Jump-Start Your Career by Showcasing Yourself via LinkedIn Groups

Ever wonder if there was a great way to gain connections and insight from your peers, for career advice and future career prospects?

Ever heard of LinkedIn groups?

 

20 flickrFor those that want to jump-start their careers, and learn and connect with professionals in similar career paths, groups need to be part of your agenda. Namely, LinkedIn groups.

Groups on LinkedIn are far and wide, varying by industry and the common likes and needs of its members. I will focus on one of the largest LinkedIn groups in its area, Content Marketing Academy, as it became a giant group in its industry in just 6 months.

 

 

 

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There are reasons why I chose this group, namely as it is something that relates to my interests and needs. However, there is much that is unique to this particular content group, in how it was planned.

I am using this group as a key example to illustrate what you should look for in a group. Alongside this, there are things you should avoid when looking for groups.

 

Interaction is Gold in Groups

You will probably be thinking, yeah, I agree that groups would benefit me in my career, but there are so many! There are around two Million groups on LinkedIn, so you aren’t spoiled for choice. Truthfully, I’d say around 1.4-5 Million of these groups are under performing, and aren’t worth your time if you want to focus on generating connections and gaining insights for your career growth.

 

One of the best indicators of worth is interaction.

Beware of spammers and comments that inevitably end with links to products and sites; this is spam and shameless self-promotion, avoid at all cost.

I mean real interaction. Asking someone a question, and then being regaled and bombarded 30 minutes straight in that person’s greatness and importance is not true interaction.

A question followed by an answer, with articles or blogs that clarify matters to centre stage is gold. Remember, time and effort should be valued as a commodity, especially when navigating between groups, as there is so much noise to cut through.

 

Size does matter, right?

Content Marketing Academy’s manager, Andrew J. Coate of Kapost did know that search results matter. In the first year of its growth, inflating size was a means of attracting interest and members, as being top in search results is often one way people find out about groups.

The difference is, once presence was established, the actual purpose was given priority; the members themselves. So as a young professional millennial, size should matter less than the content that is being shared in the group, or it shouldn’t be an indicator of quality.

 

A Purposeful Group

Now, the metrics are geared towards how many comments were typed rather than how many people were looking at the group discussion. For Content Marketing Academy, their purpose was to build a platform of uniqueness, where people of all levels and experience could come together, share problems, and together share solutions and insights.

Look at the group, whether it has a clear purpose or goal. Read about it, and look for its top posts. Is there anything insightful, or is there much shared, in terms of processes and systems you can use?

 

Read up online about useful groups from authoritative sources, and spend some time on this, as you will be unprepared for the plethora of groups available.

Practical Tip: Spend 10 minutes each day trying to sort the hay from the chaff, because it will save you time and let you become more discerning in how you choose groups.

 

Groups that Police their Rules

Here is where a great group shines. As mentioned, certain groups tend to have members that only self-promote their business, and flood the forum with spam in all areas. What Content Marketing Academy did was combat this, by taking down these self-promoters. Even if it was linked to their blogs, for certain ideas, if it crossed the rules, they were given a polite email stating thanks, but sorry.

 

The purpose was to create insight and share processes and solutions from all levels of professionals, and they enforced this. What this did for the group was increase drastically the real contributors, by cutting out all the noise and spam. It let the people that had something valuable and useful to say be seen and be visible in the group.

These are the groups that you want to join. Groups like these encourage professionals from all levels, where you will be answered by authoritative and fresh minded individuals like yourself in how to approach specific issues. You can find content and ideas that will benefit your learning and development. Top experts are always present in these sorts of groups, as it is a platform where contribution and clarity are made visible and honoured.

 

Key Tip: Share and give advice yourself. You are seen as an individual who is conscious of what is happening in your industry, which will help your standing in your company if you keep working at it.

Practical Tip: Spend just 30 minutes a day, firstly learning the ropes. Then read common questions to keep you up to date with all the latest systems and problems that are within your field. Bringing this knowledge will give you more clarity when you face similar problems in your projects and day to day work.

 

Connecting with your Peers

It is far easier, if you are an active member, to be able to establish relationships with experienced professionals that can share invaluable insights with you. Right now, you may think that your inexperience holds you back from sharing anything useful. Don’t let that hold you back.

Example: Post a related article that you think may be of benefit, and comment on why it is so. Refer someone from your network that may know more, who may be someone having the skills that another person needs, and up your standing that way.

 

Start by referring, or posting blog posts or articles that you found helpful to related questions or solutions. You can gain so much, by simply joining and spending up to an hour or less sifting through, and asking questions yourself. It is not simply about being part of a well-respected group, but joining in and creating mutual relationships with other professionals. Become ‘Linked in’ to what is hot in your industry and with your peers to open doors: this is what brings in dream job offers and creates job opportunities.

 

In Closing

Career paths are never certain, so establishing relationships where you aren’t only receiving, but giving too will help you find jobs that can give you the experience and learning possible that your current role may lack.

 

What groups are you a part of? Do you think the tips given are helpful in finding the right group for your career?

Please share your group experiences and insight in the comments below.

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