want to be at, set yourself a time limit. This could be 30 to 45 minutes which really isn’t very long. Grab yourself a drink and something to eat and put some of the tips from above into action. You’ll be amazed at how quickly that time goes – who knows, once that time is up, you might even feel like staying longer!

TIP # 9 – Follow up: Since introverts are often good at written communications – this part is easy! Many people are terrible at follow up so just by dropping an email or sending a LinkedIn connection request (always with a short customised message reminding your contact who you are) means you’ll be ahead of the game in no time.

Some experts suggest that as many as 80% of jobs are not being advertised, but we find most people are still spending the majority of their job search effort looking for advertised roles. While networking will certainly help you to find a job and advance your career, it’s not just about that. Finding new clients, building new business relationships, and identifying partner opportunities are all benefits that will also result from networking. So what are you waiting for?

Do you cringe at the thought of networking? Would you like to learn new networking strategies designed to increase your job opportunities? If so, please see our Job Search Coaching Services and Career Counselling Services.

How to Tap the Hidden Job Market

Article by Belinda Fuller

How.to.Tap.the.Hidden.Job.MarketWe often get asked about the hidden job market by our clients. Everyone wants to know the ins and outs of where to find it, how to leverage it and what to actually do to find their dream job. The hidden job market can be defined as all those jobs that are never actually advertised in the traditional way (such as through an online job site, via the company’s own website, or in hard copy format like a newspaper ad).

The reality these days with social media, online networking and our generally ‘connected’ world, means that companies simply don’t need to advertise every role on offer. Many companies still outsource their recruitment to specialist recruitment firms, but these firms are also now using other less traditional strategies to source candidates.

So what can you do to find this market and how do you take advantage of it? You need to be known to somebody in order to be discovered as the ideal candidate for a specific role. There are a number of ideas here to get you started – in no particular order of importance:

1. Establish a LinkedIn Profile: recruiters regularly review LinkedIn Profiles and conduct searches to find previously unknown candidates – so make sure your profile is up to date and includes relevant information and keywords, as well as a current, professional photo. Include as much detail as you can across as many sections as possible. This ensures a comprehensive view of you, as well as additional opportunities to connect with others. Use LinkedIn to research recruitment consultants and HR managers from companies you’d like to target. Join relevant groups, follow companies you’d like to work for, and connect with others in your industry. It’s not only an important job search and networking tool, but an essential resource that enables you to further develop your brand and reputation.

2. Identify Relevant Recruitment Consultants: identify recruiters that specialise in your area of expertise. Develop a great resume and cover letter and target them with your information. Make sure you include detail about the kind of value you can add to an organisation – without a job to target it can be hard to know what to focus on so make your content punchy and relevant to the types of roles you are seeking.

3. Engage in Traditional Networking: don’t ignore traditional networking in favour of social and online networking. You should still maintain contact with industry experts and others in your area – think about who you know and who you could connect with, then let them know you are seeking new opportunities. Determine different ways you could connect with people in your industry in addition to LinkedIn and use them – phone calls, emails, Facebook, face to face catch ups, relevant professional associations and groups, seminars and industry events, as well as other online networking groups etc.

4. Identify Potential Referrers: many companies prefer to recruit through existing employee recommendations. Think about specific companies you’d like to work for then research and network with others in your industry who may work there. Ask friends and family to keep an eye out for you as well, so you’re top of mind when a potential opportunity arises.

A systematic and consistent approach to staying in touch with a broader network will maximise your chance of success. Remember, there are many aspects to securing your next opportunity and if you’re finding it tough – you are not alone.

If you would like assistance from a LinkedIn Profile Writer to develop your LinkedIn Profile and help provide access to the hidden job market, please see our LinkedIn Profile Writing service.

If you are an employer and would like to assist employees through redundancy to secure a new role, please see our Outplacement Services.

13 Mistakes to Avoid on LinkedIn

Article by Belinda Fuller

13.Mistakes.to.Avoid.on.LinkedInLinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network being used in ever increasing numbers by recruiters to source suitable candidates. With over 300 million worldwide members and 50 million across Asia Pacific, it is essential that your profile not only stands out, but that it follows the rules in terms of relevance. Your LinkedIn profile is often a recruiter’s first impression of you, but many people are still making lots of mistakes.

So what are the biggest mistakes we see?

