Use LinkedIn Groups for Networking and Information Sharing

In case you haven’t been paying attention, there are scores of  LinkedIn Groups available to you for job seeking, networking and finding and sharing information. No matter what your motive, LinkedIn Groups can be a great way to connect with other professionals and expand your network.

How do you find the best groups?

  1. Determine your goal
    Groups are relatively focused, so you need to know what you want in order to know what group(s) to joining. Determine what you want to achieve.
  2. Research the options
    Go to the Groups Directory page and enter search terms related to your goal. There are filtering tools to help narrow your search. Or, look at the profiles of people you are connected to who are related to the goal(s) you defined.
  3. Join a few groups
    Pick a few groups that appear to meet your goals and join. Keep these LinkedIn rules in mind: You can be a member of up to 50 groups and you can leave a group at any time.

    Check out the quality of the discussions or updates. Are the discussions interesting and valuable?  Is the group is likely to help you reach that goal?

    Watch, listen, and get a feel for how the group operates.

  4. Participate
    Start to participate–respond to questions or topics raised by other people. Get a real feel for the group and let the group get a feel for you, before you start driving discussions.

    You don’t need to participate every day, but you should be somewhat regular–otherwise, why are you joining the group?

    Avoid over-joining. It is hard to participate in a meaningful way in more than a few groups. Always keep your goal(s) in mind, and join and leave groups based on what’s getting you where you want to be.

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