Professional Networking

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Online Professional Networking is About...

  • Relationship Building

“The technology will begin to fade into the background so that people can focus on the relationships that are created because of the technologies, not the technologies themselves.” - Charlene Li, founder, Altimeter Group

  • Return on Investment

“Look for social to become less about the ‘what is it’ and even more about the ROI.” - Marc Meyer, principal, Digital Marketing Response Group

  • Online identity management

"Being online is like being in public."

Ask Yourself...

These questions will help focus this session (and your later networking decisions):

  • What does my online profile consist of now?
  • How do I maintain connections with my current networks? What features,tools, practices help me to maintain these connections?
  • Who is missing from my networks? Where are their networks? Facebook? LinkedIn? Twitter? Blogging networks?
  • What's the best strategy for me/what can I keep up with? Portfolio? Blog? Profile? Webpage? Networking sites?

Activity 1: How does the internet see YOU?

HandsonHAND.png Personas: MIT's exhibit: Personas shows you how the Internet sees you.

Do a search on your name and discuss your findings with the people around you:

  • Did any of the displayed data relate to you?
  • How many others were represented in the profile for your name?
  • What does that tell you?
  • What are the risks in NOT having an online presence? In having one?

Activity 2: The Care and Feeding of Your Network

HandsonHAND.png 5 minute brainstorm with the people around you to come up with your list of top 5 reasons to build a professional network online.

Consider the following questions:

  • Who is in my networks now (Facebook, etc)?
  • What do I do to maintain those connections?
  • Who is missing from my network?
  • Where do I find them and what can I offer them?

Resource: The Care and Feeding of Your Network‎

Top 5 Tips for "Professionalizing" Your Network

1. Start small

  • if you have a Facebook account, review your privacy settings.
  • if you create a LinkedIn account, start with the essentials.
  • connect with the people you already know first.

Blogs and Twitter accounts can be associated with your profiles via feeds and APIs - just be sure you want those connections between your networking tools.

2. Be yourself

  • be honest about who you are and what you can offer - people respect that
  • own up to your social networking gaffs.

3. Participate and share

  • networks are built on trust and reciprocity.

4. Keep up

  • know what the people in your network are doing
  • let people know what you are doing

5. Choose your tools wisely

  • find the tools and approaches that are a good fit for you and that you enjoy.


Your profile?: in technicolor

Personas: MIT's exhibit: Personas shows you how the Internet sees you.

Networking: with who and where?


Linked In



Portfolios (blogs)

The Creative Career: PR Blogger making the transition from college to career

UBC's Teacher Candidates

UBC Faculty - teaching portfolio

Activity 3: Setting Up a LinkedIn Profile

HandsonHAND.png Spend 5 minutes creating a Summary of your skills and qualifications (look at the profile examples to help you generate ideas).

LinkedIn Grad Guide video: Step by step instructions and tips on creating a profile

Why create a LinkedIn profile?

  • employers can find you
  • contacts are aware of your experience
  • good PR tool: build your own brand (online resume)
  • have a professional presence - "like your business suit online"
  • access to networks through UBC alumni group, Grad Guide 09 group

View sample profiles of recent grads:

Elements of a profile:


  • executive summary of your skills and qualifications: snapshot
  • not too long (1-2 paragraphs)
  • can include your career aspirations, future goals
  • highlight special skills/knowledge


  • not limited to paid work experiences; can include volunteer and committee work, student societies, etc. - resume building
  • can upload content from your resume - a few points/sentences per position
  • ask a colleague or supervisor for a recommendation that appears on your profile

Additional information:

  • can include links to websites/blogs, associations you belong to, personal interests



Facebook Privacy Settings - How-To video

Social Media

Pumping Up Your Professional Network - Beth Kanter

6 Things You Should Never Do on Facebook or Twitter - CBC

Leveraging Social Media


LinkedIn in Plain English: Part1: LinkedIn in Plain English: Part2: Commoncraft video

LinkedIn Grad Guide

Digital Identity

Digital Tattoo tutorial/website.


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