So you have set up your profile with all your current information and experiences. But now what? One of the biggest mistakes you can make on LinkedIn is letting your profile just sit and forget about it. So how can you be active on LinkedIn?
Even when you’re not looking for a job or internship, joining and commenting on discussions in LinkedIn groups will help you build connections that might be useful to you in the future. But the first step to being active in LinkedIn groups is knowing which LinkedIn group to join.
Step 1: Search
To search for the best groups to fit your needs, start by typing in some keywords into LinkedIn’s search bar. These should be words related to your field such as “education,” “public relations,” “accounting,” and so on. They could also be words related to your hobbies and interests like “hiking,” “film,” “music,” etc.
Once your search results come up, look to the left side of the page and click on “groups.”
Once you click “groups,” check out the list that appears. Chances are there will be hundreds, maybe even thousands of groups you can potentially join. You can click on each one to get more information. But don’t feel overwhelmed – look at the short blurbs under the title of each group and choose a few that you feel may be right for you.
The groups you choose to pursue could be based on relevance to your major or career goals, your current location (or location you want to move to), the number of entry-level or non-entry level professional members of the group, and so on. You know best what career you are looking for, but if you need help, you can always drop in or contact our office.
Step 2: Examine
When you find a group you think you may want to join, click on the name of the group. Whether the group is open or closed (meaning you need permission from the admins to join) look to the right of the yellow “join” button and you will see an “i”. Click on that box and you will be given the option to look at “group profile,” “group rules” and “group statistics.”
“Group profile” will bring you to the main page of the group where it gives you general information about the group, the purpose of it, who some of its members are, who created and maintains the group, etc.
“Group rules” gives a basic rundown of the expectations and (you guessed it!) rules for discussions and comments members can contribute to the group.
Finally, “group statistics” is one of the most important categories to explore. Once you click on “group statistics,” a page will come up with four tabs: “Summary,” “Demographics,” “Growth,” and “Activity.” Since you want to join a group that is active, check out the “Activity” tab.
You will see how many comments and discussions have occurred in the last week. The more comments and discussions, the more active your group members are, which means the more likely they are to take notice of your LinkedIn profile.
Step 3: Join!
Once you find a group (or groups) that you think are relevant to you, click the yellow “join” button. If the group is closed, you may have to be approved by an admin. In this case, you will get a confirmation email once you join.
Though joining groups is a critical part of being active on LinkedIn, don’t join too many. A good rule of thumb is to start off with 5-10 so you can have a variety based on your professional goals and interests.
Look for our next newsletter on November 13 to find out how to have a strong LinkedIn group presence and the mistakes to avoid.
Still don’t have a LinkedIn? Find out the reasons why you should create a profile here!
– Shannon Ball, PCA