Keep in mind that having too many connections can make recruiters question whether you’re just trying to increase the numbers for show. Remember, those numbers aren’t going to help you get the job. Instead, you want to focus on how to build relationships that are more valuable than mere quantity.
Building a substantive relationship requires that you actually meet and spend time with the person you’re currently connected to online.
How to Develop Meaningful Connections
It is best not to use LinkedIn’s template request or other template email messages. Personalize your messages and include the reason why you want to connect with people so that they know why you’re actually reaching out.
As a means of connecting, you may want to offer your help or expertise. Stay true to your word and respond promptly. Doing this inspires your contacts to connect with you again in the future.
Make the First Move
Don’t forget to explain why you are reaching out to certain contacts. If you have a mutual friend, feel free to mention him or her. You can always meet new people, even if you aren’t introduced by someone you know.
How to Connect
Don’t be too forward by asking for help from the person right away. Get to know the person first, if you can, to establish a personal connection, and meet in person. You can ask help from a mentor or friend.
Growing your Network
You can always look into professional groups in your area. If you want to develop your public speaking skills and meet new people at the same time, you can ask for help from Toastmasters. Take advantage of the social events that are happening near your area, especially those that are connected with your field of expertise.
Maintaining the Relationship
Find reasons to reconnect with your contacts. Keeping in touch with them can help you establish healthy professional relationships that can be of use in the future. Make it a habit to respond to emails within 24 hours.
Make use of today’s technology in building your network, and strive to meet the members of your network in person to gain valuable connections.