Without doubt, LinkedIn will bring everyone value in their career management, and in particular their job search. My philosophy on LinkedIn engagement is that if you aren’t on LinkedIn, you are committing career suicide.
But being on LinkedIn isn’t enough, you must be as targeted with your LinkedIn networking as you are with other aspects of your career management. Otherwise you will just be wasting your time and diluting your efforts.
LinkedIn has many valuable tools that can help you focus on building and maintaining a targeted list of connections to help advance your career.
With LinkedIn’s Advanced Search, you can quite easily narrow down to people in key positions, industries and companies, without needing to upgrade to a Premium account. In my view as a job search coach, this is perhaps the most valuable tool you will ever use.
To further your job search, you’ll want to attract the interest of your boss or your boss’s boss, and position yourself to them as a viable candidate. The most valuable way of meeting these influencers is to be introduced by an existing connection. This is where the more connections you have, the more value you can achieve.
Every single day I find myself introducing between 10 and 15 of my clients to the people who can advance their career. When you don’t have a connection to those you want to meet, you can use LinkedIn’s InMail feature to communicate directly.
Even before you’re connected, one way of getting noticed is to comment on a LinkedIn Pulse article written by one of your targeted influencers. They will be notified, and will hopefully appreciate your eloquent and thoughtful remarks. Repeated over time, this can advance your conversation, and help them recognize you when you send your invitation to connect, or ask to be introduced via another contact.
LinkedIn offers several of the same features as the best CRM (customer relationship management) platforms, all from your favourite professional networking site! For example, you can categorize your contacts based on industry, level of seniority, where you met, size of company, or any other criteria. Simply create a tag for each thing you want to filter for, and then apply the appropriate tags to your contacts. (Here is how to view all connections with a certain tag.)
You don’t have to be connected to someone to use tags, so this is also a great way to keep track of the people you’re trying to meet. You can also use the “Reminders” feature to note when and how you want to approach someone
In a comprehensive post at Top Dog Social Media, Melonie Dodaro explains how to use LinkedIn tags to generate more business – or in this case, to attract more career opportunities.
You can also add custom notes to someone’s profile (visible only to you), and there’s a special tab specifically for capturing the details of where you met.
To access these CRM features, click on any profile, then click on the Relationship tab directly below the top section.
If you want to score a bulls-eye with your LinkedIn networking, be sure to target your efforts on the right kinds of connections.