How are you looking for work? If you are like most people, you are cruising the online job boards, looking for the ideal opportunity.
But by the time you see an online posting, it might be too late. Even advertised jobs are often filled by a referral.
So, it’s critical to be proactive in building your network before you need it. And LinkedIn is an excellent platform to do that.
Your Ideal Network
If you are serious about building up your career, start building up your LinkedIn network. Here are some easy steps you can take.
1. Identify companies that you want to work for. Go to the company page and follow each company. Log into LinkedIn daily to keep track of any company updates or job opportunities.
2. Look at the employees who are part of the company. Identify 3 – 5 people within each organization that you want to get to know. It can be someone at the same level who can give you insight into the company or job responsibilities. Or it can be a manager or HR professional.
3. Go to the individual profiles of each person. Click to “Follow” their activity. Make sure your privacy setting allows users to see that you have viewed their profiles.
4. Interact with the posts that they publish. Like posts and articles. Make intelligent comments or offer expert advice.
5. If they do not connect with you after several interactions, send a personalized connection request. In your connection request, be specific about why you want to connect. For example, you can ask for advice related to your next career step.
6. If you hear back, focus on building the relationship. The goal is to move your interactions off LinkedIn into a phone call or face-to-face meeting.
7. Research recruiters within your field and connect with them. Beyond having connections with employers, recruiters have an expert understanding of the labour market. They can provide information on skills, qualifications, and experience that employers are looking for.
8. Follow your professional association and connect with individuals who work for the association.
Building Your Brand
In the meantime, make sure that you are doing what you can to build up your visibility as a professional in your own field.
- Start publishing your thoughts and ideas through LinkedIn Pulse.
- Update your LinkedIn status several times a week, but not more than once a day.
- Actively add new connections to your network.
- Like or comment on updates or articles that your network publishes.
But, remember this is not a quick fix. This is a long-term strategy that works if you invest time and energy. LinkedIn is about establishing trust and credibility. If you want help with your LinkedIn strategy, connect with us to find out more.
Kristin Vandegriend is the founder of Career Story where she has helped hundreds of her clients successfully transition to work they love. She supports her clients to uncover their strengths and communicate to get what they want in the workplace.