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Seven Tips for Social Networking

Aspen Dental

Date: February 27, 2018

When attending club functions, dental conventions, and learning activities such as THE NEXTDDS Going Pro events, it’s important to have your networking game in tip-top shape.

Not only is your in-person networking an important aspect of life after school, but your social networking and reach has become the new ticket to successful employment opportunities and growth. Social networking sites help you make connections for business, dating, or personal interests. Specifics vary, but they generally work as follows:

  • A friend or contact invites you to join the service. You may also join by visiting the site and signing up on your own.
  • You create a profile describing yourself and your interests.
  • You connect to your colleague's network and then expand your own network via message boards, blogs, and connecting to members with similar interests. 

By joining via an invitation from someone you know—someone with interests similar to yours—you could easily be connected to a network of hundreds of people within seconds. An easy way to find leads to that new associateship, right? Well, not so fast.  

Social Network like a Pro

As you would expect, new ways to network also mean plenty of chances for faux pas and breaches of etiquette. To help you navigate the new world of social networking, heed these seven tips:


1. Choose Your Flavor

Don't jump at every offer to join a social networking service. Many mix professional interests and pleasure: One moment you may marvel at a new friend's taste in music; the next you realize she works at the practice of your dreams.


2. Understand Site Culture and Rules

Social networking sites can be like high school, with unspoken social customs and rules. Before contacting the colleagues of the friend who invited you to the site, get to know the site's culture. A casual email introduction may suffice at one site but could peg you as gauche—or worse—at another.


3. Hone Your Profile

Even social networking spots devoted to fun over work can lead to career connections. Make sure your profile doesn't include anything you wouldn't want a would-be employer to see. This is especially true if you are using a site primarily for professional purposes. Potential employers may find your online profile and make judgment calls based on what they find. Keep this in mind and tailor your profiles based on what you would want potential employer dentists to see.


4. Don't Be Pushy

Many members of social networking groups have had bad experiences with pushy types. Someone who is too persistent can be annoying and actually will damage his or her own reputation if trying too hard.


5. Do What You Say You Will

To preserve your reputation, keep your promises when offering to facilitate a personal introduction or find a phone number. And if you express interest in another individual's help, be sure to follow up on the person's assistance.


6. Prepare for Face-to-Face Introductions

Just because your network is developed online doesn't mean relationships stay there. Social networking sites often connect people offline through individual meetings or group events.


7. Help Yourself by Helping Others

Networking is reciprocal, so do unto others as you'd want done to you. If you're able to help people, they'll be more likely to remember you and return the favor.


Be sure to continue your journey of networking like a PRO by reading some of the valuable related resources below. Check out for even more crucial assets to accompany your dental education! 

Hone in on Networking
Start Networking Before You Need It

By networking when you have no ulterior motive, you can begin to build relationships and a reputation for being generous rather than self-serving.


Have a Plan
Before you attend any networking event, get clear on what talents, strengths, skill sets and connections you can bring to the table—and what you hope to take away from the event.


Personal Agenda
Generosity is an attractive quality and it’s something special that peers and prospective employer dentists will remember about you.


Never Dismiss Anyone As Unimportant
Don’t make the mistake of discounting people due to their titles.

Connect the Dots
Make it a point to connect people you feel have something of genuine value to each other.


There's More: How To Network Like A Pro