The importance of building relationships and establishing networks cannot be stressed enough. The strength of your professional network is more often than not proportional to your career success. A solid network gives you an understanding of industry trends as well as information on employment opportunities and development.
Nowadays, social media makes it simpler than at any other time to sharpen your current connections just as make new contacts.
If you are job hunting, a solid network is key because most organizations Perhaps someone in your network knows about an employment opportunity before it is posted or even knows the HR director and can start the ball rolling in a good direction for you.
With the labor market as rough as it is right now, it never hurts to have somebody who can navigate it for you or at least can make it easy for you to navigate in your corner. Also, the more individuals you know the more noteworthy your odds of discovering the recruitment information first.
LinkedIn is the largest professional networking tool in the world. Hardly will you find any career-minded person that is not on it. The membership is over 722 million people. Do you see how useful it can be for your career?
The site serves as an online directory of professionals as well as organizations and bodies and encourages you to connect with and communicate with them without leaving your office. On it, also, you can follow job openings and partner with people in your industry.
LinkedIn is a superb spot for networking in the sense that you can connect with the best names in your industry that you would've never gotten the chance of meeting eye to eye.
That being said, how exactly can you make use of this great networking tool to benefit your professional career? The following is a rundown of how to achieve it.
1. Build a professional profile that stands out.
2. Connect with people.
3. Connect, then reconnect.
4. Show activity by posting.
5. Become a member of relevant LinkedIn groups.
1. Build a Professional Profile That Stands Out
On social media, looks matter. No, it isn’t the kind of looks you’re thinking about. On LinkedIn, it’s your overall profile. Establishing a decent first impression is significant while networking in a face-to-face situation and the same applies to online networking, too. So before you begin organizing your network on LinkedIn, you have to ensure your profile is rounded out and completely optimized.
Make sure each section of your LinkedIn profile has been finished so there are no conspicuous clear spaces or omissions. Your LinkedIn profile resembles your resume, so you need it to look as expert as could be expected under the circumstances. It should be able to tell others precisely what you do and what you have some expertise in.
Visibility to professionals and recruiters in your industry is a challenge many face. One way to fix it and enable your profile to get found by experts and hiring managers in your industry is to utilize keywords.
Keywords in your headline, profile summary, and experience will give you an additional bit of leeway and aid your chances of being seen. For instance, if someone on LinkedIn looks up “web developer” and you've included that keyword in your profile, you're bound to come up in search results which gives you raises your chances of interacting with key figures in your industry.
Also, while the term ‘looks’ was broadened in the beginning, it doesn’t mean that your LinkedIn image should be unprofessional. Keep in mind the significance of your profile photograph. LinkedIn profiles that incorporate a professional-looking headshot get a larger number of profile clicks and interactions than ones without. Be that as it may, not having any profile picture at all is the worst of the three.
READ: The LinkedIn Guide To Building A Successful Career
2. Connect With People
This sounds very obvious. I mean, who creates a LinkedIn profile without the intention of connecting with others? Well, not everyone is aware of this or even knows how to do this; hence, this article.
After you have completed your LinkedIn profile and it looks great, you have to begin connecting with others. Although 500 connections on LinkedIn is a seeming mark of industry establishment, you should not add connections indiscriminately. Associate with individuals in your industry that you could see yourself working with later on or who could give you significant bits of knowledge in regards to your profession.
Try to send a customized note when sending requests as a short message presenting yourself or disclosing why you wish to connect will assist you with building up a relationship and you won't appear to be you're on an arbitrary adding binge to knock up your numbers.
When your requests are acknowledged, don't stop there, you have to begin building connections. Share related posts and interact with their posts. You can even message them privately to establish a correspondence, but remember to be courteous and not pushy.
Remember that networking is tied in with making connections and if you don’t make an effort to build or sustain them, you’d never achieve a dependable professional network. Yes, even high-ranking professionals grow and maintain networks. So, don’t feel burdened or dehumanized by doing so.
3. Connect, Then Reconnect
Reconnecting with those you might not have spoken to in some time can feel awkward, yet there are simple approaches to break the ice. Consider connecting through a message on LinkedIn recognizing the delay with a presentation like: "It's been some time since we last spoke, I hope you're doing fine in these difficult times."
Also, you can draw in their attention by reacting to their posts on LinkedIn by "liking", commenting on, or sharing their post.
Keeping up with connections is key to successfully managing a network, so it's a smart thought to make time to keep in contact with your contacts. For instance, put an update on your schedule to check in and ask what they're dealing with. Send an email on birthday celebrations or to complement an ongoing accomplishment. Making a propensity for steady correspondence in a certifiable manner will be useful over the long haul.
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4. Show Activity By Posting
Another way to grow your network on LinkedIn is by sharing your knowledge and thoughts, and you can do this in a couple of various ways.
Try not to kick back and let every other person post great content on LinkedIn. Sharing an extraordinary article you've read recently is a decent beginning.
Posting content on LinkedIn won't just allow you to impart your skill to your associations; it can also bring about more users to discovering you on the app. Use hashtags when posting your article to attract the sort of individuals you need to connect with and develop your network.
This is not calling for you to post any and everything on LinkedIn. Don’t have anything to post at a particular time? Don’t worry. Consider reposting what a connection put up and slide in a couple of your key takeaways.
In fact, your LinkedIn posts do not always have to be 100% of your own words. You can always post pre-existing articles, videos, etc (with permission and credit, of course) and then ask your connections to chip in their thoughts, tips, etc which can then launch a discussion in the comments of your post.
5. Become a Member Of Relevant LinkedIn Groups
Every network building tactic that has been mentioned so far all point to one thing: visibility. You need to get seen to make connections with industry contacts on LinkedIn.
Another way to do so is by joining groups. Find groups on LinkedIn that are relevant to your industry that you can become a member of. By joining a couple of dynamic gatherings, your profile can be seen by a huge number of individuals in your industry, and that is many individuals you can connect with.
For this tactic to achieve results, you have to be active in the group. You can’t afford to be a silent observer if you want to be seen. Partake in conversations, answer questions that will showcase your skills, experience as well as qualifications, and offer applicable solutions.
Keep in mind that groups are about a particular network, so make contributions that fit the group’s description. Try to be strategic in your interactions and not be over-the-top with your attempt to sell yourself, this way other participants will see you and not be irritated by you.
LinkedIn is the greatest opportunity for you to build and maintain your connections in your industry and beyond online. Another thing about it is that your network building is not limited to your locality; you can build general vicinity as well as internationally. No one can tell what openings can emerge when you can have important networks with experts and hiring managers on the internet.
Now that you’ve learned how to network on LinkedIn, there's no limit to the heights you can reach professionally.