Develop your LinkedIn network
LinkedIn is a great resource for anyone looking to develop a network.
With over 80 million professionals on LinkedIn already - there are plenty of opportunities to connect with potential employers.
Tips for developing a network on LinkedIn:
Connect with colleagues from the past. If you're new to LinkedIn, chances are there will be a surprising number of people you know already on LinkedIn. Find them using the LinkedIn search bar and connect with them, stating where you worked together in the past.
Connect with friends who you think might be on the network - particular industries seem to be quicker at signing up to LinkedIn than others, so whatever industry your friends are in it is worth searching for them on LinkedIn - you never know who they might be connected to.
Connect with past school classmates - not only other students who you studied with at University and College, but also your lecturers and tutors. Not only is LinkedIn good for networking, it is a fantastic tool for keeping in touch with people - especially those people who you may not necessarily have contact details for.
Browse your connection's connections. So you've connected with any past colleagues from employment and education and added any friends to your network - now browse their connections. In simple terms, look at who your contacts are linked with - and if you know them, connect with them too. This is a particularly effective way of expanding your network, as people you know are often connected with other people you know, especially those who have been using LinkedIn for some time.
Add everyone you know - if you make contact with someone, whether it be on the phone, by email or in person, add them on LinkedIn. By connecting with them you will build your network and you can develop a relationship with that individual either now or in the future. You also don't need to store or remember their contact details - if you've got them on LinkedIn you can contact them through there.
Join groups to expand your network - there are groups for almost everything on LinkedIn. If you're looking for one that isn't there - create your own and begin to build your own group. When you join a group, you become connected to other members in the group. Not only is it useful for developing your network, it is also a good place to engage with people with similar interests. Remember though, LinkedIn is a professional network, so only join groups you are happy to be associated with.
Ask and Answer questions - in other words, engage with the LinkedIn community. This will be a good illustration of your area of expertise, especially if you are awarded 'best answers'. You can answer questions in any topic and it's a good way to get noticed amongst potential connections.