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The Repository: A key Foundation of for your Personal Network

Posted by Alan McMillian on Sat, Nov 02, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

A key asset in your career, like your brand, is your personal network.  Who you know, and with today’s social media automation, who they know, delivers massive career advantage.   Being organized, efficient and leveraging this precious asset is literally game changing.

What is shocking is that on the surface, students say they know the potential power of their network, but their approach to growing, nurturing and serving it is most often remedial.  The great news is it’s easy to remedy that, and for those who do, advantage goes to them.  Make that a big advantage.

In this message I focus on the repository, which organizes and leverages your contacts.  Subsequent posts will dive into more information, tools and guidance on networking in general.

Today I focus on two vital tools:  Microsoft Outlook and LinkedIn.

Microsoft Outlook is an often under-utilized product for most students during their campus years.  Students have it on their PC’s or Mac’s in that it comes with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook).  Why is it critical to use Microsoft Outlook now? 

  • You’ll use it in your career:  More than 90% of organizations provide Microsoft Office to their users.
  • To maximize efficiency you do not want multiple contact, email and calendar repositories; so given you’ll be using Outlook at work for efficiency sake, transfer all your data into Outlook now.
  • Some powerful contacts that you encounter you will have met just briefly, tied down with a follow up email, and invited them to connect with you via LinkedIn.  That follow up email can be inserted into the ‘Notes’ section of the contact so that when you want to reach out in the future, you have the context of where you met and how you followed up.  That makes it easy to re-engage.
  • Your professional network will expand rapidly as you enter your career. Bringing to work your personal contacts, and if and when you leave, taking a copy of the entire set of contacts is a smart career move.


LinkedIn is the other vital tool.  It is the largest online network of business professionals in the world.  As of January 2013, it boasts a user population of 200 million.  Recently their CEO stated that two people a second join LinkedIn.

Think of LinkedIn as a billboard where you can present who you are, what you know and what you have accomplished.  In addition, it’s where you keep track of who you’re ‘connected’ to and who they’re ‘connected’ to, as in your extended network.

It also gives you an update when someone’s circumstances change, like getting a promotion or moving to a new employer.

Finally, it updates you on business insight and information that’s of interest to you and members of your network.

This is a critical career resource.  You have to keep it updated as you gain career insight and accomplishments to make sure the world sees the best summary of ‘you.’


  • Switch over to Outlook now to:
  • View your emails,
  • Organize and consolidate your contacts,
  • And run your calendar.
    • Establish your LinkedInprofile if you haven’t already,
      • Or update it if you already have one established.
      • Think of the 5 adjectives you want a prospective employer to be left with after meeting with them.
      • Make sure those adjectives are what one would view if they saw your LinkedIn prior to meeting you.
      • è Note: Recruiters and business contacts very often will view this prior to and just after meeting you.


This is the foundation of developing and protecting the game-changing asset of your professional network.

Topics: Job Preparation, Alan McMillan, Personal Brand, Personal Networking, Professional Network, Microsoft Outlook, Linked-In, Outlook