I wrote a book on LinkedIn called I’m on LinkedIn — Now What??? I also recently developed a DVD tutorial called LinkedIn for Job Seekers, where I walk through various aspects of LinkedIn with my advice on what to do, and what you can ignore. So I’ll start a new series of posts on this blog with specific LinkedIn tips for the job seeker. Today we talk about LinkedIn Groups.
I don’t care if you have 1 connection in LinkedIn or 1,000 connections… I want you to join some LinkedIn Groups. Why? Because when you join a Group, you have access to all of the other Group members as if they were first degree contacts. Also, joining Groups allows you to communicate with other professionals who have something in common with you. And, joining Groups is a great way for other professionals to FIND YOU (that’s good, especially in a job search!).
Let’s explain each of these:
… have access to all of the other Group members as if they were first degree contacts: If you have one LinkedIn connection, and join a Group with 500 peers (lets say you are a Project Manager, and you find a Project Management Group in LinkedIn), you will be able to message 1+500 people in LinkedIn without upgrading. Imagine joining a bunch of Groups… this really opens up your ability to communicate with the right people.
communicate with other professionals who have something in common with you: LinkedIn Groups has a fairly new feature allowing you to post messages to other Group members – this is called Group Discussions and Group News (two different things which basically do the same thing). You can post questions, thought leadership ideas, etc. in front of people who are in the Group.
[Allow] other professionals to FIND YOU: I regularly make new connections because of Groups I’m a member of – it’s easy to browse through Group members… if you are there, people can find you. Who? Perhaps recruiters, hiring managers, business owners, etc.
Here’s what you do: Login to LinkedIn, click on Groups, and towards the top right you’ll see a box to search for Groups. How do you find “relevant” Groups? Search for Groups that are in your profession, industry or local geography.