LinkedIn Groups, Are you using them to your advantage?

27 10 2010

Some people may ask me if my blog is about recruiting of LinkedIn because of my numerous mentions of the great professional social networking giant. This is because LinkedIn is an essential tool for giving you the edge in the job search. Today I’d like to discuss LinkedIn groups and what you may or may not know about them.

LinkedIn Groups are all joined by networkers voluntarily. This means that everyone in any given group is there because they choose to be and are interested in the subject mater of that group. This means that each and every member is in some way connected to the subject mater in some way, thus having a vested interest in preserving the group and its’ goals.

As we all know the value of LinkedIn is based on being connected to people, and more importantly, the right people. The groups feature on LinkedIn is the most effective way to connect with the people that matter to you. The importance of groups is that when you join a group you are given the option to accept messages from other group members even if they are not connected to you in any other way. LinkedIn sets the default option to accept messages. This is great because most people will not deselect this option. Meaning you can search members of the group and send them messages directly without them approving an invite, introduction, or using a valuable InMail.

There are two ways to join a group. You can be invited because someone in the group thinks that your expertise would be an asset to the group. You can also submit a request to join. Some groups allow you open membership where a group owner is not required to accept invitations. Many groups will require the group owner to review your profile and manually approve your membership.

Now that we know how you get in groups and some of the value in being in a group there are some other things you should know about LinkedIn groups. The single most important thing is that you NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF 50 GROUPS at all times. By having membership in 50 groups you get the most out of your LinkedIn account. You always have to remember that the more people that you are connected to, the more potential you have to be noticed by others as well as notice opportunities posted by members of your network, which includes group members.

I would like to mention one last point. Use care in choosing your groups. LinkedIn lets you view the membership numbers of each group prior to joining. You always want to be in the largest group, granting you connections with the most people. Also, use different search terms when searching for a group. For example if you are a scientist working on an Oncology projects within the Biotech or Pharmaceutical industry and you are seeking new opportunities try, Biotechnology Jobs, Biotechnology Careers, Biotech Jobs, Biotech Careers, Pharmaceutical, Biotech, Medical Device, Careers, Jobs, and so on. For a majority of these examples you may even see one of my groups “Oncology Jobs In Biotech and Pharmaceuticals”.

Best of luck and enjoy your groups!

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One response

27 10 2010
Rich Gall

You can be a member of 50 groups – that aren’t yours. If you create groups, you can expand beyond the 50 group threshold. I’ve found creating a group and inviting my network to join is a useful way to keep them updated with what I’m doing – what accounts I’m working with or cross links about issues I’m seeing in the marketplace – without treating them to spam every time I find something interesting. Plus, then they get the added benefit of seeing my network and using it if they find something useful!

Also, I try to post something useful monthly. It is often something adjacent to what I do or an article that a someone wrote and not a “come buy from me” piece.

Finally, create a new Bookmark in your browser and put this in the Location:
javascript:(function(){var%20d=document,l=d.location,f=’http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&ro=false&trk=bookmarklet&title=’+encodeURIComponent(d.title)+’&url=’+encodeURIComponent(l.href),a=function(){if(!window.open(f,’News’,’width=520,height=570,toolbar=0,location=0,status=0,scrollbars=yes’)){l.href=f;}};if(/Firefox/.test(navigator.userAgent)){setTimeout(a,0);}else{a();}})()

This will let you post any article to your status on LinkedIn and to any groups you are a part of!

Happy hunting!
Rich

Richard Gall
Ecodev, LLC
rich@ecodevllc.com

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