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Using short form communications

For many people, communicating with others face-to-face can be challenging. Thankfully in these cases, you can call on a range of excellent online resources to help.

Social networks/logos

Short form communication platforms such as LinkedIn and Slack give you the opportunity to make connections without having to pick up the phone or go to a networking event.

‘Short form’ simply refers to a short and concise way of communicating yourself or your message to a wide audience. It is often used as a quick means to draw attention to the message you wish to share, which is convenient when sharing or connecting online.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented service designed to help you manage your professional identity and build your professional network.

LinkedIn is not only a great way to connect with people, it’s also a great resource for organising and maintaining the network that you develop.

When you add a new contact you’rec connecting with on LinkedIn, you should always include a message with that person. Even if it’s as simple as:

“Hi, my name is […], I really enjoyed talking to you at […] event and hearing your perspective on […]. I hope we can connect again for future collaboration opportunities, or I’d love to connect to talk about […].”

A personalised note will make all the difference, especially when you think about how many people we meet when networking, and how difficult it can be to remember everyone.

You can find out more about successfully creating and managing professional online communications in the Create a Professional Online Presence course.

Slack

Slack, a cloud-based proprietary instant messaging platform, features a number of groups and channels where you can meet people. You can also find network-building pointers for start-up founders, creative workers and freelancers.

One of the great elements of Slack is the instant messaging aspect. Within each community, you will have both public threads and the additional option to reach out directly to individuals in the community. This feature can be incredibly useful in helping you to further build your professional network and relationships.

There is also the option to create your own community. Using this you can invite individuals you have met, and enable them to invite others. By doing this, you are able to create networking communities within specific topics.

In addition to Slack, there are many other online platforms available which are better suited for particular fields or specific types of relationships, whether that’s meeting up or asking questions.

Summary

The rise of platforms such as LinkedIn and Slack, and the ease with which you can use them, has made networking much easier to navigate. However, you shouldn’t under-estimate the work required to network effectively.

A purely online connection may not be as strong as a face-to-face connection, and any professional relationship or connection will certainly benefit from connecting in person.

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This article is from the free online course:

Essential Skills for Your Career Development

University of Leeds