By Amber Alarid, JVA Consulting
As I’ve said before, LinkedIn can be an invaluable resource for your job search or in your general networking efforts. Sure you remember to connect with your friends and coworkers, but have you joined any groups? If not, here are some types of groups you should be looking into.
Schools you have graduated from likely have at least one LinkedIn group. If your alumni group is like mine, it’s a constant source of jobs, relevant articles for young professionals and discussions. Jobs posted by your alumni group may have been posted or passed on by people you know well, giving you a great connection for an informational interview.
Honor Society/Fraternity Groups
If you were in an honor society or fraternity/sorority in college, this is another great resource when job hunting, doing informational interviews or hiring. If others in that group were held to the same impressive standards as you were, memberships in one of these groups is likely to impress. Again, if your groups are like mine, they are a wealth of job postings, discussions and people looking for jobs and internships (if you happen to be on the recruiting side). A note of caution for those looking to hire: Candidates on these boards may be national or even international, so check the location carefully.
Young Professional Groups
You can find young professionals groups by city, by sector and plenty of other criteria. If you are looking to network in a new town or sector, consider these groups for your support system. The discussion boards offer advice from people who have been in your shoes, jobs posted on these boards are likely suited to your qualifications, and you will hear about all sorts of great networking events in your area. Don’t forget to make the move from online to in person with these groups—if you only look for jobs and read discussions but don’t attend events, you are not maximizing the potential of these groups.
Groups are just as crucial to networking efforts as individuals, so be sure to find all groups relevant to you and follow them. If you were part of an internship program, see if it has a LinkedIn group. If you moved to a new state or city, join groups there. If you have other suggestions of groups to join or you are part of a great group and want to highlight it, leave a comment and share your knowledge with us.