Utilizing LinkedIn To Grow Your Network
There’s no better time to start networking than today! Connecting with recruiters and professionals in your industry has been a challenge in the past, but it doesn’t have to be. LinkedIn is your best asset for digital networking, let’s hear from our experts about utilizing this platform to grow your network! 

LinkedIn Best Practices

Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, shares, “LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool and can be used in a variety of ways to connect to professionals in your industry. Here are a few things I’d recommend you do in order to make the most of LinkedIn as a networking tool:
  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated, professional, and accurate.

  • Connect with your close friends, regardless of the type of work they do or what industry they’re currently in...Look at your friends’ profiles to see their connections. If they are connected to someone that you think would be a good contact, whether for a specific role or just to find out more about the company they work for, ask your friend to do an introduction. 

  • Follow the companies that you are interested in so you can stay abreast of changes at that firm, roles that might open up, as well as any new research or products the company launches. If you find that you have a 2nd or 3rd connection to someone at a firm that you’re interested in, ask your immediate contact to introduce you to the person at the firm.

  • Do your homework before reaching out to a new person on LinkedIn by reviewing their profile to understand their professional background. You never know when you might find something in common that could help you network with more ease (such as someone being an Alum of the school you currently go to or them speaking the same language that you’re currently learning). Also, if you review someone’s profile before reaching out to them, your conversation with them will be a lot more impactful.
“Make sure that you’re investing your time in actually ‘networking’ and not just reaching out to people to ask for a job at their company. The big difference is that with networking your focus is to learn from the other person and get to know them. Ask them about their experiences, their career progression, and what challenges/accomplishments they’ve had along the way. When you focus your efforts on building your network, even if there are no open positions at their company at the moment, they are more likely to remember you and reach out to you the next time there is an open role at their firm.”  More from Traci

Who should you connect with on LinkedIn?

When you’re looking to get started on LinkedIn, Ashlyn, Hiring Expert at Worthington Industries, says, “I would start with connecting with your peers, people you've gone to school with, and those people who you've met through clubs and extracurriculars. I would then connect with people you've met throughout your career, whether you've had an internship or are currently employed full time. You do not want to be sending out mass amounts of connection requests so try to keep it to people you know. Once you've established that network, you can then start reaching out to people you'd like to know (people who work at a company you're interested in, those in the same field as you, etc.). Make sure when connecting that you send a quick message letting them know why you're reaching out to them.”  More from Ashlyn

Amy, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., offers, “The first thing I would do is begin connecting with your colleagues. Those colleagues should be people you have met in real life and that know you as an individual. You can also connect with those you haven't met in person but you know enough about them to be able to describe them to another person and vice versa. This boils down to your friends, professors, family, colleagues from past jobs, etc. Once you have assembled your ‘real-life’ network I would begin targeting those business professionals who work for companies or industries you are interested in. 

“I would look to see what intermediary connections you have with the individual you’re targeting (by going to the ‘How You Are Connected’ tool) and ask if a connection would be willing to introduce you. You have a higher chance of connecting with your targeted individual if they were greeted by a direct introduction. As you continue to network in person, keep in mind that you can connect with individuals on LinkedIn after meeting them. This can help grow your network and continue building professional connections that could lead to opportunities later on.”  More from Amy

Using LinkedIn to grow your network is a great way to pursue landing your dream job. These contacts and connections could help shape your entire career! Get started today to get one step closer to happily hired.
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