Practical Application: Assessing Professional Networking Skills

Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

This practical application contains assessment questions that can be used to check your professional networking skills, specifically in the social networking area.

Professional Networking

Professional networking is about making connections with other business professionals as a means of obtaining a new job or customers, or to otherwise grow professionally. In today's ''Internet Age,'' professional networking can often be done via social networking, which you learned about in the ''Social Networking: Definition and Professional Use'' lesson.

Also, in today's world, it's important to gain trust from other professionals. Many times, jobs are given to those people who have a trusted connection with other familiar and well-known professionals at a company or in the field. Customers are also gained when a business has a trustworthy reputation. Being skilled in professional and social networking is important to be able to grow as a professional.

Assessment Questions

The following assessment questions can help to determine your social networking skills.

1) Am I using the correct social media network for my networking purpose?

Not all social media networks are the same. Some are considered unprofessional, while others are strictly used for business. Choose one that's used in the desired professional industry. For example, LinkedIn is used primarily for business purposes. Facebook, on the other hand, is considered less professional and used primarily to connect and chat with friends. Comments are also less professional on Facebook.

2) Are my greetings and conversations personalized?

When a more personalized conversation takes place, it becomes more memorable and promotes trust. For example, instead of sending a generic greeting, personalize it by including the contact's name and perhaps a note mentioning what was talked about last time.

3) Am I offering useful information?

It's important to give more and take less during networking encounters. Before asking a contact for anything, offer that contact some useful information, which can encourage that contact to give back. For example, if a contact works as a teacher, then send this contact a link to some new developments in the educational field.

4) Am I being specific when asking for help?

People want to know how they can help, so be specific with your help request. Instead of asking for help in general, like how to grow a business, be more specific, such as by asking for the best way to increase conversions using an email capture system.

5) Am I being professional and polite?

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