April 16, 2013

If you’re looking for the next great IT position, sure, you can go to the usual sites. Dice, Monster, or CareerBuilder or Indeed.com are all great places to find available jobs. But these sites play a darts-style game: you throw your resume at a position that meets your match and hope it hits the target. It’s a shoot first, aim later strategy. So how can you improve your job search strategy? Join a LinkedIn group, of course! LinkedIn, the largest social networking platform on the web for professionals, can help you connect with others to land a job and LinkedIn groups in specific offer a variety of tools to job-seekers. What can you do on LinkedIn’s groups to land your next job? Here are three tips to help give your IT job search a kick-start using LinkedIn’s groups.

Find groups that are right for you 

When you’re searching for LinkedIn groups, consider some criteria that would connect you with others. LinkedIn Groups exist for just about any industry or topic you could imagine. Focus on ones that will help you with your goal: finding your next job. Look for groups in your industry and groups with influential people in the local community. You can also search groups to see if there is one created for people who work at a company you want to work for. Take a look at the groups hiring managers and other industry professionals belong to. One of the most obvious connections is the schools you attended. AsMashable writer Chelsea Gladden advises “Use the fact that you have something in common to network within those groups. Some groups will be more active than others, but even so, starting a conversation can introduce your name to relevant contacts.”

Look at the job boards within the groups

This one may seem obvious, but the feature can be often overlooked for less-experienced LinkedIn users. Separate from the Jobs section in LinkedIn, each member within individual LinkedIn groups can post an available position. Frequently, you will find jobs in this tab that are not advertised in either of the “Jobs” posting areas. Again, because these particular messages are micro-targeted, you’ll have less competition and you gain an advantage. If it’s a job posting for group you belong to, there’s a good chance it could be a good fit for you. What’s more, reaching out to the hiring manager directly through LinkedIn can help you break through the clutter of the resumes shipped to them from the job sites.

Reach out to group members

While you participate in group discussions, look for influential members and reach out to them. US News writer Lindsay Olson recommends a smart, cautious strategy. “As you get to know other members of your group, send them a LinkedIn invitation so you can get to know them outside of the group. Naturally, connecting to peoplewho work for companies you’d like to work for is a smart strategy, but don’t push it. Keep in touch via email, and once you feel the relationship is solid, consider asking whether any opportunities are available.” With that in mind, be careful to not spam out dozens of requests to connect simply because you belong to the same group as these members. Take the time to take part in discussions and make yourself an active member of the group’s online community.

LinkedIn groups are a great way to meet new people to connect with and find new leads for jobs. If you’re not sure which groups to start with, here are 10 LinkedIn groups anyone can connect to.Think IT has a LinkedIn group for each of the seven groups in the association as well. If your profile isn’t up to snuff, we’ve got some LinkedIn profile tips to improve that too.

What other ways have LinkedIn groups helped you? Tell us how you use LinkedIn groups in the comments section!

Posted By: James Sweeney

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