Making Meaningful Connections in a Social Media World

It’s often said that it’s not what you know, but who you know. That has been the response every job seeker has heard ad nauseam for decades. And while that still has a place in the hiring world today, it’s time to double down on our networking efforts to truly enhance our endeavors in this respect.

We are more connected as a society today than we have ever been in history. Social media has shaped the way we identify peers and communicate with them. The fact of the matter is that just being connected to a large group of people is not enough to make an impact on that individual that could open that door for you in your job search. It’s increasingly more important to make an impression at the inception of the relationship.

It’s so easy to diversify your network with the tools available today, that sometimes we forget the reason we are pushing the “connect” button. One of the ways you can stand out is to attach a message to the connection request, which specifies the reason you are reaching out. It’s important not to sound desperate. Meaningful connections start with shared experiences, mutual challenges, and similar outlooks. So let that individual know that you are attempting to connect to share what you are experiencing in your current role, communicate that you have an interest in networking with them and make yourself available to chat about the things you have in common.

This exercise will not only assist in building your network, but also will open you up to conversations and partnerships that last longer than an individual hitting the “accept” button on their monitor. Not everyone will respond in kind, but you will have left a deeper impression on them when the moment comes that you can do something for them, or vice versa.

The key to meaningful connections is conveying to others a sense of having truly noticed and listened to them. The intent cannot be self-serving, and any assistance a connection can help you with must be viewed as a natural rather than contrived potential benefit.

In our busy lives, meaningful connections can be hard to attain. The prospective relationships that you build however, can make all the difference now and in the future.

 

Article written by guest blogger Zach Redding. Zach is a Senior Recruiter at Harmony Healthcare with over 18,000 LinkedIn connections.

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