Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Grow your network, part of Learning LinkedIn Premium Career.
- [Instructor] 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, meaning your contacts or 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 our course Learning LinkedIn, 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 click on one of your connections, and then see their connections, and then find someone you're not connected to, and then click the connect button 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 and figure out why you'd want to be connected to these people. 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.
Take some time to browse their profiles and see what you have in common with them. If you really think it's a worthwhile connection to make, you can click on their name, and then click the connect button. Now, especially when you don't personally know the person you're trying to connect with, be sure to click add a note. Otherwise, you'll be sending the default "I'd like to add you to my professional network," message, which 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 would like to connect with them.
If you came across them through a mutual connection, you might want to mention that as well. For example, I might write a message here like, "Hi Lisa, I came across to you on Sally Kerner's profile, "and I notice that you and I "both belong to the Social Media Marketing group. "I've heard great things about your company, "and thought I'd request a connection "to hear more about it directly from your posts." Or something like that. I'm just going to cancel this for now. 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. Now as of this recording, the introduction feature isn't available through the desktop browser version of LinkedIn. To request an introduction, use the LinkedIn mobile app on an iOS or Android device. From here, find the person you want to be introduced to, go to their profile page, and then you'll find this Mutual Connection section. Tap the link that says, See who can introduce you, and you'll get a list of your connections who are directly connected to this person.
Tap the message button next to the person you want to make the introduction for you. Here you can add to the default message, maybe with 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. Then tap send message when you're done. 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 a good opportunity to consider whether you'd be more apt to check out their profile if they send 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 to go back to your profile, to Settings and Privacy, and here under Privacy select who can see your connections.
And make sure your connections can see your connections. Meaning, the people you've connected with will be able to see each other. That can greatly assist in helping the people you know meet and network with each other, which can also benefit you. One of your connections might ask you to make an introduction which will make them more likely to return the favor in the future, should you need it. So, again, connections on LinkedIn are about quality much more than quantity. It takes 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 would have if you just blindly send out connection requests and accepted every request you receive.