Do you want to establish professional contacts, participate in your industry’s network or find your next job? In this article, you can learn how to actively make use of your LinkedIn network to create career opportunities.
In addition to functioning as a digital CV highlighting your professional knowledge, LinkedIn is also a knowledge bank for the large amount of competences and opportunities your network possesses. In this article, we present some pointers you can use when you want to utilize your network to advance your career.
1. Your profile is a strategic career tool
First off, we recommend that you work with your personal profile and keep it continuously updated, since your profile reflects your professional knowledge. This plays an important role when you want to generate career options via your network.
2. Utilize your network connections
You should think of your network as a long-term strategic tool, where you continuously nurse your connections. You never know who will become a useful connection in the future, and your knowledge can play an important role in opening up your career opportunities.
Congratulate on the new job
One way to maintain relations is to congratulate your connections when they get a new job. You should not like or comment on the update, but rather send a private congratulatory message to the person (to sustain a personal relation and to avoid spamming your own network). This is a great opportunity to ask your connection for advice if you are considering a job change, search for specific knowledge the person can provide, or need a foot in the door of the company where your connection is working. If it has it been a long time since you have been in contact, you should remind the person when and where you relation was created or mention a common connection. Even though you don’t need to get into contact with them immediately, it is a great occasion to maintain your relation. There is a possibility that you are going to need this specific connection – or someone in his or her network – in the future.
Share valuable content
Know that if you contribute value to your network, it will be easier to ask others for help. Be willing to share with your network and invest something of yourself. By sharing enriching and valuable content with your connections, you can create a positive impression of the professional you.
Read more about how to ensure enriching content here.
Personal and clear communication
Many people address their entire network at once, where they for instance ask their network to keep an eye open for relevant jobs. A request like this is quickly forgotten, and therefore we encourage you to carefully consider where people are working and then ask them if they can help you get in contact with their company. Ask them questions that are possible for them to answer, for instance which parameters they consider most important when hiring new employees. When you address a connection in your network, it should be clear how you expect the person to help you, and why you are addressing this person.
Identify the connections that stand out in your network
You can use My Network tab to see which connections stand out in your network. Here you can see which of your connections has the most views, your first connection and the one with the most connections. The connection with the most views will be very visible in other peoples’ feeds and can connect you to a wide range of companies or persons who look for your competencies. If it is a person who you would like to work with, you can comment on one of their posts or ask them for advice about a particular subject.
3. Expand your network
Every person you connect with can potentially introduce you to 400+ new people, 100+ companies and 500+ job opportunities. Therefore, it is important that you make a great effort to expand your network, while also focusing on the quality of your connections.
- Connect with present or former colleagues. Use LinkedIn to track down former colleagues or people you’ve met in a work-related context.
- Connect with fellow students. To find fellow alumni, just type in your university or former university in the search field.
- Ask to be introduced through a mutual connection. For instance, if you are interested in a specific company because of a job advertisement, the potential for cooperation, or as a potential customer, and one of your connections is also connected to the company of interest, the person might be able to introduce you.
To learn more about the top connections you already have and how each person can help you to obtain your career objectives, you can look into your personal LinkedIn insights. If you utilize your network, it can create great value for your career – whether you are looking for a job or are exploring new business connections.
Do you have any tips for how to use the LinkedIn network to advance your career?
We would like to hear your advice in the comment field below.