You joined in a while ago. You've created a comprehensive profile and are actively building your professional network.
The job offers should start rolling in, right?
Maybe; maybe not. To get the most value from LinkedIn as a job search tool, you need more than just a profile and connections – you need to get social. Joining (and participating in) LinkedIn groups is the best way to build your employment brand, extend your network and get noticed by recruiters.
If you're unfamiliar with LinkedIn groups, don't worry – and don't be intimidated. LinkedIn groups are searchable, virtual communities within LinkedIn where members can share information, job listings and discussions related to the group's purpose. Some are open for anyone to join; others require membership approval by a group moderator.
Like other aspects of your job search, knowledge and a solid plan will help you use LinkedIn groups most effectively. Here are a few tips from PrideStaff to get you started:
Think quantity AND quality. When you're using LinkedIn to find a job, join as many groups as possible – you can be a member of up to 50 of them at any one time! Use LinkedIn's search feature to join general groups for job seekers, as well as groups related specifically to your desired position, industry and target employers.
Test the waters. Start by reading the comments and active discussions in the group. Be a "lurker" for awhile, to see how and what others post.
Search. Once you join a group, search the roster to find members with whom you want to connect (recruiters, hiring managers at target companies, industry influencers, managers/executives in your field of interest). Request informational consultations with these members to learn as much as possible from them.
Post, share, help. LinkedIn groups are not billboards for your "I need a job" announcement. They're communities for like-minded individuals. Here's how to build your image as a professional who is passionate about and knowledgeable in his field:
- Share timely, relevant information on industry issues and trends.
- Find the hottest discussions in your groups and post substantive comments to maximize your exposure.
- Ask other members for their input. Post an interesting question to further dialogues and build relationships.
- When appropriate, offer your advice and support to other group members who ask a question or request help.
- Be careful not to monopolize conversations or use them solely for your personal gain.
Tactfully compose requests for help. If you find someone who can assist you in your search for work, tread lightly. Try asking for advice or information first, before you directly inquire about job openings.
Use discretion. If you are currently employed and become active in a group, remember one thing: your boss and co-workers may be active in the same group. Participate carefully, without advertising your job search efforts.
Another group you should join? Become part of the PrideStaff team. As a national staffing service with offices from coast to coast, PrideStaff will match you with the ideal opportunity and ensure confidentiality throughout the entire process. Many clients choose to work with us exclusively, which means that we fill jobs that may not be found elsewhere! Search jobs with PrideStaff here.