How to improve your LinkedIn network

Carrington College Linkedin NetworkNo matter what career path you have chosen, whether it’s becoming a certified dental assistant or a veterinary technician, networking will be an essential component of finding your first job and furthering your career. In today’s world, a large part of establishing your professional network happens online via websites like LinkedIn. While you certainly don’t want to connect with people simply for the sake of connecting, expanding your network can come in handy when you’re looking for new job opportunities or career advice. Not sure how to improve your presence on LinkedIn? Try out these tips:

1. Write a personal message

You can exponentially increase your chances of someone accepting your connection if you include a personal message in your request. Many people don’t take the time to write a personal note when they send a LinkedIn request, so including one of your own will help you stand out from the crowd. In addition, some well-connected people get tons of requests each day, and writing a few sentences about who you are and how you know them will prevent them from accidentally saying “no.”1

2. Contact people you know

The first step in expanding your LinkedIn network is contacting people you know. Connect with former coworkers, classmates and instructors, and use that handy function on the website that suggests “people you may know.” There is also a tool on LinkedIn that allows you to see who in your email contact list also has a profile, so you can make sure you don’t leave anyone out.2

3. Ask to be introduced

After you’ve established your initial connections, it’s time to contact people you don’t know who may be helpful in furthering your career or giving you advice when you’re first starting out. Check to see who your connections are connected to, and ask if your friends and coworkers would be willing to “introduce” you on the web. The introductions tool on LinkedIn makes it possible for you to include a note with your request. You can even connect with people you don’t know by sending InMail. However, you have a better chance of success if you’re introduced by a mutual connection.3

4. Join groups

Joining the groups of organizations that share your professional interests is another great way to expand your LinkedIn network. There are groups available for every profession and geographic area – simply scroll through the list of members and see if there’s anyone with whom you would be interested in connecting.4

1 Grant, Alex, Mashable, ‘This Simple Action Will Dramatically Grow Your LinkedIn Network,’ June 2, 2013 – http://mashable.com/2013/06/02/linkedin-network/
2 Schaffer, Neal, WindMill Networking, ’15 Ways to Grow Your LinkedIn Network,’ July 15, 2009 – http://windmillnetworking.com/2008/07/10/15-ways-how-to-grow-linkedin-network/
3 Fielding, Veronica, The Ladders, ‘How to Build and Nurture a LinkedIn Profile Network,’ 2013 – http://www.theladders.com/career-advice/how-to-build-nurture-linkedin-profile-network
4 Fielding, Veronica, The Ladders, ‘How to Build and Nurture a LinkedIn Profile Network,’ 2013 – http://www.theladders.com/career-advice/how-to-build-nurture-linkedin-profile-network