The power of networking - building your personal brand with LinkedIn

Networking can often seem intimidating at first, deciding who to contact and how can feel overwhelming.  Social media and LinkedIn provide an easy, accessible and effective way to extend your network and find those flexible jobs from the comfort of your home.

Whilst social media can never replace the power of face-to-face networking, it does provide a greater reach than you could ever establish on a one-to-one basis.  LinkedIn can also give you the opportunity to establish your credibility and expertise in a specific business area, building your own personal brand.

Follow our advice below on how to network effectively and powerfully with LinkedIn:

1. Set time aside each week to network online

Make sure you put a period of time aside every week to work on LinkedIn to extend your network. Recommend the skills of others, and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from colleagues, previous managers and customers. This is important as it gives people an idea of how you come across to others. It is also useful to endorse other peoples’ skills and expertise as they can then endorse yours.

 2. Network in Industry groups

LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 industry groups – more than you would ever have time to maintain.  Focus on the industry groups that are most relevant to your dream job as this is a great way of getting connected with influential people in your chosen area.  You can participate in the group discussions, which allows you to build your credibility and expertise on line. It is also possible to search for any relevant jobs that appear in the job section of the specific groups.

 3. ”Follow” companies on LinkedIn

Spend time working out a list of companies you would like to work for. You can then “follow” them on LinkedIn which means you can see if there are any changes in employment and will be notified when there are job vacancies.

 4. Check out the competition

LinkedIn is a great way to follow the career paths of other people. This will give you insight into where they gained their experience, which other companies they worked for and how that helped them land their perfect job.  It could well provide you with inspiration for your job search.

 We hope we have helped highlight the important role Social Media can play in a creative job search and provided you with some inspiration and helpful advice.  Happy networking and good luck with searching and securing your dream job!

 Inspired Mum’s case study

 During a series of coaching sessions with Inspired Mums, Louise revealed that she had a long running ambition to work for The Hay Group in Windsor. At the end of that session, we agreed that one of her actions would be to try to find people in her network that could help introduce her. 

 Louise immediately turned to LinkedIn and typed ‘Hay group’ into the company search box and was astounded to see that there were 7 people ‘in her network’ that already worked there.  The strongest contact was someone Louise had been to school with, who now worked there as a senior consultant. She LinkedIn with him, and through that initial contact managed to gain direct access to the Department Head at the Hay Group for her area of specialism. Despite the fact that initially there were no job vacancies, The Hay Group agreed to a short-term consultancy agreement until a permanent role became available.

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