LinkedIn Groups is one of the most underutilized features of LinkedIn. While some consider Groups a waste of time, others find it a great resource. Here are 6 facts you may or may not know about LinkedIn Groups:
1. You can be a member of 50 groups. Yes, LinkedIn allows each individual to join 50 groups. You don’t have to be a member of that many groups, however, if you are actively job seeking, hopefully you are a member of at least 10-12 and active in at least 2-3 of those. Participating once a week is minimum, and that could be as simple as hitting the “like” button on a particular article or discussion, making a small comment such as “great article Jim,” contributing a rebuttal to something you feel passionate about, or starting your own discussion.
2. Discussions show up in your Groups feed. This is a great feature because it allows group members to see what you and others have posted. Here is where you can highlight your expertise with thought-provoking questions, intelligent answers, and sharing group-specific relevant information and links.
3. Jobs tab in Groups may have jobs! This is one of the least known areas by most job seekers to look for jobs. Recruiters love this feature in groups because they are targeting a specific demographic of people. For instance, if they are recruiting for a marketing position, they may post a job in the American Marketing Association group.
4. Group search feature. The search tab is another area in groups where you can find discussions from members of the group. There are several ways to search:by latest activity, all discussions, manager’s choice, discussions you’ve started, and discussions you’re following. Each discussion has the author of the discussion and/or contributor that you can connect to.
5. Access to Group members. This feature is extremely valuable to executive job seekers because you have access to full profiles of members of the group, even if they are not a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree connection to you. In this area of groups you can follow, see activity, send a message, and connect with other members.
6. Managing your LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn provides member settings where you can manage your visibility, contacts, and updates. Tip for executive job seekers: I wouldn’t recommend letting your job search groups show up on your profile. It could raise red flags with your current employer. Instead, show industry-specific or occupation- related groups, as well as groups of interest that add to your career development.