The polar bear plunge is held during the winter when participants enter a body of water despite the extremely low temperature. For LinkedIn members who have used the premier business networking site as just another online place to download their résumé, putting their toes into the networking waters often freezes them into inactivity.
But LinkedIn is not an online “place” just to drop your CV. Rather, it’s a series of “behaviors” you should proactively engage in to make yourself more visible to recruiters, hiring managers, headhunters and prospective employers. In order to help you successfully navigate your very first LinkedIn Polar Plunge, here are some tips to get your toes into the networking waters and warm-up to networking:
- Have a networking strategy. Be willing to reach out to LinkedIn members you don’t know.
- Who will you contact?
- What is their job title?
- What companies do they work for?
- What is their industry niche?
- What message will you send with your request to connect?
- Be committed to connecting with people to forge mutually beneficial, long-term relationships by offering to help without asking anything in return.
- Once you decide to connect with someone new, a good icebreaker is asking for advice on a challenge or topic. People love to feel like experts. Keep in mind that no one likes to feel used so avoid, “Help me find a job” or “Can you look at my resume and tell me what to change?” And, always reciprocate by asking what you can do for him or her.
- Always be authentic and genuine on your Profile and in all of your networking engagements.
- Seek out fast-track stars and jump aboard their roller coaster ride.
- Pay attention to your LinkedIn notifications. Remember birthdays. When one of your connections has landed a new job, post a Like and send a congratulations message.
- Like and comment on your network’s posts to create a meaningful conversation. Not only are you increasing the post author’s visibility but you’re also making yourself visible to potential new connections. It’s a great way to ease into networking, especially if you’re an introvert.
- Be a thought leader. Create posts and share useful information that make you visible in your niche and establish yourself as someone people want to connect with. Share content that will attract the “right” people to you. Add #s to your posts to extend your reach beyond your immediate network.
- Attend online networking events on LinkedIn.
- Look at your connections’ connections. Learn more about them and see if they would be people worth inviting into your network based upon the number of connections they have, whether or not they are in your current and/or target industry, and their About, Recommendations, Activity and Skills sections.
- Focus on the quality, not the quantity, of connections in building your network.
- Make sure your own LinkedIn Profile conveys your value, experience and achievements if you want to attract desirable connections.
- Writing articles on LinkedIn can be a huge magnet for attracting valuable connections. Don’t rely on just short posts.
- Thank people who have accepted your connection request. A warm note of appreciation goes a long way.
Now take the plunge into LinkedIn’s networking opportunities!
About Garrison Leykam, PhD
Certified Business Coach (Expert Level)
Certified Remote Work Professional
Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC)
Certified Professional, Résumé Writer (CPRW)
Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP)
Certified Life Coach (Expert Level)
PhD Marketing, MA Psychology
LinkedIn profile in Top 25 MA, PhD profiles in U.S.
Top 1% LinkedIn Industry Social Selling Index
Author, Audacious at Any Age and Design You