This morning, LinkedIn sent me a notice asking me to congratulate my acquaintance Jane for her 5 years at Seeking Employment. While glad to be reminded of Jane, would you agree that congratulations are not in order?
Many LinkedIn users feel annoyed by these “anniversary alert emails” precisely because of the clumsy scenario above, or else feel mystified by how to respond. Out of frustration, many choose to unsubscribe to these persistent notifications.
Turn these auto-reminders into an opportunity to reconnect with your network.
Before you say, why bother?, let’s first remember why staying connected with your network is so vital for your career management.
A network full of cold connections on LinkedIn has no value to you. For example, you know the can in your food pantry without a label? It sits there taking up space. A cold connection — which is essentially someone you’ve not had contact with in over a year — is similar to that label-less can. Consider this scenario: Let’s say a connection in your network loses her job and reaches out to you for help, or asks you to introduce her to a prospect in your network—though she hasn’t touched base with you in years. How will that cause you to feel?
Reluctant? Irritated perhaps?
That’s why LinkedIn has developed this “anniversary alert email,” to help you turn your cold relationships warm again. By investing 15 minutes of your day to reconnect with your network, you will reap the dividends when you need it most. Since no job exists forever, a strong net(work) will support you when you choose (or are forced) to leave, and can help you land more quickly on your feet.
Here’s how I suggest you respond to those anniversary notices.
1. Review the profile
Take a couple of minutes to review the profile. How often do you meet people when networking who say, I’m looking for someone in the finance industry, or, I really need an IT guy, stat!, and you stand there scratching your head. When I review the people in my network, they are front of mind so I can be of more value to people I meet. Isn’t that the point of networking? So we can help each other?
2. Find like-mindedness, shared experiences
With some you may find it easier to re-ignite that spark: Reminding them of how you met, or what you remember about them.
With others it may not be that simple. If it’s truly a cold connection–someone I don’t know– I always find something to relate to: a city we both lived in, interesting jobs they’ve had. I always find something to affirm–the assumption being, if you’re in my network, I’m on your side.
2. Next, write back
Here’s what I recently wrote:
“Congratulations on starting your new handyman business. That takes guts. Anything in particular you’re interested in learning about LinkedIn? That’s my specialty, glad to help. . . I wish I had your skills. You get to put your stamp on things that bewilder me! All my best, Julie.”
He wrote back the next day, and our conversation continues. As a result, both our nets became tighter.
Today I encourage you to take a couple of extra minutes to follow up with your connections. By doing so, you’ll do a favor for both of you, eliminating one more label-less can off of your shelf.
Julie Bondy Roberts, MA, GCDF is a LinkedIn™ Profile Writer and LinkedIn trainer She is the founder of Coming Alive Career Coaching. To learn more about LinkedIn™ Profile Makeover packages & training your group or organization on growing your business through LinkedIn, contact Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Julie on Twitter and Facebook.
I hope you found some helpful information on this list. If you did, be sure to share this article with your connections. They will definitely appreciate your thoughtfulness.