Networking is the most crucial tool in your job search toolbox. You should meet with people one on one. You should to go events where you can meet a lot of people. And, you should use technology to network. Social Networking is just that…..using technology to meet and interact with people online. One of the best places to network online is LinkedIn.
While many people think successful networking on LinkedIn is about connecting to as many people as possible, that’s not true. The key is to connect with the right people, people that can help you when you need it. As we pointed out in the introduction to networking, it is best to give as much (or more) than you get to your network. Interestingly, that’s because it helps you more to give than to get. People are more likely to remember and recommend people that help others, than those that don’t.
1. Increase Your Exposure and Get Known On LinkedIn
Social networking offers the easiest way to get seen by the largest number of people. When you are active on social media, you are exposed to all of your connections, and often to their connections. Here are four ways to increase your exposure on LinkedIn (and to help others at the same time).
- Like and comment on your connections’ posts on LinkedIn. People like it when others notice what they are doing. On both platforms, when you comment, your connections are notified. This both helps the original poster by increasing views, and their new readers by connecting them to valuable information. Both groups will remember that you did this.
- Link to useful information on the internet. Post one link a week or every other week on LinkedIn. If you are reading useful business-related information, post a short comment about it, and link to it. Odds are people will re-post what you did, and you will get exposed to new people.
- Participate in one or more groups on LinkedIn. I participated in several groups on LinkedIn, commenting and posting about product management and agile development processes. I was not connected to most of the people that read my comments, but I always tried to offer advice or encouragement when I could.
- Write an article on LinkedIn. This one takes the most work, and not everyone will want to do this. But, if you post, even short, articles on LinkedIn, people will notice and remember. Even something as simple as posting 1-2 paragraphs, and then asking other people for their comments is a good idea.
2. Learn Information On LinkedIn
LinkedIn has hashtags you can use to be aware of certain types of information, like #resumes, for example. Using hashtags will keep you informed and will probably also introduce you to possible new connections. It’s worked for me, I have connected to several people on LinkedIn because I first met them through an article they wrote with the jobsearch hashtag on LinkedIn. I’ve also learned a lot about networking and job searches because I get information from sources I would never have had access to without connecting to new people.
3. Get (and Give) Endorsements on LinkedIn
According to LinkedIn, endorsements help in two ways:
Endorsements help ensure you are more likely to be discovered through search. Also, if you have at least five skills listed on your LinkedIn profile you will may receive up to 17x more profile views!
Of course, they also help because once you are a candidate, hiring managers and recruiters are virtually certain to check out your LinkedIn profile. It is very helpful for people that are considering you for a position to see that other people took the time to endorse you for some of the skills they are looking for.
There are several keys to getting endorsements on LinkedIn. First, make sure your profile is updated, and contains information that will prompt people with the kinds of endorsements you want. Second, ask a few people for endorsements. It’s ok, sometimes it’s ok to ask for help. Make sure to ask them to endorse you for specific things that you are good at and that they will feel comfortable endorsing you for. Finally, giving endorsements is one of the best ways to get them. When you help people, they want to help you too!
There is a lot more to using LinkedIn than just these three things, but these three are easy to do, and they help others and you at the same time. If you have suggestions on any of these topics, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.