All the kids are on MySpace these days. (Well, Facebook, actually — MySpace is yesterday’s news.) It’s all about “social networking,” which is a fancy way of saying “Online communities where everyone shares what they’re doing with other people.”
But you’re a grownup.
Nothing against Facebook or MySpace, but they don’t exactly scream “Professional.” Sure, lots of people and organizations have pages there — including VAR — but folks with real jobs aren’t quite the target audience.
For professionals, there’s LinkedIn. And if you haven’t signed up yet, you really should.
It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of Facebook or MySpace, but you won’t find gaudy hot-pink pages, either. LinkedIn is about connecting professionals. You can even join a LinkedIn group for VAR members to help you find other Virginia REALTORS®.
In your profile you’ll specify where you’ve worked and went to school, and LinkedIn will tell you who else has those places in their profiles. Then you can send a message asking to be connected: “Andrew, a former colleague at PC Magazine, would like to add you to his network on LinkedIn…”
Once you’re connected with someone, you can see her connections, and so on, all the way back to, presumably, Kevin Bacon.
What next? If you want to get in touch with someone at a particular company (to job hunt, find a resource, or whatever), you might find someone on LinkedIn fits the bill. Then you can ask for an introduction.
It’s not much different than asking all your friends and relations, “Does anyone know someone who works at Bank of America?” except that you can see who everyone knows.
It becomes, “Charlie, can you introduce me to Beth Jones at Bank of America?”
And if nothing else, I speak from experience when I say that when you get yourself on LinkedIn, you’ll begin to find yourself in touch with a lot of people from the old days.