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Expanding your network for career development

Whether you are back in person at work or staying at home for your job, this is a good time to expand your network.  If you aren't on LinkedIn®, there may be alternative ways to increase your contacts depending on your industry.  No matter what online platform you are using, here are tips to be effective when adding to your network.

  • Personalize your request message. Avoid using the default message on websites when requesting that people connect with you or provide you their contact information. Be specific about why you are interested reaching out to them and keep your message brief.
  • Follow up once you are connected. Take the time to send a thank you message to anyone who honors your request. If you would like to talk to them about a certain topic or get to know them beyond the website (ie: send emails directly to them), this is a good time to get their information to communicate outside the site.
  • Be prepared to get more requests to connect. Once you start increasing your network, all of those people's contacts will now see that you are connected. You may start to get requests from people who aren't necessarily relevant to your career goals and network objectives. Quality is much more important than quantity for a valuable network, so don't just add people to have a certain number on the website.
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