By Lucy Dunn, June 2013

This is a question posed by a HR Manager in Silicon Valley, interviewing a non-tech candidate.

OK. I know, Silicon Valley is in California and a place where they try to “stress test” candidates by unleashing all sorts of odd questions designed just to throw candidates off track, to see how they deal with stress and unplanned situations. Yet don’t you use smartphones and tablets apps with social implication every day in your current job, just imaging what the next five years will bring? For those in sales and marketing, it is easy to see that social capital could become more and more important, perhaps as important as your “real world” reputation or some would say “professional capital.”

Porter Gale, an internationally well-known networking advocate and marketer and previous Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America, shares similar views as shared in my previous blog “net worth and networks.” In her recent book, Your Network Is Your Net Worth, she says “I believe in the power of social capital to improve your productivity, expand your professional options, and raise your overall quality of life”. The explosion of digital technology has enabled staying in touch or reaching out in many new ways, including “reaching” where you want to be in your career.

On a personal level, my passion is to hunt down passive candidates, particularly those who are happy at their current jobs, and willing to spend 10-mins talking about what is possible and what their dream job would look like. I cannot guarantee that that job exist at this very moment but I feel confident that this 10-mins will lead to a new clarity about what they or you want.

To help me, to help you, take your profession to new heights, I would like to suggest the following:

  • If you have not yet created a profile on Linkedin, please create one today. If you are a profession, this is THE community you want to be part of
  • Try not to copy and paste your job description into your LinkedIn online profile. Nobody is going to read long bullet points and paragraphs. Spend a couple of minutes and think about what is really important in your current job, what is most exciting, may be 3-5 points
  • Know your USP (unique selling points) and make sure that these points are loud and clear on your profile
  • Remember, this online profile is not your CV. Write something more personal and interesting in your profile, something eye-catching or even a little outrageous (not Facebook crazy but life mission powerful), after all, you want to be noticed in this way
  • Invite your current and ex-colleagues, the influential business people in your work life, even your college classmates to connect. The key is for you, as well as them, to have as many connections as possible
  • Remember, you are building and expanding your networks and your net worth
  • Ask people who know well to endorse you. Written recommendation are golden. Nowadays, it is not uncommon that your potential employer and recruiters to “check you out” before making contacts. You sure would like to put your best foot forward.
  • Just as you want to keep growing your bank account, Keep Growing Your Connections they will pay the ultimate dividends

In this context, I believe social is really about increasing your professional footprint which ultimately builds your personal brand, and it is something that anyone looking to move up the career ladder cannot afford to ignore.

So make an appointment with yourself, to broaden your professional options from today.

Other articles by Lucy Dunn

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