Effectively Networking Using Linkedin

by
Brittany Green Leendertse

Effectively Networking using LinkedIn



At the HIVE, we love to network! Unfortunately, due to recent circumstances, we have had to turn to alternative solutions so that we can continue to mix and mingle with our fellow young professionals. When utilized, LinkedIn can be an effective networking tool. We’ve compiled a list of tips for building your network and generating meaningful connections on LinkedIn. 

Curate a strong profile


Before you start networking and have people dropping by your page, you should take some time to curate a strong profile. Since you can’t make an impression face to face, you’re going to have to rely on your profile to leave a lasting, positive impression on your network. Having a profile picture that is professional in nature is very important. Your profile picture is the first visual image people will use to connect you with your name and your work. 


In addition to your profile picture, it is also important to have a strong profile summary. The summary provides you with the chance to really tell your network who you are and your story. Like a cover letter, it can help fill in the gaps in your employment history. A good summary can provide insight into your personality and help give you a great first impression. 

Make Meaningful connections


There are so many ways that you can go about finding or adding connections on LinkedIn. No matter how you find people to connect with, it is important to ensure that you are making a connection that is meaningful.  So before you start handing out friend requests at random, here are a few ways to make a deeper connection:


  • Send the individual a note with your request to connect. Why are you interested in connecting with them? What do you hope to get out of the connection? Do you have anything in common?
  • Engage with your network and their content. Pressing the “like” button on their post is a start, but maybe provide some positive commentary or strike up conversation.
  • Ask connections for informational interviews. Get to know your connection and their career. Informational interviews provide wonderful opportunities to learn from those within your network.
  • Take the time to celebrate those in your network. LinkedIn provides us with all kinds of insights about our network daily (i.e., birthday’s, work anniversaries, new job titles). Instead of ignoring these notifications, take the time to connect with your network and acknowledge the milestones and celebrations of others. 


Contribute Content


Creating or sharing content is another effective way to engage with your network. When creating or sharing content, it is important to keep in mind that your content should be meaningful. Take time to think about what you are putting out there and don’t  just share content for the sake of putting something out there. Make sure you’re sharing valuable or inciteful information that will resonate with your network.


Contributing meaningful content, doesn’t just end once you hit ‘post’. You must nurture your content and increase your reach. This means interacting and engaging with your network- if someone comments on your post, reply. When others interact with your content- their activity shows up on the news feed of their network. The more you engage, the broader your reach will be. You can also increase your reach by sharing your content in groups.

Join Groups


Groups are a fantastic and easy way to network on LinkedIn. Being in a group can help you foster more meaningful connections with your network. They are a great platform for you to share your content on.  Groups give you the opportunity to engage with others that have the same interests as you. They break the ice and open the door for conversations with people you may have otherwise not had the opportunity to chat with. 



While you’re on LinkedIn, don’t forget to follow the Hamilton Hive


Brittany holds a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communications & New Media from McMaster University as well as a Post Graduate Certificate in Marketing Management from Sheridan College.