Joining groups on LinkedIn can grow your network exponentially and increase your online presence. Join relevant groups to connect with other veterans and individuals in your career field. Remember, fellow group members are people you can connect with directly on LinkedIn (same as your 2nd degree network). Group members offer a wealth of knowledge and support in your job search.
Perform a group search on keywords to find veteran and industry groups. Use keywords like, “military veterans,” “hiring veterans,” or terms relevant to your industry. Use the Advanced link next to the search box to search by more filters.
When you join an open group, clicking Join Group will automatically add you to that group. Closed groups are designated by a padlock icon next to their description. When you click Join Group for a closed group, your request is sent to the group manager who will approve or deny it. This is good reason to have your profile filled out completely to show that you qualify as a member of the closed group.
Contribute to the Conversation
Listen, learn and contribute to group discussions. If you’re new to a group, read what others are discussing to get a feel for it. When you have something to contribute, add a comment to a discussion. Or Like a discussion to show you appreciate their post. Share relevant discussions with others on LinkedIn.
Start your own discussions, ask questions, offer advice, etc., to establish your presence and expertise. This will help you make valuable connections while you build your personal brand. Invite group members to join your network by clicking their profile image, then clicking their name to go to their profile and either connect, get introduced, or send them an InMail (depending on their degree of connection to you – 2nd, 3rd, or Group).
Once you join a group, you will receive the group’s digest emails, which help you keep up with the group’s discussions. You can set the frequency of these emails by going to your Settings, clicking Groups, Companies & Applications at the bottom left, and clicking “Set the frequency of group digest emails.” These can be set to daily, weekly, or none.
Another perk of groups is that many of them have a Jobs tab in the group menu. This is where recruiters share jobs they’ve paid to post on LinkedIn, and where anyone can post a Job Discussion. Remember to check out the Jobs Discussions in each group, not just their general Discussions.
Use Your Group Connections
Be sure to connect with individuals you meet in a group. Invite them to join your network as mentioned earlier, and message them privately to continue the conversation. You can do this by clicking More under their discussion and then clicking Reply Privately, or by clicking Reply Privately under someone’s comment.
Find more information about a group by clicking the More tab in the group menu, and then clicking Group Profile or Group Statistics in the drop-down list. Groups are one of the best resources of information and relevant connections that LinkedIn offers, so be sure to join and participate in them as much as possible.
Want more tips for using LinkedIn effectively in your job search? Check out Corporate Gray’s new book, Social Media and Your Job Search: A Guide for Military Members in Career Transition.