Networking “staples”

A LinkedIn profile, resume, and elevator drill (pitch) are three of the career advancement tools we use to share our story–especially during a job search.  But how about throughout the everyday twists and turns of your career? You may be asked to join a board, be on a panel or be a speaker; if so, you will be asked for a professional biography.  Prospective client meetings, attending an event, or being given a referral will require a business card, and for the everyday opportunities to introduce yourself you need a short, straightforward signature statement.   

So take an inventory: are you on LinkedIn and a professional social media site related to your industry or field? Do you have an updated (within the last year or so) resume?  Is your elevator pitch/drill clear and concise and can you deliver it in two minutes or less? Can you define who you are and what you do in two sentences? (I call this your signature statement–see 10/23/12’s daily tip.) Do you use business stationery and always carry business cards–even if you can “bump” contact information between cell phones?  Oops, let’s not forget your voicemail message–is it professional in tone and structure (and doesn’t include the annoying and obvious “I can’t take your call right now.”)

These networking staples are the communication tools that we “leave behind.” Each one tells people who we are, and each can be passed on to other people we haven’t even met.  So it is important to pay attention to all the ways we present our professional selves.  Next week’s dailies will highlight each of these networking tools in turn.

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