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Jonathan Greenhalgh job hunting, Candidates...

Get connected - How to grow your LinkedIn network

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LinkedIn is a place for you to connect with people. You might know these people, you might not know them; it's all about networking.

With more than half a billion users across 200 countries, LinkedIn is definitely the number one social media platform to connect with potential hires, future employers and b2b contacts.

You'd think that getting to that 500+ connections would be relatively easy. Especially as the platform has more than 500 million users, but it isn't, so we're going to give you some tips.

1- Connect to your own contact lists. - LinkedIn is excellent in the way that it lets you kickstart your personal network by allowing you to connect with people you already know. LinkedIn can access your email accounts, phone contacts and other social platforms to see if anyone is already on LinkedIn and send them a quick invite.

phone and coffee

2- Send personalised connection requests - When you are scrolling through lists of "people that you may know." it can be tempting to just click on the connect button. Don't do this! Take the time to go onto someone's profile and click on the connect button there. This will give you the chance to add a personal note to your request, letting the person know why you want to connect.

3- Add people that you meet in real life - Did you know that people still network face to face? Shocking right? All jokes aside trade shows, conferences, business breakfasts and charity events are great places to meet like-minded people, and you should connect with these people as well.

men shaking hands

4- Use LinkedIn - So people aren't just going to connect with an empty profile with no activity or content. People are now more content hungry than ever and are more likely to connect with someone who posts regularly. Don't just lurk in the internet shadows actively network with people you're not going to annoy people, LinkedIns algorithms make sure of this.

5- Be picture-perfect - Using pictures on social media gives your engagement a boost in your direct network and can make you up to 11 times more visible. Mix it up a bit, don 't just share a bit of generic text use a picture, don't let the haters get you down EVERYONE loves a good meme from time to time as well.

6- Engage your network - All it takes is a like or comment on a post to get your awesome face directly in front of that person's entire network. They 'll thank you for it because their post will go farther as well! A quick "great post" or "thanks for sharing" can go a long way. 

woman making comment

7- Vanity is essential - Grab your vanity URL and make sure you share it. Put it in your email signature, bios on your other social channels and even the odd cheeky post elsewhere too! You'll be amazed at the number of clicks you get.

8- Make yourself heard - LinkedIn has a fantastic publishing platform that lets you create beautiful looking posts and then share them with your network. Better still they will all get a notification saying that you have published something and be able to click straight through to it. Be careful though you can overuse this feature and be seen as spam. Don't use publisher every day and try not to use any clickbait titles or any over the top sales pitches in these posts.

man with megaphone

Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day and getting to that 500+ connections number can take a while. But if you consider the tips about you will get there with a relevant network of professionals. 

Once you've got to 500 don't stop, LinkedIn gives you access to half a BILLION people, making the possibilities to network endless. 

You never know you might connect to your next future boss, find out how to land your next role in our "How to find a new job" guide by clicking here.