Almost everything has gone digital and that includes networking. Attending events and meeting employers in person is still a great way to make connections and find out possible job vacancies; but, when you’re not out and about you can have your online profile doing all the this on your behalf. But you’ll have to put in some work first.
Online networking etiquette
In contrast to Facebook, which is designed for you to socially interact with your friends, LinkedIn is designed for you to professionally network with employers. In essence it is an online board for you to market yourself.
With this in mind, the way that you communicate with employers via LinkedIn needs to be appropriate. When requesting an email introduction from an intermediary contact make sure that you are polite and avoid text speak. Our recent post on navigating LinkedIn is a great place to find out how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile.
Keeping your LinkedIn profile updated is essential. In a recent survey conducted by Recruitment Revolution, employers named LinkedIn as the top social network that they used to check out candidates. In the same way that you research companies before applying to them or attending an interview, employers look at your online profile to get a sense of who you are before deciding whether to employ you or not. This is why it is important to make sure that your online presence is an accurate representation of you.
Making connections: joining groups on LinkedIn
Simply having a LinkedIn profile isn’t enough, you need to connect with existing members and groups related to your employment interests. Groups vary in size and nature, large groups can offer a lot of expertise and a greater amount of contacts; whereas, smaller more specialist groups can offer better engagement between members. So it’s useful to join groups of varying types. Here are a selection of groups you may want to join:
Inside Careers Actuaries Group- Open to students, advisers and recruiters to discuss the profession and share opportunities:
Inside Careers also have a group for those working as or interested in Patent Attorney work http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4871964&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr
TARGETjobs Graduate Jobs Feed Group- For those looking for jobs and work experience, Jackie from TARGETjobs responds to members’ queries highlighting relevant opportunities: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/TARGETjobs-Graduate-Jobs-Feed-4173022?gid=4173022&mostPopular=&trk=tyah
Social Media Marketing- With over half a million members, there’s potential to make contacts and develop your industry knowledge:
Materials Science Engineer- A specialist group with around 5000 members, for those wishing to discuss the sector and build a professional network: