Article last updated: 10/10/23
A number of candidates have asked our advice recently about how to network effectively on LinkedIn. Given the high volume of professionals looking for new work opportunities, there’s never been a better time to learn about effectively connecting with recruiters and employers online.
LinkedIn can be an ideal tool for growing your professional network. Alongside helping applicants to find the right roles, it’s also proved useful for our clients to meet new contacts and potential business partners.
Our tips for networking on LinkedIn
This free Distinct guide outlines tips from our recruiters on how to refine your approach, stand out from the crowd and ensure your LinkedIn profile is attractive to recruiters and employers.
With the right approach, networking online is a breeze and can be an enjoyable process. Here’s our advice for making valuable connections.
Optimise your LinkedIn profile
The first step should always be to give your LinkedIn a refresh. Think of your profile as a shop window for your personal brand and choose your professional profile photo wisely.
Allow other users to find you easily. Provide signposts such as a headline with your industry, role and location. Adding links to your work in the ‘about’ section of your profile can help to increase traffic to your portfolio.
In addition to this, make sure that you fill out as many profile fields as possible, including:
- Work experience
- Certifications and qualifications
- Accomplishments (e.g. successful projects, awards, and test scores)
The same rules apply to your LinkedIn profile as with any type of CV writing. When describing your work experience or current role, be as specific as you can and avoid using general phrases such as “this role has improved my communication skills”.
List your core responsibilities and give examples of how your work has helped former employers to achieve their goals or meet targets. This evidence can be shown in stats and figures where applicable.
Start conversations, follow up or respond in a timely manner – but avoid spamming
Whilst LinkedIn can help you find the right people and make connections, it’s important not to pester other users if they’re not interested in talking.
Use it as a platform to identify potentially valuable contacts and keep making new connections, but avoid being overly persistent with the number of follow-up messages you send.
It’s useful to note that recruiters have particularly large networks, so if you are using LinkedIn to actively look for a new job then a meaningful follow-up message will go a long way in helping you to stand out.
Avoid the “spray and pray” approach
Any LinkedIn users reading this will have seen examples of the “spray and pray” approach. This involves adding connections en-masse and sending out hundreds of generic, templated messages with no customisation. Similar to the spam emails we all receive, this is unlikely to be successful.
Instead, pick your connections wisely and send tailored messages in order to use your networking time efficiently.
Hi (name), I hope you’re well. I’ve read your profile and see that you recruit in (industry/sector). I’m currently looking for a new role and have (previous experience in x / x qualification(s)). I’d be interested to book in a chat with you and can provide my phone number or email upon request. Thank you and kind regards, (your name).
Create engaging content (and engage with others)
From short videos to blogs and long-form posts, content creation can draw users to your profile and provide a chance for you to connect. Putting content together might not be part of your day job, but you can still share your opinions and ideas through a post. Here are a few ideas to get started:
- What was your first job? What did it teach you about what you do today?
- What was the most exciting moment in your career and why?
- What are your core values and why are they important to you?
- What are the three most important moments in your career?
Engaging with other users’ content can also kickstart conversations that turn into opportunities, so never be afraid to get involved with discussions in the comments.
Keep it polite and professional
Closely connected to the last point, always be polite when you’re networking on LinkedIn. Even if a debate gets heated or you’re disappointed that someone’s stopped replying to you, try not to get worked up. Keeping things professional is key.
Remember that when commenting on other people’s posts, it may be seen by more connections than you at first realise. Always keep your personal brand in mind.
Work with Distinct
If you’d like to discuss any of these points in more detail or to learn how we can help you in your job search, contact us today. We’ll provide free, tailored advice and coaching, from your initial call through to a check-in once you’re settled in your new role.