How to make connections on LinkedIn?
I am new to LinkedIn and am wondering who I should add as a connection? I also am transitioning into a different career section, hopefully the non-profit, human service, or social service sector and am not sure if I should add old employees/supervisors from the insurance industry. #networking #linkedin #social-networking #career-change #linkedin-recruiter
Hi -- sure, you can start out by adding former supervisors & employees that you've enjoyed working with before, even if they're not in your target industry. That's how a lot of people start out when they first create their LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn connections (1st-level connections) will help expand the pool of 2nd and 3rd-level LinkedIn connections you can make with other people. After that, I would recommend that you search for people on LinkedIn who are working in your target career sectors. See if any of them publish articles or posts on LinkedIn, and like or comment on the posts that interest you ... it's a good way to learn about the industry and engage with people who work in the careers that interest you. Look at people's LinkedIn profiles -- if their career or activities interest you, you can send them an invitation to connect. I would recommend adding a short note in your invitation that says why you would like to connect with them (e.g., to learn more about their industry, because you enjoy reading their posts, etc.).
Carolyn recommends the following next steps:
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I agree with the other answerers here, a specialized and personalized message is important! One thing I like to do is anytime I see a person speak - at a conference, on TV, or even in something like a YouTube video - who I was interested in connecting with, I would immediately add them as a connection with a message saying, "I really enjoyed your talk at XXX Conference! Would love to connect with another pro in the industry!" or something like that.
Sometimes they accept, sometimes they don't, but there's no harm in sending the message. And in the case where they do accept, this is meaningful when others are looking at your connections - suddenly you're connected with industry leaders and conference speakers, and that can give you a tiny leg up on the competition.
You should try to get as many connections as you can. You should connect with people who know you in any way. The larger your network is the better the search results.
Rand recommends the following next steps:
I would recommend adding people that you worked with as well as prior students you went to school with.