How to Grow Your Professional Network on LinkedIn

Part of finding a job means being in the right place at the right time, and it also means entering your profile and resume in every job bank, so more employers are able to notice you. Nowadays, social media is part of that job bank, specifically LinkedIn, a social media platform that allows people to make professional and career connections.

The more you put yourself out here, -hopefully- the more you will get noticed, and that rule applies directly to LinkedIn, which is why growing your network and the amount of interaction you have, will increase your opportunities of finding a potential job, or running into the person you were looking for for a position. “First of all, I think it is necessary to understand why a large network on LinkedIn is important. I believe that the main purpose in using this social networking for professionals is TO FIND AND BE FOUND”, stated Neal Schaffer, founder of PDCA Social and expert in sales and marketing.

But it’s not enough to just create a profile. In order to get interactions, increase your connections and get people interested in what you do, users need to make themselves seen, in other words publish content, read other people’s content and engage with them. All these different interactions will help to complement the resume you already posted and some of the personal interest you have shared.

In spite of registering more than 500 million users, only a small fraction engages in developing their networks and using the platform. “Of the aforementioned 500 million users on LinkedIn, only 3 million share content weekly, and only one million have ever published an article on LinkedIn. Look at those numbers again, and think of that caveman armed with the tools he needs to create fire, but never using them. Are you simply filling in a standard LinkedIn profile page with a nice new photo and waiting for the connections to come flying in like moths to a flame?”, said Mike Luzio, in a Forbes article. After throwing out this question, he emphasized that people need to “engage, entertain, inform and inquire”, the same way you would when meeting someone in person, in order to leave a good impression, except that on LinkedIn this translates into different actions, like sharing content, writing a note to connect, and taking the connections to the offline ground. “Looking somebody in the eye helps you know if they are authentic and real, and it deepens the relationship better than a comments-section quip ever could”.

 

 

“I think it is necessary to understand why a large network on LinkedIn is important. I believe that the main purpose in using this social networking for professionals is TO FIND AND BE FOUND”

Neal Schaffer, founder of PDCA Social and expert in sales and marketing.

Besides these advices, there are some general ones that most experts agree on:

Leverage on the Network you Already Have

This means looking up past classmates from all the schools or courses you took, previous and present coworkers, and also business and personal contacts from your email database. These are simple tasks that can get you started on creating your network, and that LinkedIn also facilitates with the tools they provide. Keep in mind that in order to achieve this, your own profile needs to be up-to-date, so the more companies or schools you list in your profile, the easier it will be to locate colleagues and friends.

Invite People from Groups you Belong to

LinkedIn offers many groups which you can join based on your interests, and being part of them will allow you to know more people, and expand your network.

Use the Advanced Search Tool to Invite People

Due to the way the platform works, it is easy to pinpoint and contact a person in a specific business with their title. However, it is also important to keep in mind some etiquette, given that people who don’t know you may be reluctant to accept an invitation from somebody who doesn’t share any connection with them, or people in common. In this case, experts recommend using the InMail or an email address if they have it listed, to send them a message expressing why you would like to connect.

Completely Fill Out your Education and Work Profile.

“This goes hand-in-hand with actively finding people as LinkedIn is about finding and being found. I recommend including every job that you would put on your resume, including early positions you held just after graduating from school. The content is not as important as just putting the company name and years you worked there. That is enough to be found.”, pointed Neal Schaffer.

Promote Your LinkedIn Profile Everywhere

You can start by sharing your LinkedIn profile in your other social media channels, and if you don’t have them, include a link to your profile on your email signature, or even a business card if you have one, this way it will not only tell people where you are, but it will also serve as an indirect invitation to look you up in social media.

Being in the middle of a pandemic can make it more difficult to connect with employers and get yourself known, but social media and technology give us ways to circumvent this and make the best out of the worst situation, it’s just a matter of using the tools that are available, and getting to work.

Related Video: How To Create A Good LinkedIn Profile

 

 

 

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