Joining groups on LinkedIn can be a very profitable opportunity for building relationships and gaining information for job seekers if used effectively. Job seekers often ask me how to meet people on LinkedIn, and I can tell you right now that asking people you do not know to add you to their contacts list isn’t the way to go. Here is a quick list of 7 things you can do to create a professional presence in your LinkedIn Groups which will result in building your contact base.
- Introduce yourself on the group. Let everyone know you have joined and what you hope to learn from the content discussed.
- Join in on conversations in the group. Comment on what you are learning or maybe add something you have recently read.
- Watch the LinkedIn and online activity of the other members of the group. See what others are doing and try to emulate when appropriate.
- Look for group member’s blogs and be sure to comment every now and then.
- Ask to connect with members of the group once you have established yourself. This might take a few weeks or a few months. You just want to make sure you don’t join the group and immediately start asking everyone to be your contact.
- Follow the companies of group members and show interest in the companies represented. The people involved in groups all belong to potential employers. Always remember that very important fact.
- If joining a group for an association, look for information on national conferences and either attend or join in on discussions for those not attending. A growing trend is group conversations for those not attending a conference. Look for twitter hash tags.
Building a professional reputation online isn’t about increasing your number of contacts alone. You have to prove that you are interested in what others have to say and that you want to learn from the experts. Remember the simple rule of effective networking is showing you care more about other’s needs than your own.