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Five Tips to Jumpstart Your Career in 2008

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RISMEDIA, Dec. 29, 2007-How many times have you made a New Year’s resolution to do a better job networking with other professionals? The old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” continues to reign true, and more so than ever in today’s technology-driven society.

Successful people understand the power of having strong networks, which can provide invaluable resources and opportunities, and lift your career to new levels. Keeping in contact with professional friends, classmates and former colleagues can help you to find your dream job, negotiate a higher salary, locate important information and people, draw on the expertise of others to solve problems, make more informed decisions and better use of your time. Imagine if, when you had a question, you could easily tap into a network of people who could offer first-hand advice, based on their own experiences.

Maintaining a network used to require more time and energy than the workday allowed. But now, advances in technology and the advent of online social networks have made it easier than ever to keep in touch. Many of the social networks out there focus on keeping personal relationships alive. LinkedIn, a professional network of over 17 million users, focuses on how to make the best use of your professional network.

Here are five New Year’s Resolutions from LinkedIn on how to get the most out of your professional network in 2008:

Build your online brand
Your online image can affect the way other professionals see you, just as much as your offline image. One way to create your own online professional brand is by developing a social networking profile, such as one from LinkedIn. Make sure to keep information on your professional experience and other relevant information up-to-date.

You may be surprised to learn how many recruiters and HR departments use online networks to locate potential candidates. According to an ERE Media Survey, 64% of recruiters indicated use of professional sites such as LinkedIn to conduct background research and 66% of hiring managers said they would not hire a person for the job if they found something in their profiles they did not like.

Make sure you are putting your best foot forward at all times — if you’re a member of non-professional social networking sites, make sure personal information intended for close friends stays private. You don’t want coworkers and potential employers looking at personal photos of your vacations and party shots. If you’re curious about who is checking out your online brand, you can use LinkedIn’s “Who’s Viewed My Profile” feature to find out.

Be at the forefront of people’s minds
In order to get leads and recommendations through your network, it’s important to keep in touch with former colleagues as well as your present circle.

Make smarter decisions
Being a great leader is not always about becoming an expert at everything — it’s really about knowing where to find knowledge and expertise when you need it. Learn how others approach new markets, revamp processes, and resolve problems. Draw on the collective knowledge of your trusted connections — and their connections — and benefit from the experience of others.

Prioritize how you spend your time
Everyone understands the importance of time management in today’s accelerated workplace environment. Successful people are often beseeched with requests from unknown people for meetings, events, speaking engagements, and more.

Stay on top of what’s going on in your world
If you want to be truly great at what you do, it’s essential to stay on top of industry news at all times. Read the necessary articles and news about key daily topics.

For more information, visit www.LinkedIn.com.

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