In 2006, when I still worked at
Cisco, I started a little
LinkedIn Group called “Cisco.” Okay,
not a very creative or original name, I’ll
admit. But I thought it was a good idea
at the time to help Cisco folks leverage
our mutual LinkedIn networks for career
opportunities. HR didn’t like the
idea though—which naturally made me
want to do it more!
Today, this group has over 17,000 people,
grows by 100 people every week,
and houses discussions about job postings,
business strategy, and even sales on
Recently, however, requests to join became
overwhelming, and I “hired” a co-manager
to facilitate the group.
What is a LinkedIn Group?
Simply put, groups allow people within
the vast network of separated professionals
on LinkedIn to connect on a single
theme. Groups are a great way to network
with new people minus the introductions
or cold calling. Why? Because
you have something in common.
Groups can be anything from alumni
associations, professional associations,
common interests, companies, and even
subsets within companies. Hell, you can
even create your own group in about
Why Groups are a Great Job Search Tool
By joining and participating in a group,
you (the jobseeker) have a powerful way
of adding value to, and grow, your online
reputation. As a group facilitator, I
can tell you who are the leaders of the
discussion, and who are the valued contributors
to the group. When you participate,
Furthermore, by being members of the
same group as your target company,
your odds of getting a favorable response
to your job inquiry are much higher.
5 Guidelines for LinkedIn Group Success
- Join a group that takes you where you
want to go, not one that keeps you
where you are.
- Join a group that you will actually participate
in. Don’t be a fly on the wall.
- Participation in a group means posting
and responding to discussion.
Make sure you are putting your best
foot forward, are positive, and show
- Tell your truth but don’t shout! If you
are unemployed, don’t be ashamed
and try to keep it a secret, but don’t
flaunt it either. Just be cool and make
sure that you are always honest about
where you are and what you are looking
- Identify other leaders in the group
and determine whether they could
be valuable connections or information
sources; if so, then by all means
reach out to them.
[Editor’s Note: Interested in joining a
LinkedIn group? Look for the “PDA - Parenteral Drug Association” group on
About the Author
Joshua Waldman, author of Job Searching
with Social Media for Dummies, is the founder
of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile
writing services and career advice for the