If you’re currently searching for your next pharma job, then LinkedIn is one of the most important platforms you can use to network with professionals in the industry, with over 756 million users and over 57 million companies listed on the site.
To make the most out of LinkedIn, you need to focus on growing your network not only in terms of numbers but in terms of value too. It’s not about how many thousands of connections you have, but more about what those connections can bring to your network, and ultimately, your job search.
In this article, we outline some of the best ways to grow a high-quality network on LinkedIn, with advice on how to keep the conversations with your connections going after your connection requests have been accepted…
Work on Your Profile
Make sure your profile is up-to-date, and that it contains enough information about you to help other users decide to connect with you. You should have a professional profile photo as well as a short, snappy headline that tells other users who you are, what you do, and why you’re a great connection to have.
If you’re a job seeker, make sure it’s clear exactly what types of roles you’re looking for instead of making vague statements on your profile such as ‘Jobseeker looking for a life science job’. You can also make the most out of LinkedIn’s ‘Open to Work’ feature to make it even clearer that you’re currently searching for a job.
Make the most of your About section by using it to summarise your key skills and experiences, and some of your most important achievements. Make sure to include keywords in this section and throughout your profile to make the relevance of your connection requests clear to other users.
Personalise Your Connection Requests
Instead of just clicking ‘connect’ on every profile you see with the aim of growing a large network, use this stage as a place to start meaningful conversations with high-quality connections by sending them a personalised message.
LinkedIn recommends doing the following:
- Start with a salutation: “Hi Steve, I hope you are doing well…”
- Remind the recipient how you know them: “It was great talking to you at the Clinical Research Careers event…”
- Reference something personal about them or their business: “You mentioned you were currently looking for a Clinical Research Associate and I would love to talk more about the opportunity…”
If you haven’t yet spoken to the person you want to connect with, use a personalised message as a chance to outline the relevance of your request by finding common ground. You can reference the following things to do this:
- Attending the same university
- Working in the same industry
- Working for the same or partner company
- Being a member of the same LinkedIn groups
- Attending the same event
If you do decide to go for a scatter-gun approach with connection requests, be prepared for other users to ask you what they will gain from the connection and be ready to explain the value you could bring to their network, e.g., if you share original content that you think matches their interests.
Share Engaging Content
Share engaging, original content and use a mixture of text, images, and video to encourage your connections to engage with your content and share it with their network. If you do reshare the work of others, add on your own thoughts in your post to open up the conversation to your network, as sharing original ideas will help you build your online brand and make you a valuable contact to have.
You can also share original ideas in the form of articles which you can use to build a portfolio on LinkedIn to make your profile stand out against other job seekers.
Engage with Your Connections
Make an effort to regularly engage with your connections, perhaps by congratulating them on a new role or work anniversary, or by sharing your thoughts on something they’ve shared. Make your name and brand one that your connections will remember, and make them want to share your content with their network too.
Make the Most of Groups
Instead of using groups as a space to market yourself, use them to build valuable connections with people who could fit into your network. Joining groups such as our PharmiWeb.Jobs group is a great way to connect with people who aren’t in your immediate circle of contacts, so make the most of them by sharing useful insights, original thoughts and engaging with posts by other members.
Make the Most of Hashtags
Similarly, using and following specific hashtags will help you to find connections outside of your immediate circle, and can be used to find common ground when sending your personalised connection requests. Follow hashtags and engage with posts by other members to show your value as a contact.
Remember that the conversations you have with your contacts shouldn’t end once a connection request has been accepted. There is so much value in having high-quality connections, so make the most out of them!
However you decide to approach your network-growing strategy, just remember to be consistent in everything that you do, and make sure that everything you share is representative of your personal brand or the brand that you want to create.
Visit PharmiWeb.Jobs for more careers advice, or follow us on LinkedIn to keep up to date with the latest opportunities.