How to use LinkedIn to network for a job?
So, you’ve set up your account, you’ve threaded through the relevant keywords and even written an attention-grabbing headline and then…..nothing! All the talk about LinkedIn being a powerful platform and how recruiters will find you was all hype!! Okay, the bad news, LinkedIn doesn’t work on autopilot! You have to network on LinkedIn to get found or be seen.
When LinkedIn was originally set up its purpose was to have a digital platform to network with existing contacts. In fact, you couldn’t connect with people you didn’t know or without their email address. You could only set up an account if you were invited to do so by an existing LinkedIn member. Today the rules of engagement are very different. Anyone can create their own account and profile on LinkedIn and you can connect with people you haven’t met previously.
However, it’s still not suggested that you connect randomly. Increasing your online presence and engagement will be more effective if you connect with relevant people. Either your peers, clients, or employers. To increase engagement with the right people, you also need to think about your purpose whether it’s looking for a job or expanding your network to future proof your career.
So, whatever your reasons or purpose for being on LinkedIn you need to network. If you’re not networking regularly online you’ll be invisible or worse you’ll be forgotten. When you are off-line for a period of time, your posts drop further down on your connections news feed therefore, it’s lost in other news items and updates.
The importance of social media in your job search
How to network on LinkedIn
Watch my video that explains how you can get multiple updates on your LinkedIn status from attending just one event!
Networking on LinkedIn made easy
Here are some suggestions on how to network on LinkedIn to find a job.
Update your status regularly
LinkedIn is not the place to share what you had for breakfast! Leave that for Facebook. Equally, LinkedIn is not the place to rant or make complaints about poor customer service or products, leave that for Twitter. Ensure you are updating your status with relevant and meaningful content.
If you are looking for a job and you can be open about it, update your contacts on what you’ve done so far and how it’s going.
- Share conferences or seminars you’ve attended (You could get a few updates if you’re clever and organised. Announce a week before that you are excited about attended and then on the day and then some reflect or results after.
- Attending training workshops
- Delivering workshops
- Ongoing projects
- Networking events you’ve attended
- Trends or news in your sector or industry
- Changes in legislation or regulation to share or ask questions (asking questions generally creates engagement and that’s the purpose)
Comment with authenticity
Adding comments to other people’s status updates or articles will increase your reach. Increasing your reach means more people will see your account. Therefore, if you are looking for a job, you want to be adding relevant and meaningful comments. Otherwise, it’s just having random chats online and your account will be seen by people you have no synergy with.
Since Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for an approximate cash transaction valued at $26 Billion they have adding lots of new features. One of the many feature changes was adding some standard responses. However, in my opinion, it’s not authentic to use standard responses – so avoid using the standard options such as “Congrats”.
Share Interest and relevant posts
When you share interesting posts, be sure to add a valuable comment and your reasons for sharing. Don’t be tempted to just share without a comment. It’s likely to get very little engagement and it’s unlikely many people will even bother clicking on the link.
You need to give people a reason for taking the time to read what you’ve shared and help people identify who would benefit from reading the information.
Don’t forget to add relevant hashtags. It’s worth doing some research before adding random words. If that hashtag doesn’t have many or any followers, it’s pointless using.
Write articles or blogs
If you aspire to be a Thought Leader or you are a Subject Matter Expert, write an article that educates. You may have heard that content is king and this is true. You need to prove to your readers and followers you know what you are talking about. Share quality content with your followers.
- Top ten tips…
- Mistakes to avoid…
- How to xxx
- A step-by-step guide…
- The Ultimate cheat sheet…
Don’t forget to add relevant hashtags – keywords! Hashtags were added to LinkedIn about a year ago and they are now getting some meaning.
At first people on LinkedIn were a little reluctant to use hashtags as they thought they were unprofessional and associated with Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Now the hashtags are searchable and that means you can find relevant content, posts and discussions around your sector and subject.
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