This week I want to stress how and why you should be joining groups on LinkedIn. Groups are an important networking tool that will show up in your profile. There are many groups on LinkedIn (over a million!), focused around sectors, professions, themes, industries, etc. Recent graduates and students may find useful to join alumni groups. The University of Manchester has The University of Manchester Alumni Association group which, at the time of this post, has 24 461 members.
You can find groups by using the search field at the top of your LinkedIn page. Another useful way of finding relevant groups would be to view what groups the leaders/influencers in your chosen sector or your connections have joined.
Groups can be open or closed. You can join open groups immediately whereas closed groups will require an authorisation from the group administrator.
Why should you join groups?
- You can get advice and ask questions to people with similar professional interests
- You can make yourself more visible by starting relevant discussions or commenting on ongoing discussions
- You can send members of the group direct messages
- You can find job opportunities posted by other members
LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups which is a lot considering you probably wouldn’t have the time to take advantage of those many groups.
If you use general terms when you search you will end up with general results. There are over one million groups on LinkedIn so you must be focused on what you are looking for. Consider my line of work as an example. When I type “careers” I get 14 020 results! If I type “university careers” the results are trimmed to 782 and finally if I search “university career services” I get a more manageable and focused 317 results.
If after joining a group you decide that after all it’s not relevant for your interests and goals, you can leave the group by following a couple of easy steps. You just need to click on the group you want to leave in your profile page and then click on the “Member” button on the top right hand side. When you hover on this button the word “Leave” appears instead of “Member”. Click and you’re out.