ForeWord Reviews

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Spaghetti on the Wall

Foreword Review

In this how-to manual, April Kelly recommends effective techniques to help readers stand out among other coworkers and job seekers through networking (“who you know”) and branding (“making yourself memorable).”

Encouraging readers to establish a personal brand and network within their professional industries, Kelly’s proactive message will be useful to job seekers struggling to find employment using a wait-and-see strategy. She also empowers people in long-held positions to use social networking and branding to take control of their future, rather than being at the mercy of a company that might let them go without warning.

Drawing on her years as a former senior director of operations at LinkedIn, Kelly encourages a quality-over-quantity strategy and dismisses the focus on volume common among people using networking sites for social purposes. Instead, she promotes the development of meaningful professional relationships and identifies three networking layers of connections: your friends, your friends’ friends, and their friends. Kelly suggests readers to ask friends to make introductions and act as an intermediary with their friends, and so on.

After first providing exercises to help readers self-assess their goals and skills, she then illustrates how that information can be used to identify a personal brand that will become the basis for a web profile, primarily on the LinkedIn site. The bulk of the chapters read like a user guide for LinkedIn, which will be helpful to readers who already use the website or are looking for ways to increase their online presence through that particular social network. Kelly’s suggestions are specific and detailed; readers will find the instructions easiest to follow if they have the website available to them while reading the book, as it is essentially a comprehensive tutorial. She alerts readers to lesser-known features, such as adding a Poll to generate feedback on work-related topics, creating an Event to promote an upcoming activity, developing a Reading List to make suggestions about useful books, and linking a Wordpress blog to a LinkedIn profile.

Readers expecting a wide array of suggestions and a broad discussion about branding and networking techniques will be disappointed with the heavy focus on a single social networking site rather than a fuller discussion about several sites, including Facebook and Twitter, which Kelly acknowledges, have more users than LinkedIn.

However, as a former LinkedIn insider, Kelly is well-equipped to show readers how to maximize the site’s features to successfully establish and promote a personal brand.

Maria Siano