Are You Using LinkedIn Groups to Build Your Personal Brand?
You’ve worked hard to define your personal brand and build brand-reinforcing content to support your value in executive job search.
And you’ve wisely built out your LinkedIn profile with plenty of that good content (including all-important relevant keywords), making you a more visible and findable candidate.
LinkedIn is sitting there, passively working for you. But what’s next?
Take advantage of all the proactive ways LinkedIn can help you land your next great-fit gig.
LinkedIn Groups should be on your to-do list.
Why Are LinkedIn Groups Valuable in Executive Job Search?
Groups help you:
- Generate interest in you and build credibility for the value you offer your target employers.
- Keep your personal brand top-of-mind.
- Share content and network with like-minded people.
- Position yourself as a thought leader and subject matter expert in your field.
- Learn from other experts in your field, and other experts in other fields.
- 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. But there are limits, as noted in the LinkedIn Help pages.
These free InMails can be used to reach out to people at your target employers, as well as others who can help you reach your career goals.
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.
LinkedIn Groups Have Improved
For some time Groups were stagnant, not doing much for anyone. Not many people were using them. I heard plenty of talk last year that LinkedIn was going to shut them down.
Andrew Hutchinson said in a Social Media Today article:
“They became useless, spam-filled, link-drop forums, where professionals would go to try and spruik their own wares, as opposed to actively engaging.”
Late last year LinkedIn rolled out “the new LinkedIn Groups experience” based on feedback from Groups members.
Stating that they’ve “rebuilt Groups from the ground up, making them available right in the main LinkedIn website and app“, Group conversations are now more in the forefront.
Now you can communicate with your professional communities easier with things like the ability to:
- Record and share videos
- Message people from anywhere onsite
- Determine whether your connections are online
New Group features include:
- Add video captions to give more context
- Share quotes from articles to spark conversations
- Save posts as drafts to share when you’re ready
- See translations of posts to stay in touch with your global connections
- Easily access the content you’ve created
Soon to come with Groups (or already available to some of you), you’ll be able to:
- Navigate to your groups more easily
- Keep the conversation going from your LinkedIn Feed
- Easily discover new groups that match your interests
One of the changes I really like is having Group conversations pop up right within my main LinkedIn feed, instead of having to navigate to a separate tab for that.
The new LinkedIn Groups are working for me. I believe they can be valuable to job seekers, too.
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, or those that you’ve written.
- 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 communication skills.
How to Find the Right LinkedIn Groups To Join
LinkedIn allows you to be a member of up to 100 Groups, at this writing.
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 only a few members. Look, instead, for those with lots of members.
Here are 3 ways to find Groups:
- Follow LinkedIn’s suggestions on searching for Groups and see if LinkedIn has recommended Groups for you.
- Go to the LinkedIn profiles of job-seeking 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 (in fact, a good idea) to join job search and/or career-related Groups, and check in 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.