HOW TO USE LINKEDIN FOR YOUR GRADUATE JOB SEARCH – PART TWO
Thankfully, LinkedIn makes it really easy to get involved with professionals in your field or with the industry that you are looking to move into through things such as discussion groups and articles. Discussion groups in particular are an easy way to start making contacts if you are prepared to put in the time and effort to get involved.
For instance, let’s imagine that you would like to move into a marketing role; typing in “marketing” as a group search term will bring up thousands of groups related to the field. Most groups require someone to validate your membership (usually by a group administrator looking at your profile to see whether you have industry experience or an interest in the field), but there are also many open ones too.
The best way to start off is to join no more than a handful of groups that come up in the results, and specifically ones that would play to your advantage. There’s no point joining a specifically North American-based marketing group if you’re based in the UK after all. In this respect, a suggestion for a selection of groups to join would be ones such as a national marketing group, a more local one (e.g. North Wales), and two or three sector specific ones (in the case of marketing some examples would be digital marketing, SEO, analytics, etc).
With the easy bit over, it’s time to start getting involved. The important thing is to gauge roughly how often new topics are posted and how often people reply to them; remember, most of these people don’t have time to get involved all of the time because they’ll be in work (unless, of course, their work involves monitoring these groups!). Additionally, you don’t want to be seen to be posting all of the time as it may come across as spamming; it’s better to respond occasionally at a consistent rate rather than to continuously respond to everything that’s posted.
What getting involved with groups does is to slowly make other group members familiar with you, with the eventual goal being that you will hopefully be able to network with them, and hopefully find a great opportunity out of it. Making meaningful posts with insight or asking questions from more experienced people in a group will eventually get you noticed, and people will associate you with someone that has enthusiasm for their field and as someone that is continuously willing to learn. It does take time; you’re not going to succeed overnight and it can take months for things to pay off in a way that you would like to happen, but it does work.
LinkedIn has a enormous constant stream of new articles being written every day, many of which are being written by extremely influential and successful people such as Richard Branson, James Caan and Barack Obama. Not only are they often extremely interesting articles on their own, but they also impart a lot of information that is useful for any job seeker, and this is the crux of what makes following individuals and reading articles so useful. For instance, LinkedIn recently ran a series of articles called “How I Hire” in which many of these contributors wrote a short article on the types of people that they hire and what behaviours they demonstrate.
Extend this to the wider aspects of job-hunting and LinkedIn quickly becomes an excellent resource that can tell you what kinds of people businesses are looking for. Granted, these are written by some incredibly successful people, some of whom could be described as industry mavericks but it doesn’t mean that what they say doesn’t apply to a hiring start-up in the back-and-beyond of North Wales or a micro-business in the heart of Cardiff – it will, and if you can pick up and adopt even a couple of minor behavioural changes or make note of a few pieces of advice worth their weight in gold, it can work wonders for your job hunt.
Of course, reading articles on LinkedIn can take up a lot of your time, and it’s understandable that a lot of graduates will be a little sick of taking in so much information day in day out after having needed to do so much in their student days but it’s also important to recognise that learning doesn’t stop once you’ve submitted that final piece of coursework or completed your last exam. Learning in the workplace is one of the key traits that employers will expect of you, and if you’re maybe lacking in a little experience for your chosen industry, then learning from imparted wisdom from those in that industry is certainly the next best thing.
Feel free to comment below on anything of the things that we’ve mentioned. Have you used LinkedIn for your job search?
Missed part one? Read it at the below link!
Follow GO Wales on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/graduate-opportunities-wales
Join the discussion on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2477543