How many LinkedIn Groups do you belong to and actively use?
I review lots of LinkedIn profiles of executive job seekers. Most of the ones I see have only a handful of Group memberships, if any.
They’re missing out on one of LinkedIn’s most powerful features.
Why Are LinkedIn Groups So Valuable in Job Search?
Groups help you:
- Generate interest and build credibility for the value you offer your target employers.
- Keep your personal brand top-of-mind.
- Position yourself as a thought leader and subject matter expert in your field.
- Learn from other experts in your field.
- Bring new people into your network, to open yourself to more opportunities.
- Find the right people to connect with to advance your job search and career.
- Connect directly with people who are not first degree connections.
The last point here needs to be stressed. You can send free InMails directly (and privately) to Group members, no matter what your LinkedIn connection status.
Executive recruiters, who rely heavily on LinkedIn to source candidates, also belong to various Groups. When you both belong to the same Group, you already have something in common. A Group InMail from you puts you ahead of candidates who send them a generic InMail.
And when you’re a fellow Group member, you’re more likely to be initially contacted by recruiters, especially if you’ve been actively participating and building credibility as a subject matter expert. You’re that much easier to interact with.
In June 2015, LinkedIn changed its restrictions on communicating with fellow Group members. Take a look at the rules before proceeding.
How to Use LinkedIn Groups
At first, just look around and get a feel for how that Group operates. Then:
- Regularly share good information by starting new discussions. Post relevant blog posts and articles you’ve come across.
- Add a few brief thoughts of your own that reinforce your Subject Matter Expertise (SME).
- Check out existing discussions and add your own SME-reinforcing comments.
- Always respond to any comments others make about your contributions, as quickly as possible.
- Carefully proofread any of your comments before you post. Along with showcasing your knowledge, you’re also demonstrating your communications skills.
- Take a look at the Jobs and Promotions tabs (if available in that Group).
- Click a member’s photo to learn more about their group activity.
How to Find the Right LinkedIn Groups To Join
LinkedIn allows you to be a member of up to 50 Groups at once. Over time, expect to leave some Groups and join others, depending upon their relevance to your job search and career goals at the time. Stay away from Groups with few members. Look, instead, for the bigger ones.
Here are 3 ways to find Groups:
1. In the drop-down menu to the left of the search box at the top of any page, select “Groups”. Type in your keywords or a Group name to search. Then refine your search using the checkboxes on the left.
2. Move your cursor over “Interests” at the top of your homepage and select Groups. Select the “Find a Group” link on the right side of the page.
3. Go to the LinkedIn profiles of competitors, colleagues, and people who’s radar you want to get on. Look for the Groups they belong to and click on appropriate ones to join yourself.
IMPORTANT !!! If You’re Job-Hunting Under Cover …
It’s okay to join Groups for job seekers and visit regularly to pick up valuable advice about navigating today’s daunting job search, but:
- DON’T show the Group logo on your profile.
- DON’T participate or post anything here (or in any Group, or anywhere else online) that will “out” your search.
More About LinkedIn and Executive Job Search
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