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Using LinkedIn To Grow Your Professional Network

March 17, 2021, 3:23 p.m.
LinkedIn is the largest social media platform for professionals. The platform focuses on providing networking opportunities, helping people to expand their exposure within their industry. LinkedIn is also a fantastic space to seek new employment opportunities, with their jobs board.

LinkedIn works on a network basis, and requires users to make new connections. If you're looking to seek new opportunities, gain knowledge and connect with leaders in your industry, growing your online network is going to be vital.

Below, our team have provided a short guide to growing your professional network the platform...

1. Start posting

LinkedIn is a social network, so let's take emphasis on the word 'Social'. In order to use LinkedIn effectively, you can't just sit quietly and watch on. If you're a little shy, start by engaging in posts from leaders in your industry. You could do this by sharing, reacting or even commenting with your thoughts. Once you're comfortable with doing this, you can begin to start posting your own content. As long as it is relevant, professional and provides positive insight - you can't really go wrong!

Tip: Only ever share content on social media that you'd be happy with your current or prospective employer seeing. Keep it professional!

2. Start making connections with people you already know

A great way to kick start the growth of your network is to connect with people you already know. This could include the people you work with, any associates or external people you have met from work and then also people you studied alongside!

Once you've built a foundation network, you can start to recognise leaders in your industry and go from there!

Tip: Don't go too crazy, keep connections meaningful and relevant.

3. Start really connecting

As mentioned above, LinkedIn is a social media channel for a reason! So start being social...

Spark a conversation with someone by asking them a question under their post. If you're feeling confident, you could even drop one of your connections a friendly message.

Tip: Keep messages short, positive and friendly. Try not to bombard new connections with questions or asking for advice.

4. Complete your profile

When signing up to LinkedIn, you will be guided through the set up process for your profile. It's really important that you complete your profile to 100%, as this will help you get the most out of the platform.

A few things you can do to your profile to stand out include:

- Adding a professional profile picture
- Sharing a detailed timeline of your employment history, that includes descriptions of each role.
- Regularly updating and skills or achievements you have gained
- Receiving endorsements and recommendations from people you've worked with.
- Keeping your interests updated

5. Start connecting in real life, and then on LinkedIn

As you progress through your professional career, you're going to meet lots of new connections in real life. As you do this, try to follow up the real life connection with a connection on LinkedIn. This could be a simple connection request, or why not drop them a message to follow up the conversations you had. This is a great way to keep in touch with people, and show that you valued their time.