Whether you are looking to grow your career or are searching for work, it takes a lot more than applying to open jobs on career sites or searching “jobs near me.” Networking should be part of your day whether you’re job searching or looking to get to the next level at your current job. If you’re just getting started networking, LinkedIn is an excellent platform to utilize. By leveraging the LinkedIn platform, you will be able to find job opportunities, network with professionals and talent recruiters in your area of expertise, learn about different career paths, and make important connections. Our 24 Seven recruitment experts are here to provide the following insights on how to effectively network to grow your career.
Your Profile is More than a Resume
While you want your LinkedIn profile to be an accurate, up to date reflection of your overall resume , don’t stop there. Think of your profile as your own networking site, a place to highlight your value, the skills you obtain, and the professional accomplishments you’ve made. Through LinkedIn, you’ll be able to make connections and speak to your experience based on the depth in which you build your professional profile. This is your opportunity to promote yourself professionally.
Make sure your profile is optimized for keyword searches, including specific titles, skills , specific industries, and locations. For example, suppose you are looking for marketing project management jobs within the digital marketing space In this case, you will want to include keywords, such as marketing, project management, digital marketing, agency, and marketing. Or if you’re trying to make more connections in the agency world you could include advertising, agency, creative etc...
Do Your Research
Before getting started, think about your goal, whether it be to find a new job, make industry connections or something else. Then make a list of companies, industries or specific positions that interest you. Take time to look through company profiles, as well as professionals that work at those companies, to learn more about them. One of LinkedIn’s greatest assets is the ability to locate critical players within an organization. You will want to identify professionals you want to connect with.
Prior to sending a connection request, there are a few things to consider to make the outreach feel a bit warmer:
Follow the individuals
Update your privacy settings to show if you’ve viewed someone’s profile
Like or comment on posts
Determine if you have any mutual connections or shared interests, such as being alumni from the same university
Taking these steps will help you build a communication foundation, so your connection request feels more personal and is more likely to be well-received.
Making the Connection
When you send the connection request, first and foremost, create a personalized message. Here are some more dos and don’ts when sending your request:
Define a clear, purposeful subject so the reader will click on it
Give context to your message by stating the purpose for the message/connection
Incorporate brief shared interest or commonalities found in your research
Keep it short, but make sure it’s not so short that your purpose is unclear
Spam the reader by sending too many messages in a short interval
Put your own needs firs, state what is in it for them
Write a novel, keep it concise
Expect a reply, building a network takes trial and error
Working Your Network
In some cases, you will be sending a message to talk about an open position you are interested in, but in other instances, you’ll be building relationships with professionals in your industry. Ideally, you will want to make a personal connection with a phone call, Zoom meeting, or lunch if you are in the same area. Having conversations with your connections will give them a better sense of who you are and make them more comfortable referring you to opportunities. Make sure you are fully prepared for these personal conversations and always follow up with a thank you.
By building these types of relationships with your network, you can reach out to your connections to see if they will deliver your resume to the decision-makers or recommend you for an opportunity to grow your career (ie: speak on a panel, join an event etc).
Let 24 Seven Help You Make the Right Connections!
If you’re looking for your next role or advice about your career, 24 Seven’s expert recruiters are here to help. With over 20 years of experience and deep connections across industries, 24 Seven can help expand your network exponentially while providing you with valuable job market information.
Ready to get started? Take a minute to search our job opportunities or register as a candidate to work with us today! Already have a 24 Seven profile? Make sure it’s up to date with your latest accomplishments here!