September 25, 2012 Leave a comment
In early August, LinkedIn announced that it now has over 175 million members across the globe, with over 3 million of those members being in Australia. Add this to the 2 million Company Pages that exist on the platform, and it becomes clear that LinkedIn is one serious, professional networking tool.
Connecting with colleagues, friends and other professionals via LinkedIn is one of the best benefits of being a member. Yet what happens when you want to network beyond your current contacts?
You might want to get in touch with an industry executive, connect with a potential employer or introduce yourself to a headhunter.
What should you do before you make contact?
1. Refresh Your Profile
Before you start diving into new LinkedIn connections, it’s crucial that your LinkedIn profile is accurate, detailed and up-to-date. Ensure that your work history is included, along with details of your experience, skills, education and any other relevant information. This should align with what you’ve included in your executive resume.
You should also focus on your summary, since this is one of the first things a reader will encounter when reviewing your profile. Use short, succinct sentences, and employ bullet points where possible to highlight your talents and achievements.
2. Have Your Executive Resume Ready
If you make a successful connection with someone outside your network, it is vital to have your executive resume ready, especially if you are seeking additional contacts to progress your career. An outstanding executive resume can create a strong impression, and could lead you to the next career opportunity, while a poorly written resume will have your opportunities dissipating quickly.
Make sure your executive resume is fully updated and adequately reflects your competencies and expertise in relation to your industry. If you are unsure about how what an executive resume should contain, our executive resume writing service can help transform an average resume into a highly effective one that will help you get an interview.
3. Who Are You Contacting?
There are over 3 million people on LinkedIn in Australia and so you will need to be selective about whom you are contacting.
Research is key when it comes to connecting with executives, firstly because you will only want to contact those who can influence your career and secondly, because you will need to know whom it is you’re going to be dealing with.
If you don’t know whom to contact, a good place to begin your research is with employers in your field, or with executive search consultants and or headhunters who specialise in your industry.
4. Decide How To Make Contact
There are many ways to make new connections on LinkedIn, but if you are searching outside your circles, the best way is to make direct contact with someone is through the official mail system, called ‘InMail.’
You will need to purchase InMail credits and use them to send an email to your desired contact (if you don’t receive a response, your InMail credit is returned).
Make sure that you include a detailed but brief introductory note in your InMail message (the same as you would with any email) that effectively describes who you are, your present situation and why you’ve decided to contact this person. Be clear and concise in your message and remember to keep it short – executives are busy and they don’t have time to read one-page emails.
5. What Next?
Once you’ve successfully received a response and made a new connection, it is important to keep the relationship going. Depending on whom you contacted, you could politely request a meeting or offer to send them your executive resume. Alternatively, you may simply choose to join a LinkedIn ‘group’ that your contact belongs to. You can also follow the contact (or their company) on Twitter, Facebook or other networking sites.
Are you ready to make contact?
Good luck connecting!