Most jobseekers are familiar with the power of LinkedIn as a marketing and networking tool. But did you know you can use LinkedIn to contact people you don’t know including those in industries or with job titles of interest to you?
As a job seeker, I was excited to utilize LinkedIn as I got started, but was discouraged when I learned you had to be connected to an individual in order to send them a message. To do this, you pay at least $19.95 a month for the ability to send 3 messages. This works fine for many people, while it can be cost prohibitive to others.
While transitioning to the field of social media, I found that LinkIn’s group option is a good way to gain knowledge from other professionals in the field.
Here I discovered what could be the most valuable aspect of joining LinkedIn Groups.
While investigating potential contacts, I discovered I could make direct contact with anyone who was also a member of one of my groups.
Here’s how you use this to your advantage:
- Find an individual you are interested in contacting
- Go to their profile and view the groups they belong to.
- Join one of the groups they belong to (chances are you’ll be interested in the topic anyway)
- You now have the option to e-mail them diriectly, at no cost.
This is a powerful, free tool that you should be utilizing. Among other things, it’s a great way to reach out to individuals in jobs of interest and request informational interviews. LinkedIn does limit you to membership in 50 groups at one time, but this is more than enough to keep you busy in your job search.
As you start using LinkedIn this way, be sure to optimize your profile first. Then start joining LinkedIn groups and reaching out to people of interest. Of course it’s important you approach new contacts carefully.