If you’re job hunting, there’s no question that you need to be on LinkedIn. With more than 225 million users worldwide, the power of LinkedIn as a networking venue is undisputed. As noted recently by Forbes magazine, it is clearly “the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today.”

But to truly optimize the value of your LinkedIn presence, you need to go above and beyond membership and join groups, which are specifically designed for sharing professional information, job listings and related discussions. Options include job search groups, college and alumni groups and groups tailored to individual professions and industries.

How to Join a Group

Joining a LinkedIn group is a simple process:

  • Click on Groups.
  • Click on Groups You May Like for suggestions.
  • Search the Groups Directory to find groups to join.
  • Join as many relevant groups as possible, up to the LinkedIn limit of 50. But a word of caution: The key word here is “relevant.” Joining too many groups may send the “I’m desperate for a job” message, which is something you want to avoid at all costs.

How to Leverage the Power of Group Membership

Join groups with a large number of members, so you can maximize your exposure among professionals who can be of assistance in your job search – and vice versa. Put yourself in a position to help others, as well. This helps you to be perceived as a respected professional. And of course, what goes around, comes around.

  • Show your expertise by contributing to group discussions. This way, your words are seen and you build your brand – and your employment potential.
  • Start discussions that are of interest to others. Begin with a question; for example, “Which of these business-to-business advertising tactics do you find produce optimal results?” and then list three options.
  • Avoid posting questions that simply illustrate your neediness. For instance, don’t indicate that “I’ve been job hunting for six months. Can you help?”
  • Find “hidden jewel” job opportunities by clicking on a group’s Job tab. This is different from the Jobs tab found at the top of your LinkedIn page. Often, employers or recruiters use this feature to post jobs so they can get feedback from a smaller, more “in the know” pool of candidates.
  • Do an advanced search for people from your target companies. Check out the discussions they have initiated or to which they have contributed. This way, you can learn about the issues they face, which can be a real asset when you go into an interview.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. Just as you don’t want to appear too needy, you don’t want to overdo it when participating in LinkedIn group activities. A good rule of thumb is to post no more than one discussion a day and to comment on relevant posts, but not every single one.

Networking as you job search. In fact, all networking is about building relationships, whether you do it online or in person. LinkedIn groups are a powerful venue for this purpose.

For more information and guidance on LinkedIn groups and other resources to empower your job search, read our related posts or contact the expert team at Magellan Search & Staffing today. If you are looking for jobs in Philadelphia PA, contact us today.