I am on LinkedIn what next?
Once your profile is up and running its time to start engaging and interacting through the News Feed. This is not a one-off activity!
By connecting with people on LinkedIn you build and grow your ‘digital network’, this is extremely important when returning. Here are some practical examples:
If applying for a role you can ‘search’ for the company and LinkedIn will provide a list all your connections that work there. This is a great way to use your connections to get a personal introduction and find out a bit more about the company.
Search for an individual who may be the hiring manager, influencer, decision maker and see if they are a 2nd connection. This means that one of your 1st connections are connected to them and this provides an opportunity for you to ask for an introduction or a referral.
Your news feed will show posts that your contacts write, share and like. This provides an easy way to keep up to date with topical industry information and trends.
Who to connect with?
Reach out to:
Any contact you meet up with
Volunteers you have worked with
Most people will accept your request with or without a message, but you may wish to add a message stating that you are looking forward to resuming your career and are currently open to opportunities or exploring opportunities in a specific area. Connecting on LinkedIn provides a streamlined process to message your contacts and stay in touch (this is a lot easier than using email!).
You can also see your contacts’ connections (2nd connection to you), allowing a ripple effect in expanding your possibilities and opportunities to connect.
Share content, like and/or comment on posts
This will increase your visibility and credibility, as every interaction will come up in your contacts’ news feed, keeping you top of mind. Always add your opinion when sharing a post. You should consider:
How will your network benefit from your activity?
What problem does it solve?
How your opinion, take on the article or what you found interesting is worth sharing. This will provide context as to why you are sharing and believe it would be of interest to your network.
Being regularly active on LinkedIn will also build your overall brand. For example, if have a background or interest in HR and want to position yourself as a talent acquisition specialist, share content related to best practices and current research or like a post around latest IT tools for talent acquisition. Anyone who looks at your profile will see these interactions and it will demonstrate your interest in the topic as well as your thoughts and contributions.
Join LinkedIn groups
Search for groups that may be relevant to your industry. They are a great way to increase your visibility and connect with likeminded people. You can raise your profile by posting and commenting in groups, and message other group members for free (you can only send messages once you are connected).
For example, if you are in ‘Women in IT’ groups and have an interest in learning how to code, you can reach out to anyone in that group to ask for advice on where to start.