One of the most powerful aspects of LinkedIn is groups. Any job seeker can use LinkedIn groups to connect with people and to build relationships that can ultimately attract new leads or employment.
However, groups can take a lot of time so it’s important to get as much out of the groups as you put in.
You want your LinkedIn Groups Equation to look like this:
G + G + G + G + G = JOB
G + G + G + G + G + G + G + G + G = ZZZZZZ
Here are ten ways to get the most out of LinkedIn groups:
Searches on the Internet are driven by keywords. These are important words and phrases that define what you do or what is important to your business. Keywords should be placed in every section of your LinkedIn profile. They should be used as often as possible without creating awkwardness. These are the words that an employer will use to find you and these are the words that will tag the jobs you are looking for.
Keywords include both nouns and verbs. For example: accounting and accountant. Copying sentences directly from a resume filled with action verbs may not make the best use of keywords. If this is the case, change those sentences for LinkedIn and other online profiles.
Place keywords prominently within:
- Your headline
- Position titles
- Within the first sentence of every paragraph
- Throughout all of your content on LinkedIn
Also, try to get your keywords added to recommendations.
Include special skills as secondary keywords: For example, Six Sigma, PhD, MBA, and chemical engineering.
Search engine bots search looking for these specific terms and on a very simple level. The more terms they find the higher you will rank for a particular search and the sooner you will find a job.
2. Cocktail Party Etiquette: The Room Is Filled With Sharks
LinkedIn is filled with groups of people that are BONE TIRED. Looking for employment is eating them alive. LinkedIn groups just sit there beckoning the weak, “Come on, add a comment, a commiseration. Ah, come on,” the voice whispers.
Don’t do it. Never disclose your age, your marital status, how many children you have, how much money you do, or don’t have or any number of other private things that employers are not allowed to ask in an interview. Call your best friend, your brother, or your priest to vent. LinkedIn is a PUBLIC forum. Managers and recruiters wander these groups. Give them only positive impressions.
3. Join LinkedIn Groups Outside Your Comfort Zone
For me this was a poetry group and it was pure torture. Joining groups outside of your comfort zone has two important advantages. First, you will come into contact with new people and new ways of thinking. Both will expand your horizons and even improve your employment prospects.
Secondly, groups outside of your comfort zone will sharpen your assessment of which groups you really enjoy and profit from. Turn off email prompts from groups you don’t really use and focus on the few that are really useful.
4. Join Regional Super Groups
Now you might move to New York for the perfect job, but it is usually cheaper and easier to stay in your current location. Most metropolitan areas have regional super groups like Linked:Seattle that connect regional groups of people. These are some of the best groups to join because they provide direct access to potential leads that you can quickly turn into personal connections.
Every region has it’s own cultural attractions like football games, museums and gardening clubs. Many of these also have LinkedIn groups. Get out there in person and get connected!
5. LinkedIn And Other Social Media Management Groups For EDU
Did you know that there are groups on LinkedIn that specialize in social media (i.e. LinkedIn Groups Product Forum, and others for Facebook, Google+) and new developments/ideas related to social media? Even if this isn’t remotely an area you are interested in as a career, these groups are a wealth of information and a great place to learn more about how to use these tools.
Moreover, every social media company has positions in everything from accounting to sales and these companies are currently exploding.
6. Mine The LinkedIn Group For Reference Points
Most groups have three or four top contributors that can be thought of as reference points. Once you figure out the reference points in the group, map, and research them. Are these people you would like in your network? How can you add value to the group so you can get to know them better?
Remember that reference points are often as eager to connect with you as you are with them. New ideas and fresh perspectives are like diamonds. Bring them a few and down the line they may repay you with an amazing reference.
7. Brand A Style
Think about branding yourself and your style of group interaction. We all have our own personalities and value to add to any group. Start defining your online brand and think about keeping your tone and style consistent.
Touched on above, recommendations can be an excellent way to improve your LinkedIn resume. After you have settled into a few groups that resonate, start adding fresh ideas and fresh content. Become a group reference point. As group connections develop into direct LinkedIn connections start asking for references.
9. Get The Word Out
LinkedIn group membership doesn’t need to end with LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be used to publicize a blog or a website, it can become a depository for certain types of Facebook friends. LinkedIn groups become even more powerful when they are connected from both within and without.
10. Idea Farm
LinkedIn provides one platform filled with ideas just waiting for cultivation. A traditional workplace is a box; don’t let LinkedIn mirror your current cubicle. Groups encourage the breaking of the box. Some groups require membership – apply. Take a look at what they are doing over in that box over there and there and there. Keep an idea journal and use it to enhance your value in your core groups.
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