This is a guest blog post from Anthony Fasano, P.E. Anthony is a civil engineer, engineering career coach, bestselling author of Engineer Your Own Success and founder of Powerful Purpose Associates.
The key to landing an engineering job through LinkedIn is to utilize one of LinkedIn’s most powerful yet underused feature: Groups. In this post I will layout a simple 5 step process that you can follow to leverage the power of LinkedIn Groups, however before I do that let me tell you what NOT to do on LinkedIn. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT send messages to random people who look like they might be able to help you and ask them, “I am currently out of work, can you help me to find a job in the XYZ engineering industry.” This is an absolute waste of both your time and their time and usually won’t even yield a response.
Okay enough of what NOT to do, let’s get into the good stuff. If you’re not familiar with the LinkedIn Groups module – get familiar with it quickly. It’s fairly simple, join a few groups and poke around to see what they are comprised of. To make this easy for you, I have laid out the following 5 steps that you can follow to leverage the LinkedIn Groups module to help you land an engineering job:
Step 1: Join as many groups as possible in your industry. When doing this step, don’t just join groups randomly, do some investigation. First, look at the number of members in a group as this is usually a good indicator of how active a group is (the more members the better). Secondly, if the group is an open group, take a look at some of the discussions and see if they are interesting and provide value. LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups. I have always told people that if you do not belong to 50 groups, you are leaving potential opportunities on the table.
Step 2: Once you are in a group, start a discussion by asking an intelligent question. When I say intelligent, I mean something like this, “I am currently looking for a job in the structural engineering industry – does anyone know of any good professional societies that I can join to help me grow my network in hopes of landing the job, thanks.” Asking a question like this is like baiting a hook and then dropping it in the water; now you wait. Every person that responds to this question will most likely have good connections in your industry. Once you have a few people that respond, you can then invite each one of them to connect with you. In your invitation message say, “I really appreciate your feedback in my discussion and I would like to add you to my professional network.” Pleas do not start a discussion by saying, “Can anyone help me to find a job in the XYZ industry?”
Step 3: In addition to starting a few discussions, respond to other people’s discussions. This will build your LinkedIn reputation among industry peers. After responding to someone’s discussion you can invite him or her to be one of your connections. When doing so, say the following in your invitation, “I enjoyed your discussion in the XYZ group, I hope my response was helpful. I would like to add you to my professional network.”
Step 4: Start utilizing your new network! What you have done in these last 3 steps is start to build a powerful LinekedIn network filled with people in your industry, many of whom may be able to help you find a job or put you in contact with someone who can. Oh and one other thing, you did this without directly asking anyone if they can help you to find a job. As time goes on, continue to monitor your feed on the page entitled “Home” and like and comment on people’s updates from time to time. Then slowly begin to send messages to your contacts that say something like this: “John, I have really enjoyed your updates – keep them coming. Also if you know of anyone who might be able to help me land a job in the XYZ industry, I would really appreciate an introduction. I am sure you are busy, but anything you can to do would be a huge help during this most difficult time in my career.”
Step 5: Continue performing steps 1 through 4 consistently and then sit back and watch the opportunities flow in!
Questions and comments on this post are welcome and encouraged!