how to network on LinkedIn

With over 774 million users, LinkedIn offers a range of potential connections and resources for everyone. This guide will walk you through the steps to effectively use LinkedIn for professional networking online.

How to approach networking with LinkedIn

Get the most from your profile

Before you start connecting with others on LinkedIn, make sure your profile is polished and up-to-date. Your profile is your online resume and personal brand, so creating a strong impression helps a lot.

  • Do you have a photo linked with your account? Get a friend to take a nice photo of you in front of a simple background looking your brilliant self!
  • Write a compelling headline that shows off your expertise or current role.
  • Create a summary that showcases your skills, achievements, and career goals. Have fun with it and tell people what you’re passionate about!
  • List your work experience, education, and certifications. This stuff backs up the more fun aspects of your profile.
  • Add relevant skills and ask for endorsements from your connections.

Grow your network

Once your profile is complete, it's time to start building your network. Connect with people you already know, like colleagues, classmates, friends and family friends. This will help you discover new opportunities and broaden your reach.

  • Use LinkedIn's "People You May Know" feature to find potential connections.
  • Connect with people from your school or university.
  • Join LinkedIn Groups relevant to your industry or interests to meet like-minded professionals. You can use hashtags to find these.
  • Attend LinkedIn Events or webinars to learn, share ideas, and engage with other attendees.

Engage with your connections

Networking on LinkedIn is all about building relationships. Engage with people by liking, commenting on, or sharing their posts. This not only keeps you visible in their feeds but also helps build connections with them and others.

  • Regularly share articles, news, or updates related to your industry.
  • Publish your own posts or write articles to show off your passion and knowledge!
  • Congratulate your connections on work anniversaries, promotions, or new jobs.
  • Participate in discussions within LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn polls, or even create your own!

Reach out with messages

When connecting with new people on LinkedIn, send a personal message rather than the default "I'd like to add you to my professional network." Explain why you're reaching out, how you found their profile, and what you hope to gain from the connection.

This approach shows that you're genuinely interested in building a relationship.

Maybe follow up if you haven't received a response after a week or two. Sometimes people are just busy or don’t use LinkedIn that much.

Make the most of LinkedIn's job search and career resources

LinkedIn offers a bunch of resources to help you find job opportunities and enhance your career. Use these tools to stay informed and stand out to potential employers.

  • Use the LinkedIn Job Search feature to find job listings that match with your skills, experience, and preferences.
  • Set up job alerts to get notifications about new opportunities in your field.
  • Explore LinkedIn Learning to access online courses and improve your skills.
  • Research companies on LinkedIn to learn about their culture, values, and job openings.

Have fun!

Remember to be authentic and have fun as you engage with others, showcase your skills and join groups and discussions. LinkedIn offers a platform to build relationships, share knowledge, and open doors to new possibilities in your career journey. Good luck!

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Last reviewed: 18 July 2023

LinkedIn. (2013). How to network for students. [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://content.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/linkedinforgood/en-us/resources/youth/HANDOUT---How-to-Network-for-Students.pdf

LinkedIn. (2023, June 8). How to use LinkedIn. Retrieved from https://members.linkedin.com/how-to-use-linkedin

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