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Career Networking On Linkedin Groups

linkedin networking, using social media, career networking, groups, job searchSo in my last two posts I shared lists of the Top Job Search Groups On LinkedIn as well as the Top Regional Job Search Groups on LinkedIn. This post is about LinkedIn networking.

So if you read these posts and went ahead and joined a few of them, congratulations!  You are now nearly a pro on Linkedin networking.  As I said in my first post, way too many people join Linkedin, build their profile and sit back . . . waiting for people to come find them. Now, that does happen. Recruiters can now find you and that is a good thing. But, Linkedin is really not about being found, it’s about finding others and building relationships with them.
Now that you are a member of a group, here are a few things you should do to establish yourself as a member and begin building relationships with LinkedIn networking:

Read The Rules

Many groups have a discussion post that lays out the guidelines for participating.  Some have strict rules that are well enforced.  Others are more loosely managed.  Respect the group’s rules or risk being either banned (sounds cruel . . . usually you will get a warning) or shunned by the most active members.

Introduce Yourself

Some groups have a discussion (often a featured discussion) already started that allows new members to introduce themselves.  If not, start a new discussion to do so.  Keep it short and concise.  Think of it as your 30 second intro speech on paper.  Oh, and always offer your help to the rest of the membership. For example, if you are well-connected at a big company in the area, offer to provide a few introductions!

Read Through (Or Search) The Member List

You may already know a few members or may have a number of them as second-level contacts.  Either way, you can get a sense of the folks who you are now connected to via this group.

Read The Current Discussions And . . . Share Your Feedback

Depending on the group you’ve joined, there are two types of group discussions. In my opinion, the BEST groups include interactive discussions with a number of comments on each one. If you find that your new group is more self-serving, either try an unselfish post to see how people react to your discussion or (gulp) find a new group. What do I mean by selfish? A post that is simply selling something and not offering to help.  If you find a discussion you like, add your comments. Either add your ideas or simply thank the author for a great discussion.

LinkedIn Networking: Start A Discussion

OK, but what do I say?  Ask a question that you think other members could answer and that a good chunk of the membership would find interesting. Try different ideas but make sure you are not just throwing out questions just to get noticed. You may get noticed as a less productive member.

Post A Job

Linkedin just added a new tab at the top of the group page that allows members to post jobs.  If you know of a job that you think members might want to know about, add it!

Upload A News Article

Have you seen a new blog post or news article that includes relevant advice for people in your group? Just click “Submit a News Article”, add the URL and you are all done.  Again, start slow.  Too many adds can be seen as spamming (bad).

Comments Turn Into Phone Calls.  Phone Calls Turn Into Relationships

In order to really build relationships while Linkedin networking, you need to be proactive. If you start a good “back and forth” with someone, look to see if they’d be open to a phone call. It really helps determine if connecting formally on Linkedin makes sense.
Remember, I recommend a Linkedin networking policy that requires a phone call in advance of connecting (at least early on).  I find it makes for a better relationship . . .
Beyond the ideas above, most important is just to get started.
Believe me, you’ll find your way.

Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Using Social Media

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