This time of year, everyone’s mind is on love. Sappy cards at the corner store. Flower delivery trucks buzzing down the road. My personal favorite, online dating promotions on how to find your perfect match — that special someone that will lead to a lifetime of happiness and fulfillment.

But what about making a meaningful match to your natural talents? Finding happiness (and mad crazy success) from within? Positioning yourself for career advancement?

For most, you will spend more time at work than you will sleeping next to your soul mate. Career success is a real and significant component of personal success. If you aren’t fulfilled by what you’re doing, life can feel pretty empty.  Where are all the charm bracelets featuring a miniature “World’s Best Boss” coffee mug?

So how do you find a career connection with the promise of true and lasting fulfillment in a job that you adore?

The #1 website for professionals seeking professional advancement: LinkedIn.

Why LinkedIn?

Because that’s where the people are at. LinkedIn is the #1 social network for professionals with more than 332 million registered users as of January 2015. The site adds 2 new members every second, and 187 million people visit the site each month. Not only are people you know already on the site, but so are people you should get to know — recruiters, hiring managers, and your future co-workers.

According to the Pew Research Center, LinkedIn usage is especially high among the educated (bachelor’s degree holders and up), and high earners (those making $75,000 a year or more) — exactly the types of people with whom you’d want to connect professionally. It is also the only social networking site Pew measured that showed higher usage among 50-64 year olds than among those ages 18-29, which means that those with more professional experience (and who are more likely to be in a position to hire) are on the site.

network expansionsWith so many members, the rate at which your network expands on LinkedIn can be truly amazing. A hundred strategic contacts could mean access to millions of people in a short amount of time. And the more people, the more likely you will be to hear the greatest pick up line of all time:  “There is an opening on our management team, and we think YOU are the perfect candidate!”

I’m here. Now what?

There are a lot of fish in the sea. It takes more than simply having an account to become the perfect catch.

0309-GQ-DI01.01Put on your Sunday best. If you want to be approached unexpectedly for opportunities you hadn’t even thought of, put your best foot forward and polish your profile. Be found as a passive candidate. Having a robust LinkedIn profile — filled with your accomplishments and strong keywords — will lead prospective employers to you, even if you are not actively looking for a job. Recruiters especially are always searching LinkedIn to find candidates to match their search assignments.

Be engaging. Put yourself out there. You’re not going to meet that special someone hiding in the corner. Increase your appeal by becoming someone people want to get to know. Establish yourself as an expert. One of the ways to be seen as a thought leader in your industry is to increase your visibility. One way to do this is to actively participate in Groups related to your job, and also to write articles for LinkedIn’s Publishing platform. Anytime you post in Groups or post articles, these updates will be available in your profile, so people looking for you can see that you are actively engaged in this online community.

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” – Steve Martin

Rekindle an old flame…that might just have a hot new lead. Reconnect with former co-workers. Sometimes it’s hard to stay in touch with the people you used to work with — making it difficult to find them when you need them (say, to use as a reference in your job search). LinkedIn allows you to search contacts by employer, so anyone who listed that company in their profile will be found in the search.

 

The world’s largest professional promotional tool is at your fingertips. Use it to start making a true career connection today. If you need help crafting your content, consider using an expert to develop a profile that gets you noticed. Costs are reasonable and you can have a revised profile uploaded within 7 days. Get the confidence and courage you need to unleash your potential. #getlinked #careermanagement