Stacy Zapar, the most connected woman on LinkedIn, credits her 36,000+ connections to her love for “paying it forward” and helping people grow their networks.
Zapar began her career on the agency side of recruiting, working as a technical recruiter for Fortune 500 clients.
After working directly for big corporations, she became an open-networking recruiter. Zapar was an early and active user of the LinkedIn site, joining in 2004, networking heavily, and putting herself out there to the point that invitations started coming to her.
That led to her to become the most connected woman in 2008. Over time, that network turned into something much bigger.
“It’s a living breathing network where people constantly share, learn, find jobs, hire people, grow their business, etc. I love being able to pay it forward and help my network where I can,” she says.
Managing such a big network takes time.
“I spend about an hour a day responding to messages in my LinkedIn network, but it’s worth it,” Zapar says. “It’s all about relationships and nurturing those relationships both professionally and personally. I invest in my network and my contacts, in turn, take time to help me back.”
While she still recruits for companies and uses her massive and active LinkedIn network to do so, Zapar also has her own blog, outlining her speaking events, personal and professional philosophies, and training resources for HR and recruiting professionals.
“Keith Ferrazzi put it best: ‘The currency of networking is generosity.’ In order to get the benefit from LinkedIn, you should give first. Help others. It will all come back to you. I’m living proof of that. It’s also been great for my personal brand,” Zapar says.
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