Your Network: The (Rainbow) Connection

(Get your network beyond your Facebook friends from 10+ years ago)

Your network is essentially people you know. It’s good to have a large network because; like the classic saying goes, “its not about what you know, but who you know”. Additionally, if you connect with people you know, this increases the probability that they might endorse your skills or recommend you (click HERE to see my last post about why that’s good).

Additionally, if you connect with people who have similar interests to you, you might even be able to get a job from it (Schinkten, 2018)!


Pro Tips:

  • Don’t add anyone and everyone people (its not worth it)
  • Connect with Schinkten’s three: the advocate, the in, and the expert
  • The Advocate: someone you know personally, can provide advice and ideas (ex. classmate)
  • The In: someone who’s very connected and could make connections on your behalf (ex. professor)
  • The Expert: Has insight on your industry, can give unbiased opinion, has similar goals/jobs/etc.
  • Networks aren’t only about you! Make it a symbiotic relationship!
    (Schinkten, 2018)

Note: You can hide parts of your account from the public. Additionally, you can restrict connection requests so only people with your email can ask to connect (Schinkten, 2018). This can be good if you’re a well-know big-wig, but initially, you might want to leave this open so you can grow your network.

Don’t forget to check the “My Network” tab! This is where you can find people you may know but aren’t connected with, or where you can find requests for people trying to connect with you!

Tips to Find Connections:

  • Filters! It’s like going to a clothing store. It’d take forever to search through one huge pile of clothes so generally, stores organize them by size, style, type, etc. This makes it quick and easy to find what you’re looking for.
  • Boolean modifiers. These are essentially the same words you can use to make your Google searches better. Things like quotation marks, parentheses, the word “NOT”, “OR” and “AND”.  Still confused? Check out the graphic at the bottom of the blog.
  • Search operators. Normal searching but more specific. So instead of just searching for “Microsoft”, you can search “company:Microsoft”. You can pair these up as well. If you’re searching for Carl Jones at Microsoft, you can search “company:Microsoft firstname:carl lastname:jones”
  • The alumni tool. This is a feature is through a school’s LinkedIn page. Click the “Alumni” tab to see a list of Alumnis. This is a great tool to use if you want to connect with people from your school. Plus, you can narrow this search down as well by clicking on the demographics (ex. marketing) if you want to find people who are in similar careers to you!
  • Groups. Find people with similar interests easily! Make sure you meet qualification and check the rules before asking to join a group.
    (Schinkten, 2018)
^This is probably too forward for LinkedIn

Remember, personalized notes when connecting are useful! Telling someone why you want to connect could improve the likelihood they’d accept!

Note: The newsfeed is a good way to stay informed about stories relevant to your career, interests, or prospective companies/schools (Schinkten, 2018)! You can also follow “thought leaders” (experts in the industry) by checking out /feed/follow (Schinkten, 2018). Stay in the know and impress prospective jobs with your industry knowledge!

Pro Tips:

  • Keep your “digital footprint” as professional as possible. There’s been countless stories of people losing jobs because unprofessional posts have surface. Some companies may not even hire you because of unprofessionalism. On the flip side, companies may want to hire you after seeing your online presence if its professional, well rounded, and demonstrates sought-after skills (Schinkten, 2018).
  • Be active on LinkedIn! Creating/sharing content regarding your field increases your credibility and brands you as a “thought leader” (Schinkten, 2018). Remember though, keep posts professional and make sense for your personal brand. For more tips on good copy writing, check out my blog post HERE.
  • Check out LinkedIn Learning (Schinkten, 2018)! If you’re a student (like me), your school might offer LinkedIn Learning free. If not, you’ll have to pay for it. It’s a good way to learn skills through video though, so it might be worth it depending on your learning style.

Pro Tips for Finding Jobs:

  • Go to the page of a company you’re interested in. Then just click “jobs”! It’s super simple but a great way to find jobs you may not see on other sites.
  • Check out LinkedIn accounts of employees who got the job; they got the job so compare your account to see how you could improve. No need to copy exactly though! Just consider it inspiration or a point-of-reference. This is a great way to find keywords (Schinkten, 2018).
  • Easy Apply VS Apply. Easy Apply is applying with your LinkedIn account; super quick and easy. Apply is like a regular online job application.
  • Use the save jobs feature. It’s an easy way to keep tabs on jobs you’re interested in but don’t want to apply for just yet.
  • Fill out the “career interests” tab. This lets recruiters know your information and lets them know you’re interested in a job!
  • Use LinkedIn salary to see your earning potential. Good info to know so you don’t get ripped off!
  • Set a job alert. You can set it so LinkedIn will alert you when jobs meeting your specifications pop up. This is also great for keeping up to date on job postings. 
    (Schinkten, 2018)

Common Question: Is LinkedIn Premium worth it?

Answer: There’s additional features that premium offers but LinkedIn regular is still really good; especially because its free (Schinkten, 2018). If you’re really interested in premium though; such as when looking for jobs or hiring for your own company, sign up for the free trial just to see if you think its worth it to yourself.

Conclusion 

One of the main takeaways from today’s blog post is that your digital footprint is something you should really think about. This includes your network! It’s important to consider how people your connected with, groups you’re in, and tags you follow all reflect on you. Additionally, it’s important to treat LinkedIn like any other social media; in a sense. Everyone knows that consistency is a key when running a social media account if you want to gain traction. LinkedIn is the same! Post regularly (but not annoyingly) about things in your field. This will build an audience and your credibility.

Personally, I find it hard to think of things I’d want to post directly on LinkedIn, but I feel comfortable on this blog. Going forward, I’m going to try to post about my blog and add blog posts to my LinkedIn feed.Hopefully this gains my blog’s readership as well!

References

Schinkten, O. (2018, October 18). Learning LinkedIn for Students. Retrieved from LinkedIn Learning : https://www.linkedin.com/learning/learning-linkedin-for-students/welcome?u=2109516

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