  1. No Summary – you’ve listed your previous roles but haven’t provided a summary. This is a big mistake. The summary provides a great opportunity  to capture the reader’s attention and show them why you’re good at what you do. Don’t just repeat your Resume, create a short, sharp summary of you – start from scratch and mention the important points – the ones that matter most in helping you get to where you want to go.
  2. Not Including Enough Detail – a bare bones profile won’t cut it in today’s job market. List all your previous roles with detail about what you did. While there is no need to list every responsibility or task under each role, a brief description of the results you achieved is important. Also, LinkedIn provides sections for much more information than a Resume – take advantage of these and add information wherever applicable. Don’t forget to optimise your profile with keywords to make it easier for people to find you.
  3. Not Including a Photo – a professional profile photo will significantly improve your chances of being viewed. Since this is often the first impression people get of you, make it count. Spend the money on a professional photo if need be, but just make sure it’s a good clear shot of just you, your head and shoulders, preferably taken against a white or plain background and in professional attire.
  4. Talking in the Third Person – it’s your profile so own it. Think of your LinkedIn profile like a cover letter – you would usually open with a first person statement like “I wish to apply for this position because I have blah blah….”. Writing your LinkedIn profile in the third person is not a good idea since the reader is less likely to connect with you.
  5. Being Too Formal – it’s a professional networking tool, so your profile content should be professional, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stuffy or formal. Inject some personality so the reader gets a feel for who you are as a person.
  6. Not Taking Advantage of the Headline – the content within the LinkedIn headline section defaults to your current or most recent role. BUT you can customise this to anything you like. We always recommend a customised headline – make it descriptive, use up all the characters and tell people what you’re capable of. Remember this headline (combined with your photo) provides the very first impression people have of you.
  7. Not Personalising Your Connection Messages – never just send out the standard ‘I’d like to add you……..’ message. Take the time to personalise your message to remind the person how you know them or let them know why you want to connect.
  8. Not Connecting With People – you may be amazed at just how many people you know on LinkedIn. Seek them out and connect with them and try not to wait until you need something. You should constantly build your network – adding and accepting connections from people you know professionally or personally.
  9. Not Using a Vanity URL – the automated personal URL created when you set up your profile usually includes a combination of your name with lots of letters and numbers at the end. Take advantage of the vanity URL and change it to the best version of your first and last name as possible.
  10. Using it as a Resume – your LinkedIn profile should be more personal, more intimate and less formal than your Resume. It also contains additional information that your Resume may not. It’s a great resource to apply for jobs posted through LinkedIn but should never replace your Resume. Most companies still want to review your Resume which is why your LinkedIn profile should provide slightly different content.
  11. Failing to Create a Brand – not thinking about who your target market is will diminish the value you achieve. Think about your ultimate goals for your LinkedIn profile, who you’re trying to reach or influence and what they are most interested in. How do you want to be perceived? Are you seeking employment or do you want to build connections to help your business grow?
  12. Not Using Keywords – the use of keywords right throughout your profile is essential if you want to be found by people who don’t already know your name. Think about the words and phrases that relate to you and your career and make sure you populate your profile with them – put them in your headline, summary, individual role summaries, skills and endorsements, projects – everywhere you can. Make sure your profile is optimised for people conducting searches and make those phrases count!
  13. Not Asking for Recommendations – recommendations are the modern day version of a written reference. Most of us have at least a few people in our professional world who will say good things about our work. However, you need to ask those people for a recommendation. Approach your contact with a goal in mind – so tell them what you’re after in terms of the skills or expertise you’d like them to highlight – be specific and most people will oblige. In my experience people don’t write recommendations without being asked, but if you ask the right person, they’re usually more than happy to do it.

LinkedIn is a valuable professional networking tool that has a raft of features and benefits that you need to be taking advantage of in order to achieve the best results.

Do you have trouble networking? Are you lacking a good quality LinkedIn profile to help you find and connect with like-minded industry experts or maximise your job search? If you would like a LinkedIn Profile Writer to help you create a professional, keyword optimised LinkedIn profile that highlights your strengths and achievements and sets you apart from your competitors, please see our LinkedIn Profile Writing service.

5 Tips to Maximise Your Network

Article by Belinda Fuller

5 Tips to Maximise Your NetworkNetworks need to be built long before you actually need them, but for many people, it’s the last thing they’re thinking about in the busyness that is life! Networking in business is sometimes seen as something that’s more important for senior executives or business owners. But these days it’s often a case of ‘who you know’ so a great time to start building your network is now.

There are many approaches to networking and connecting with people who can help you achieve success in your career. Online and social media sites such as LinkedIn provide the ability to interact with experts from all walks of life. A vast majority of business people in Australia are now using LinkedIn to build and maintain their business networks, gain exposure and credibility, or connect with others who may otherwise be outside their network.

Having a LinkedIn profile makes it easy to maximise your network with just a little regular time invested. Having a strong online presence and network is becoming more and more important for success in a future job search. Making an effort to position yourself as ideal for the job you can see yourself in the future, and building your networks up will help you tap into that important resource when the time does come. It will also give you a better chance of being identified by recruiters for potential roles.

So how can you get underway with building that all important network if you’re just starting out. Here’s 5 tips to get you going:

Tip # 1: Make time to attend industry events and conferences and join relevant associations where you will meet like minded individuals. Be interested in other people and take the time to follow up on advice or information received.

Tip # 2: Create an online profile such as LinkedIn so that you can more easily keep track of people you meet. Make sure it’s full of good quality content that’s been optimised for search engines and always include a photo and as much ‘additional’ information as you can. Networking isn’t just about finding people who can help you locate a job. It’s also about learning from experts and building your own expertise and profile as well, so contribute to forums and post interesting articles of your own or links to articles that others have written.

Tip # 3: Keep track of your contacts and invite them to connect. Include contacts you meet across all areas of your life – this includes former business connections, people you work with day to day (colleagues, clients, suppliers, partners etc.); people you meet at conferences, seminars, industry events, and training courses; and even those you come across in social situations if it’s relevant.

Tip # 4: Be polite – take people’s suggestions and follow up on them. If a contact gives you a lead – whether it’s for a business development purpose or a potential job – follow it up and then feed back to that person on how you went. Likewise, if someone asks you for help, respond. Even if you don’t have something for them, be proactive in thinking about someone else who might be able to help or politely letting them know that in this instance you don’t have anything for them.

Tip # 5 Ask for recommendations – in the old days we asked for written references but these days LinkedIn makes it so easy to ask people for recommendations. Be selective about who you ask though and don’t use a scatter gun approach. You can even highlight parts of the recommendations in your summary to highlight positive feedback.

The important thing to remember is to just get started – the bigger your network, the further your reach. Don’t wait until you are desperate to madly scramble and start networking. You have to build and nurture your network as you go because in today’s constantly changing job market you never know when you might need it.

Do you have trouble networking? Are you lacking a good quality online profile to help you find and connect with like minded industry experts? If you would like assistance from a LinkedIn Profile Writer to build a professional, keyword optimised LinkedIn profile that highlights your strengths and achievements and sets you apart from your competitors, please see our LinkedIn Profile Writing service.