There are so many ways to use LinkedIn (LI) to network. I have shared five practical ideas below. Make a resolution to take action on one of these this month.
- Think of someone you know personally but are not connected to on LI and send them an invite (try to remember to add a friendly note).
- Share a post to thank someone publicly. Even better, “tag” the person to ensure s/he is notified. For example, if I am logged into LinkedIn and type this post, “@KarenChopra is such a motivational colleague. Thanks, Karen, for your inspiration,” the tagging feature with the @ sign prompts the LI system to notify Karen about the post.
- Do you see that a friend of yours is connected to someone you would like to know? Ask your friend to send an introduction to both of you as a message through LI.
- Message a 1st-degree connection and ask them if they would like to have a catch-up call in the new year.
- Ask someone in your LI connections for an informational interview to learn more about an organization or a role that intrigues you.
Before reaching out, you may need to do a little research to determine who you want to approach. The following three tips can help you get started.
- Search by keywords or keyword phrases using the main search box on the top left side of every LI page. Keywords can be first or last names (e.g., Paula Brand), companies (Microsoft), titles (accountant), or industries (international development).
- Look at the members of any LI groups you have joined. Are there individuals you would like to get to know better?
Use the Alumni feature to find fellow graduates who might have a connection to your industry or target industry. There are many ways to access the Alumni tool, but the easiest is to go to your profile page and click on the name of the school you attended. Another way is to log in using www.linkedin.com/alumni. Please note that for this feature to work, you must have the institution listed on your profile. If you want more details, this post by the Muse explains more about the Alumni feature.