LinkedIn Advanced Hands On Class at Algonquin Library

Free LinkedIn class for professionals at Algonquin Public Library.

Are you on LinkedIn and wonder, ” Now what?”
See how you can leverage those connections for your career.

Learn how to leverage your LinkedIn network to discover the hidden job market and join groups to increase your chances of being found by recruiters.

April M. Williams demonstrates how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile. This is a hands on session and computers are provided.  Students must already have a profile and a minimum of five contacts.

Class is at the Algonquin Area Public Library District main library located at, 2600 Harnish Dr, Algonquin, IL. Call the library 847.458.6060to register for more information. Seating is limited.

Official LinkedIn Logo

Microsoft Oakbrook Store Events

Just for those of you in the Oak Brook area interested in learning and networking. The Microsoft Store offers sessions that combine both. Contact the Microsoft Store 630-288-3420 for more information.

IMG_0148

Events (all events are complimentary to attend)

Business Wednesdays (topics for February listed below)

Come to the store every Wednesday between 1PM and 3PM to meet other business professionals and learn about Windows Phone 7 and topics such as Microsoft Office 2010, Windows 7, and Social Networking for Business.

Business Wednesdays Agenda (every Wednesday 1PM-2PM)

·         February 2 – Create Professional Looking Documents with Word 2010

·         February 9 – Make Sense of Your Numbers with Excel 2010

·         February 16 – Organize Your Office with OneNote 2010

·         February 23 – Make Life Easy with Outlook 2010 in Your Office

Women in Business

o   Tuesday, February 22, 2011 8AM-10AM   We will be hosting our first quarterly breakfast social for women in business, providing you with networking opportunities and an educational session on Social Networking for your business. Light breakfast and coffee will be served throughout the course of the event. Each attendee will receive a goody bag at the event’s conclusion.

First Server

o   Wednesday, March 2, 2011 6PM-8PM  Come to this event to learn how to integrate cloud services with your business to centralize your data in one place with access from anywhere. We will be having an educational session on server solutions as well as cloud computing.

 

To RSVP to any of these events, e-mail OakbrookBusiness@microsoft.com

Networking: If You Are Not Doing It, What Are You Doing to Secure Your Future?

Expert networker Heidi Thorne and I initially met through Twitter, then schedule an in person meeting and over the past few months have become networking buddies. Heidi introduced me to Scott Kolbe and iConnect. Thanks Heidi for sharing your networking words of wisdom with our readers.

Guest post by Heidi Thorne, Thorne Communications:

My friend Scott Kolbe was lamenting about difficulties he is having in encouraging some people to visit the iConnect LinkedIn online/offline networking group he leads. One in particular is currently out of a job. So Scott encouraged him to attend to make some new connections which might lead to interviews or referrals. The guy was extremely hesitant and wanted to know who was going to be there and wanted assurances of certain connections or results. Huh? He is unemployed and has nothing to do at the moment… except maybe scour the online job sites.

This scenario brings up the burning question: If you’re not networking, what are you doing to secure your future?

If our unemployed friend had been an active networker all along, he may not have even been in this situation. At least he’d have to sort through opportunities as opposed to sorting through the shows on daytime TV. Many who are finding themselves being laid off of their jobs, usually after many years of service, are not easily finding new opportunities because they’ve been out of the circuit for so long. Only when the layoff happens do they turn on their networking selves. It can take months or years to build, or rebuild, the trust and inroads through networking. So I hope their unemployment checks will see them through.

Another type of job seeker is those who have relied solely on job search sites, classified ads, and job postings. Once they land a job, they land and don’t take off again until the next storm hits. Their situation is the most precarious of all because they have limited their network to the confines of their current employment or just family and friends.

One reason that so many wait until the inevitable happens to begin networking is that it’s a lot of work! Whether you build your social network online or offline, or some combination thereof, it takes time and effort. People do business and hire those they like and trust. If you’re only connecting when you need something, you will show yourself as someone who just uses people and someone who is needy. I wouldn’t hire someone like that. Would you? Certainly something to think about.

ABOUT HEIDI THORNE
Heidi Thorne is a promotional products marketing expert and social media advisor who helps her clients “Keep Your Brand in the Hand of Your Customers.” With over 23 combined years in the hospitality, convention, advertising, and public relations fields, she can advise and guide on marketing for events and tradeshows. Visit her blog.

Twitter Does Not Work

At a networking event yesterday, one of the attendees told me

“Twitter does not work.”

