Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Continuing to grow your network, part of Up and Running with LinkedIn Premium Job Seeker.
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- Regardless of whether you're using a premium LinkedIn account or a free LinkedIn account, one thing you should always keep doing is growing and managing your connections. Your contacts, the people you know, they play a key role in your job hunt. Yes, you should pursue any job listings you come across that look interesting to you, but the more people you know and connect with, the more you'll be exposed to more job opportunities. There have been many reports and surveys in recent years showing that the great number of jobs people have were acquired through networking. So it can literally pay to manage, maintain, and grow your Connections on LinkedIn.
If you haven't checked it out already, I highly suggest you watch the course called Up and Running with LinkedIn here at lynda.com which goes into much more detail about the topics we've covered so far in terms of maintaining and enhancing your profile. But here are just a couple of things you can do to increase and improve your connections. First of all, your connections should be meaningful. Yes, you could simply go to your connections, click on one of them, go to their connections, find somebody you're not connected to, and then click Connect on their profile page to request a connection.
But do you know this person, is there a reason for you to connect with him or her? Ideally, you should avoid just adding people to your network for the sake of adding people. On LinkedIn, it isn't the quantity of your connections that matters as much as the quality of your connections. Yes, you want to use the profiles of the people you're already connected with to find other connections, but as you browse through the people they know try to figure out why you'd want to be connected to this person. Can they help you professionally? Not only that, but ask how they might benefit from being connected to you, because of course they'll need to accept your request to connect.
So you'll want to take some time to browse their profile and see what you have in common. If after browsing their profile, you really think it's a worthwhile connection to make, then click the Connect button. And here, choose how you know this person. The first couple of options here are for letting this person know how you might know each other, or what common ground you might share. For instance, selecting Classmate gives you the option to choose which school you two share in common. If you don't know this person, choose the I don't know option. Now especially when you don't know the person you're trying to connect with, be sure to include a personal note down here.
Leaving the default "I'd like to add you "to my professional network" message here is completely impersonal and tells the recipient exactly nothing about who you are and why they might want to be in your network. So briefly introduce yourself, mention how you came across their profile, and explain why you'd like to connect with them. If you came across them through a mutual connection, you might want to mention that as well. So you might write something like, Hi Cheryl, I came across you on James' profile and I noticed that you and I both belong to the Social Media Marketing group. I've heard great things about your company and I thought I'd request a connection to hear more about it directly from your posts.
Or something like that. Just going to cancel that for now. Alternately, and sometimes preferably, you might want to ask your mutual friend to introduce you in order to make the connection. Getting a recommendation from a trusted friend or colleague can go a lot further than a cold-call email. To request an introduction, go back to the person's profile page and roll your mouse over the arrow here and choose Get introduced. Then choose which one of your mutual connections you'd like to request the introduction from. All the people you share in common will be listed here.
In this case there's only one. So you can see that puts in the subject of "James, can you introduce me to Cheryl?" Then write a brief note explaining why you're asking for this introduction. Remember, you're potentially asking this person to put their name or reputation on the line for you. So be respectful of that and don't just bombard people with requests to make introductions. Also bear in mind that with a free LinkedIn account, you can request five introductions. With a Job Seeker account, you can request up to 15. I'll just cancel that again.
Now on the flip-side of things, you'll also receive your share of connection requests from other people as well. Ideally, you should exercise the same level of discretion in accepting connection requests as you exercise in sending them. Don't just blindly accept every request that comes in. Check out the person's profile if they sound interesting. This is also a good opportunity to consider whether you'd be more apt to check out their profile if they sent you a personal note or if they just left the default connection request message and nothing else. Another thing you might want to do is go back to your profile settings and here select Privacy & Settings.
You might be asked to log in again. And click Select who can see your connections. And just make sure that Your connections is selected here. That means the people you're connected with will be able to see each other. If you change it to Only you, none of your connections will be able to see each other. But by letting your connections see each other, that can greatly assist in helping the people you know meet and network with each other, which could also benefit you. One of your connections might ask you to make an introduction, which would make them more likely to return the favor in the future if you should need it.
So again, connections on LinkedIn are about quality much more than quantity. It takes some time and effort, but by thoughtfully curating and managing your connections, you'll turn your network into something of much higher value than what you'd have if you just blindly sent out connection requests and accepted every request you receive.
He then covers such features as Insights, which show how you stack up against a company's employees and other applicants. He also explains best practices for sending InMail to people, finding companies of interest, and using tools to reach key contacts and hiring managers. Finally, put it all to work by learning how to apply for a job directly on LinkedIn. Using these tips and LinkedIn Premium Job Seeker, you can find, apply, and network your way to your next dream job.
- Optimizing your profile
- Growing your network
- Upgrading to Job Seeker Premium
- Understanding Insights
- Contacting people via InMail
- Applying for jobs
- Accessing Lynda.com with Job Seeker Premium