Learn how to take the strategic approach to LinkedIn and let it work to your advantage.
Joining the site, setting up your profile page and connecting with other contacts are not enough to help you land a job you’re interested in. You have to use LinkedIn’s basic elements in order to maximize the value of your membership (especially if you’ve chosen to go the Premium route).
It’s very easy to add contacts to your network—and you can start as soon as you join the site. Accepting and sending invitations to connect can be addicting. Be willing to connect with professionals outside of your existing network to build connections related to your fields of expertise and interest. (You never know when someone may need you.)
Don’t randomly add people just because LinkedIn suggested them. Before connecting with someone, think about your purpose in networking with people and how you want your connections to grow over time. You can still connect with people on different social media sites, but you need to consider LinkedIn as a professional platform that can pave the way to bigger opportunities.
Forget the Numbers
The number of connections you have on your profile page doesn’t matter. Adding contacts for the sake of doing so isn’t the most effective way to leverage your career. When it comes to building your base, it’s best to take a deliberate approach and focus on selecting connections that have the potential to help you reach your career goals. Remember that quality is always better than quantity.
Focus on Potential Contacts
If you’re not sure which types of contacts will be of value to you, feel free to communicate with them upfront to find out if they are willing to network with you actively.
There’s no need to rush—take the time to vet each request you receive before accepting. Don’t be afraid to ask why they want to network with you. It’s okay to skip several connections to make way for others that are more promising for future collaborations.
Be intentional when it comes to building your network on LinkedIn. The right focus will make you a power user, and will allow you to get much more out of this professional social media platform. It may just open the doors to your next job opportunity.