3.2 Networking using LinkedIn
In Week 2 you set up a profile on LinkedIn and started making connections with people you know. Now that you have looked more closely at what you might gain from mentoring and networking, you will revisit LinkedIn and increase the power and reach of your networks.
Activity 5 Exploring LinkedIn networks
Previously, you searched LinkedIn for three people you had worked or studied with, or people who have been influential in your career.
If you did not make contact with these people at the time, then connect with these individuals now by sending them a message via LinkedIn. Remember to avoid using the generic message already provided by the site! Personalise the message by drawing connections with work, study or interests; people are more likely to connect with you if they recognise they have something in common with you.
You will now take this one stage further and use your established network contacts to expand your network and reach a bigger potential audience with your online profile. Before you do this, go through your LinkedIn profile and check that you are happy for this to be publicly available. Is your photo up to date and professional looking? Have you entered your profile summary and tag line? Are all your educational and work history sections up to date?
Now, pick two of your existing contacts and look through their list of connections. Find a further five people in this second level of contacts that you would like to be introduced to, people you think might be useful sources of information for your job search, or who might have similar experiences to you. Then email your original contact and ask them to introduce you to the person you’ve identified.
Recommendations are a great way of moving up in the search results. The more recommendations you have from previous job roles, the better; these are great testimonials about the type of professional you are. Recommendations don’t just have to be work-related; they can also be related to your volunteering activities. Your LinkedIn network is the way to get recommendations. Take some time now to recommend the skills of people in your network and they will take time to do the same in return.