It was an emphatic statement and he appeared frustrated by this scenario. Curious about his experience, I asked him to tell me more. He explained he had set up a Twitter account about 6 months ago and had not used the account since then. In his situation, he tweeted a couple of times then completely stopped using the account.

I do not have all the details but assumed the results he saw did not match his expectations.

In your experience, how long does it take, assuming active use of a networking tool, to see results? What would you advise someone you met who told you social networking tools do not work?

Networking For a Job, Building Network Connections Or New Business

Networking is an effective way to support your job search and career goals. To get the most out of your networking, understand your goals and create a plan to achieve them. By making a conscious decision to create and execute your networking plan you will see greater results.

IMG_0376
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ramsay2

  1. First understand what results you want to get from your networking activities. Are you networking because you are in job search mode? Are you looking to build your network to expand your career horizons? Is your goal to identify strategic partners? Is your networking objective to find customers? By understanding what you want to get out of your networking activities, you can best determine where to spend your efforts.
  2. Next determine where you will find the people you want to network with. Look for professional organizations, Chamber of Commerce, community groups, trade shows and educational events which would be of interest to your ideal networking contacts. Research these opportunities to understand the attendance levels and typical attendee. Determine the cost to attend the event including any membership dues.
  3. Set a goal for the number of contacts you will meet during the event. By spending 5 to 7 minutes with each contact, you could plan to meet ten people in an hour. By the end of the event you will have a sample of the attendees. You can now determine if attending this event brought you closer to achieving your networking goals.

By creating a plan for your networking activities you will have a better chance to achieve your career and networking goals. Taking the time to plan your next networking activity may take more effort before the event though your networking results will be more rewarding.

Social Networking Classes for Business

Student feedback for the recent social networking classes in McHenry has been fabulous. We have a whole new set of LinkedIn users, Facebook friends, Twitter Tweeters and bloggers out there.


This four class series ran three times in McHenry at the Shah Illinois Small Business Development (ISBDC) Center.

After the class, students were invited to join our LinkedIn group to share learnings and best practices with each other. If you attended one of my social networking classes and would like to join this group, send me an email and let me know the class you attended.

If you missed on the session in McHenry, you still have time to register for classes in Elgin. Check our events page for the upcoming events.

Choosing LinkedIn Groups to Join

You asked, “How do I begin choosing LinkedIn groups?”

Linkedin
Creative Commons License photo credit: Coletivo Mambembe

LinkedIn groups provide a forum for those interested in a specific topic to share information and learn from each other. You can join an existing group or create your own group for a specific purpose. I created the “CyberLife Tutors Connectors” LinkedIn Group to share information on networking and jobs.

The owner of the group determines if the group is open to everyone or has restricted access requiring approval of the group manager. The group owner can pre approve or invite others to join the group.

Search in the group directory on a subject of interest to you. Review the search results to select groups to join. I read the description of the group and note the number of members. A useful national group or global group will have thousands of members. Groups bound to a geographic area might have hundreds of members.

You can choose up to 50 groups to join. Have fun!

Benefits of Volunteering

Talking to clients this week, I heard a common thread. They told me volunteering is the best form of in person networking. Two organization were recommended as the best places for business people to volunteer. These groups are Toastmasters International and the local Chamber of Commerce.

Toastmasters International with local chapters around the globe is a place where you can build your public speaking skills while you network with and get to know those in your neighborhood. I was at an event last night where 1 out of 3 of the attendees were Toastmasters. Leadership positions and mentoring positions are open at the chapter, district, regional and global level.

Simon Phipps
Creative Commons License photo credit: LornaJane.net

Many cities and villages have a Chamber of Commerce to support their business owners. By stepping up to a leadership position, you have an opportunity to get to know your fellow members.

In both these groups, you have an opportunity to demonstrate your leadership skills and build your network. Check out your local group to learn more.

Richmond Spring Grove Chamber LinkedIn Class

Watch for information on the upcoming Richmond Spring Grove Chamber Mixer dinner and LinkedIn training event.

Thank you to the Richmond Spring Grove Chamber of Commerce for inviting me in to talk about using social networking in your business and community. We had a full house for the event overlooking the scenic country club. It was fun to connect up with the owners of businesses I have visited through the years.

Many of you asked for a follow up session and we listened. We are planning a June dinner with hands on LinkedIn training co-sponsored by the Richmond Spring Grove Chamber and the Shah Center in McHenry, Illinois. The event will include dinner, networking and hands on training in the computer lab. Before the session, create a free LinkedIn profile then bring your user ID and password to the class.

Contact the Chamber at 815.678.7742 for more information or to register.

%d bloggers like this: