- Are you "really" using LinkedIn (or have you just posted your resume)?
- Do you want to connect with more professionals and network online?
- Do you want to join industry groups?
- Could your current job search use a boost?
One of the most useful aspect of LinkedIn, is the Group feature. This feature is, in my opinion even more useful and more important than the number of people in your LI network. However, it's usage can be intimidating and many consider group membership an intermediate to advanced skill. Here are some tips to get started.
I am assuming you have already mastered the initial LI application and created a profile. I highly recommend that all LI members search out industry specific groups (ie: HR, supply chain, engineering, finance etc). You will need to formally apply to join groups and each group has different membership criteria. For some groups you will need to pay and join their live networking group first. Other groups are purely online and most LI groups do not have a membership fee, they just verify that you are in their industry. However, once a group manager vets your credentials and accepts your membership you can immediately begin using the features.
For job seekers, the ability to network online is incredibly valuable. If you have been job-searching for more than a few months, your leads list of employers and potential companies could use a refresher. In fact, LI is a great way to find out what's new, what's hot, who's hiring and who the key industry experts are. Even if you are not job searching, it is essential to build and grow your professional networks. If you are in a speciality or niche area, you may be the only one of your kind, at a given workplace. There is no longer any excuse to be isolated from peers in your industry. My primary use of groups is to connect to peers in Global Human Resources, Career Counseling and Higher Education. I check out which topics and trends are hot and actively contribute to my industry. At first when you join a group, you may just read the various discussion threads and note who the key contributors are. Over time, as your comfort level increases, you may add comments to various discussions and actively engage. If you feel bold, you may create queries or discussion threads of your own. In addition to joining industry specific groups (using key words), there are many general job search groups. Below is a list of LI groups which you can check out. Before joining, read about a groups mission, the group founder and the membership stats. Then, jump right in.
10 HOT LinkedIn Groups for Job Seekers!
1. Global Worker - Group for global business professionals seeking international opportunities.
2. HR Global Executive - Group for executives, recruiters and HR professionals interested in global opportunties.
3. JobsDirectUSA - Official job search group on LinkedIn for JobsDirectUSA.com.
4. Executive Suite - Community of over 100,000 US-based executive-level and recruiter members.
5. CareerLink Network - Community providing job seekers spiritual, physical, social, mental, economic and personal growth to meet their ever-evolving needs
6. MyCredentials - Career Presentation - Group helping members to network, expand their resumes and enhance their interview skills.
7. JibberJobber - Career Management - Network for executives, professionals, students and all those involved in the career services industry, including counselors, coaches and resume writers.
8. ResumeMaker Career Network - Forum connecting qualified job seekers with hiring managers and corporate recruiters as well as allowing candidates to discuss and share career opportunities.
9. Personal Branding Network - Consortium for all professionals looking to build powerful personal brands.
10. Indeed.com - Official job search group on LinkedIn for Indeed.com.
A huge added bonus to LI group membership, is what's called "first degree access" to it's membership directory. For general LI usage, you will need to be introduced to someone, before you can contact them for business purposes. However, once you are a group member on LI, you can immediately contact other group members - directly! You do not need an introduction. This is especially useful when you are a member of industry groups or job resource groups. Hope to see you all on LI!
Related Blog posts:
LinkedIn Fashions What's Hot, What's not! (Fresh ideas)
5 New LinkedIn Fashions for Personal Branding: What’s Hot, What’s Not!
ATS Software Is Screening Your Resume! 5 Resources To Get Noticed!
11 Facebook Applications To Launch Your Job Search!
Author: © 2010 - All Rights Reserved - Sharon B. Cohen, MA, Counseling Psychology,CPRP. Licensed Counselor. Career Counselor and Career Transition Specialist.
"Virtual Career Counseling: helping business professionals, reach their career potential!"
• Sharon B. Cohen on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonbcohen/
• My Career Manager on Twitter http://twitter.com/MyCareerManager
• Complete Archive of articles on My Career Manager http://www.mycareermanager.com/