LinkedIn has released a report on the most popular HR professionals on their platform. HRM examines what they did to make their profile standout, and the best way to network online.
‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. How often have you heard that comment – frequently said by someone who isn’t rising fast enough in their career?
But like all such aphorisms, it contains a certain truth. In this case it’s that networking is good for your career.
LinkedIn has long been the networking platform of choice. Why? Well simply because it is the world’s largest professional network, claiming 500 million members globally, including more than nine million in Australia.
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So it was intriguing to receive today a list (which can be found here) of LinkedIn’s most popular HR professionals in Australia – popular in terms of how many views their personal profiles receive. HR is one of several categories featured as part of LinkedIn’s Power Profiles for 2017. Other categories include the most popular CEOs and founders, the public sector, marketing and advertising, and fashion.
Matt Tindale, country manager, LinkedIn Australia and New Zealand says, “These Power Profiles have developed their brand on LinkedIn by sharing their diverse experiences and voicing their opinion on topics that matter. They are adding value to the community with their insights, helping our members get better at what they do and achieve their professional goals.”
The seven HR professionals who make it onto the list are from a range of organisations including Australia Post, NAB, Vodafone, ANZ. Six of them are women and one is a man.
One thing that stands out on some of these LinkedIn power profiles are the articles that they have posted. For example, Cassis Sellars, head of people and culture at TBWA, talks about the ‘blind spot’ among managers who fail to really understand what employees do and how they are contributing to an organisation. She offers some easy-to-achieve tips on how to make staff feel more valued.
Investing time in actively posting good and relevant content pays dividends, says Tindale. He suggests not only sharing your articles but adding your thoughts and commentary to group discussions which are related to your industry or occupation. Make links between your experiences and your brand, he adds.
Another tip from Tindale is to keep it authentic and don’t force it. If you feel strongly about an issue that matters to you, share your perspective by publishing long form posts.
Nurture your network is another mantra online. Add value to your network by engaging in meaningful conversations and helping other professionals by sharing useful or insightful information. It will all help to get you noticed, perhaps even by a prospective employer.
However a big no-no– even if you are looking for a job – is to approach someone and ask for a job directly. Not only is it bad etiquette, it will serve you far better if you to get to know someone well first, and build trust. Only once that is established, is it possible to broach meeting up over a coffee – because there is nothing like face-to-face to cement a connection.
(Is it a good idea to resign on social media? Read our article.)
In many ways networking is easier online. It requires chutzpah to make new contacts in a room full of people you don’t know. From around the net, I’ve collected four of the best tips for doing this successfully.
- Be intentional, says Madeline Bell, president of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Networking should always be done with an intention, and not just to collect business cards and be seen. Approach networking as you approach your work: Set a goal for yourself and find a networking opportunity that meets that goal. In the situation I’ve mentioned, it was as simple as, “I want to learn more about corporate boards.”
- The Harvard Business Review recommends to stop thinking about the word “business” and focus on relationships. Research shows people evaluate everyone they meet in terms of warmth and competence. Warmth being the more valued quality. Actively showing interest in other people is powerful — and kind.
- Do NOT “work the room” says Darrah Brustein, the founder of Network Under 40. Don’t try to meet as many people as possible; focus on making just a few solid connections. People can sense when you’re simply speaking with them to grab their card and go.
- Adam Grant, organisational psychologist, has a theory on “givers” those who seek out opportunities to help people they respect and appreciate. “If you’re a giver, then you build quality relationships, and with those relationships you’re exposed to opportunity over the long term. You actually increase your own luck so far as you contribute things to other people.”