Face-to-face networking isn’t dead, but LinkedIn has become the social media platform to quickly engage with other professionals. Like any networking strategy, there’s no one “right” way to use LinkedIn; it’s all about engaging with others and building relationships.

If you read my profile, you’ll note that I have over 500 connections. That’s a lot! However, there are only a few who stand out to me because of the relationship we have. I’d like to recommend 5 Savvy Career Professionals to Connect With on LinkedIn – all of whom I met right there on the social network.

Brad Minton.  A resourceful young professional with incredible initiative, Brad connected with me due to my career counseling and Myers-Briggs® expertise, eventually calling me for an informational interview. I could tell by his questions that he did his homework! Attempting to break into career counseling isn’t an easy task, but I have absolutely no doubts that Brad, with his counseling and higher education background – combined with his ingenuity and friendly demeanor – will have no trouble doing so.

Hank Boyer.  Hank and I “met” in one of the more active career interest groups. I admit that I’m more of a lurker than an active participant in most groups, but I occasionally add my own two cents. Hank, however, is quite active, and his insight is always spot-on. We ended up “adding” each other, which led to exchanging e-mails and phone calls discussing the 6th edition of his Job Search Readiness Assessment. Hank later asked me to contribute content for some of his career development articles and wrote me a very nice recommendation. Because he’s a Best-Practices Author and quite well-known in this field, I’m honored he chose me as one of the career professionals to highlight in his work.

Janet Wall. If you work in the field of career development, you’ve no doubt seen Janet’s contributions to LinkedIn discussions and read her publications. When I first became a career counselor, I heard her name whispered like that of a wise sage and praised by her students. It was years before I met Janet in-person – and talk about accomplishments! With decades of experience in career management including projects with the DoD and ACT, awards and recognition by NCDA, author, presenter, and entrepreneur, Janet is, in short, the epitome of “greatness” in our field (she’s also the only person on my list I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person).

Bob McIntosh.  I was a follower of “Boston Bob’s” blog for several years before he and I officially got acquainted. I can’t recall now how/why we came to be on each other’s connections, but since we belong to many of the same groups and have several connections in common, a professional relationship was inevitable! We’ve collaborated and spoken on the phone several times, and I’ve always appreciated his laid-back style and non-nonsense approach. One thing that continues to amaze me about Bob is his consistency. While I go through “bursts and spurts” with LinkedIn, I don’t see a day go by that Bob doesn’t post something meaningful.

Val Olsen.  Val will be quite surprised that she is on my list, since we’ve only shared brief holiday greetings and “likes” on articles. However, I’ve been an avid reader of her content for years, and as a fellow entrepreneur, I have to admit to attempting to emulate her! Val’s optimism and genuineness truly come through in her writing style, and, based on all the positive feedback she receives – her coaching style as well. Val and I share a Myers-Briggs® Type, similar values, and a similar career path – I figure if she can be as successful as she is in this field, there’s still hope for me!