Happy New Year! Networking Advice and BCM Gift Cards

Brand Career Management Newsletter – January 2021

Hi Everyone, 

BCM wishes you a Happy New Year! We hope that 2021 is better for everyone across the globe. With the new year, it’s a good time to reach out to folks to find out how they are doing (yes, this counts as networking!). With that in mind and the fact that networking was the #2 topic of interest in my last reader survey, I have devoted the content of this issue to all things networking.

As we go through tough times, we realize how important our connections are. 2020 was a good reminder that our support systems help us when we are down, but it’s important to tend to our network all of the time, not just when we need it. Even though networking opportunities have changed dramatically this past year, some things have remained true in terms of networking strategies. I wrote about this in my December blog.

Finally, I’m very excited to announce that BCM launched a gift card option in December, and it will remain available for any future gift-giving needs. If you know someone in your life who is struggling with their career in some way, please consider giving a BCM gift card. Maybe they need a career check-in? Perhaps they need their résumé reviewed? Is it possible their LinkedIn profile could be improved? Gifting career services can be a powerful way to help someone in your life. 

Warm regards,



P.S. Please forward this to a friend, if you like what I have to share. Anyone can sign up for the Brand Career Management Newsletter by going to the bottom of this page.


There are so many ways to use LinkedIn (LI) to network. I have shared five practical ideas below. Make a resolution to take action on one of these this month.

  1. Think of someone you know personally but are not connected to on LI and send them an invite (try to remember to add a friendly note).
  2. Share a post to thank someone publicly. Even better, “tag” the person to ensure s/he is notified. For example, if I am logged into LinkedIn and type this post, “@KarenChopra is such a motivational colleague. Thanks, Karen, for your inspiration,” the tagging feature with the @ sign prompts the LI system to notify Karen about the post.
  3. Do you see that a friend of yours is connected to someone you would like to know? Ask your friend to send an introduction to both of you as a message through LI.
  4. Message a 1st-degree connection and ask them if they would like to have a catch-up call in the new year.
  5. Ask someone in your LI connections for an informational interview to learn more about an organization or a role that intrigues you.

Before reaching out, you may need to do a little research to determine who you want to approach. The following three tips can help you get started.

  1. Search by keywords or keyword phrases using the main search box on the top left side of every LI page. Keywords can be first or last names (e.g., Paula Brand), companies (Microsoft), titles (accountant), or industries (international development).
  2. Look at the members of any LI groups you have joined. Are there individuals you would like to get to know better?

Use the Alumni feature to find fellow graduates who might have a connection to your industry or target industry. There are many ways to access the Alumni tool, but the easiest is to go to your profile page and click on the name of the school you attended. Another way is to log in using www.linkedin.com/alumni. Please note that for this feature to work, you must have the institution listed on your profile. If you want more details, this post by the Muse explains more about the Alumni feature.


The articles below focus on various aspects of networking, including ways to make your networking experiences valuable, tips for virtual networking, and practical advice on how to write your elevator pitch. Thankfully, I did not have to go far to find great advice within my network.

From a big picture standpoint, let’s start with my esteemed colleague, career counselor Barry Davis who suggests looking at your networking from three perspectives and he offers sample questions to ask in each situation (information gathering, advice seeking, and referral requests). He wrote these valuable words in 2012, but they are just as relevant today.

Next career counselor, author, and trainer Jim Peacock talks about why relationship building is the critical foundation of networking. I firmly concur with his view that successful networking takes time so always look for opportunities to plant “relationship” seeds that can grow with future nurturing. This is how Jim and I have built our relationship.

When dealing with the reality of minimal face to face interactions, Dorie Clark and Alisa Cohen share three practical strategies for networking virtually, and my recent blog addresses other ways that networking changed.

Finally, once you have made the commitment to reach out to others, it’s always good to have something prepared to say. In this quick post, career counselor Ronda Ansted shares advice on how to create an elevator pitch.


NEW: BCM Gift cards are now available – Do you know someone who could use a career check-in? Maybe you know someone who needs a résumé review or to improve a LinkedIn profile? Click here to see what gift options are available.

On Friday, January 22, I will be introducing the LinkedIn Lady as an Each One Teach One professional development opportunity for members of the Middle Atlantic Career Counseling Association (MACCA).

COMING SOON: I am in communication with the Broadneck Branch of the Anne Arundel County Public Library about running a virtual salary negotiation workshop this spring. I will share details once they are finalized.

On Monday, March 8th, my colleagues and I will once again be honoring International Women’s Day by holding a free online interactive event for women by women. The focus is on Imposter Syndrome and will kick off at noon EST. Our March newsletter will share a link.

Paula Brand – Global Career Coach & Consultant | LinkedIn Expert | Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator |
Founder of Brand Career Management


Brand Career Management (BCM) helps professionals strategically manage their careers, apply effective job search techniques, and leverage social media tools to secure their best career options with ease. We provide an array of career services designed to meet your current needs. Write to: paula@brandcareermanagement.com or call me at 443-254-8173.

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