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How to Grow Your Network on LinkedIn

How to Grow Your Network on LinkedIn - Hoojobs
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You’ve heard that LinkedIn is a fantastic place to connect with potential employers, but you haven’t really found benefit in it as of yet. Maybe you’re only connected with past co-workers and college buddies, and aren’t sure how to network with people who can actually help you find your next job.

Not to worry; this post will help you link with more people and maximize your networking opportunity on LinkedIn.

1. Start with a Full Profile

The more information you provide on your LinkedIn account, the more recommendations of people you might know you’ll get. Make sure you include any colleges or universities you’ve attended, as well as companies you’ve worked for.

2. Join Groups

Hundreds of Groups exist on LinkedIn covering every topic imaginable. Join a handful that cater to professionals in your industry, or who have the job title you want. Respond to other peoples’ questions and posts, and share your own. Then connect with other members and engage with them outside of the group.

3. Sync Email Contacts

LinkedIn allows you to connect your email account so that you automatically link to anyone in your contacts who’s on LinkedIn.

4. Seek Out Specific People

If you know the hiring manager’s name at the company you recently applied to, find her and link to her. Do the same for any other industry professionals you meet while networking face-to-face or whose content you read online.

5. See Who Other People Are Connected To

Look at your connections and see who they’re linked to. Find anyone who is a good fit for you (works in your industry or at a company you like) and link up to them. You never know how a “friend of a friend” might be able to help you find a job!

6. Use the “People You May Know” Tool

LinkedIn makes recommendations for connections based on your existing network, as well as your content and activity. Explore the profiles it recommends and connect with anyone you like.

7. Include Your Profile Link in Your Email Signature

Give others the opportunity to connect with you. Include the URL to your profile in your email signature, and post it in your job cover letters. You can find the URL when you look at your own profile underneath your profile photo. If you haven’t customized the URL, you should change it to your name or something easy to remember.

Keep in mind how you approach and try to connect with someone will affect the positive connections you make.  You’ll get a lot more out of your outreach to new people online if you can make some sort of personal connection and explain why you want to connect. This Forbes article has some good pointers on how to successfully reach out to strangers on LinkedIn.

I’ve Got Connections; Now What?

Connecting with people on LinkedIn is just the starting point. Now you’ve got to make the most of your relationships by nurturing them. Pay attention to your home feed and respond to any content links, comments, or questions that are relevant to you. Connect with people through other channels, like Twitter and Facebook, or email. If they have blogs, leave comments on them. Find multiple ways to build the relationship.

Your goal in using LinkedIn is to build your network so that you know the right people when you’re ready for your next career move. If you do the work ahead of time, you will be comfortable asking for advice or even a referral when you’re ready to apply for a job.

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