LinkedIn Groups May Give You the Opportunity to Land on the Engineering Job that you Want

I’ll preface this post by saying that there are a lot, and I mean a lot, of engineers currently looking for work on LinkedIn.  They spend hours on end with no results.  The reason for this, most times, is they are not using LinkedIn effectively, or not very familiar with the site and how it works.  In this post, in no way am I trying to make it sound easy to get a job on LinkedIn, but it is very feasible to do so if you leverage this social network properly.

The component of LinkedIn that I want to discuss today is LinkedIn Groups.  There are LinkedIn Groups for every profession and every discipline of every profession.  This is a good thing, especially if you are currently looking for an engineering job.  If you are a structural engineer, you can join some structural engineering groups; if you are an environmental engineer, you can join some environmental engineering groups, and so on.  To take it even one step further, if you are a structural engineer focusing on athletic stadium design, you can join a group for structural engineers in that arena; yes they get that specific!

This is a great thing for obvious reasons.  For one, where else can you find hundreds or thousands of employers in your specific discipline in a matter of seconds?  Secondly, the groups allow you to come in contact with some key people in these prospective companies including human resource (HR) professionals and hiring managers.

Here are some DO’s and DON’T’s for properly leveraging the contacts within a LinkedIn group:

    • DON’T start connecting with hiring managers and HR professionals as soon as you join a group.
    • DON’T start messaging hiring managers and HR professionals in the group asking them if they have any openings (hundreds of engineers are doing that to them).
    • DON’T just join the larger groups, look for smaller ones in your niche where you can build stronger relationships.
    • DON’T bother people by being excessive with your posts/discussions/messages
    • DO engage in as many discussions as possible and try to target ones with hiring managers and HR professionals.
    • DO provide thoughtful remarks in these discussions, not, “Is anyone hiring?”
    • DO try to connect with these key people after, and only after, you were involved in a discussion with them.  Use the discussion as common ground for the connection and then start building a relationship.
    • DO post a discussion saying something to the effect of, “I am currently looking for a position in the XYZ field (be specific), can anyone recommend specific networking events or professional associations where I might meet potential employers?”  Ask for help, NOT a job.
    • DO reply privately to people when they respond to a discussion started by you.  Thank them and ask them if it would be okay to connect with them.
    • DO start a group in your industry and put a lot of effort into maintaining it with a lot of good content.  This can be a powerful networking tool for you down the road, and will also be fun!

I hope that these DO’s and DONT’s help you to more effectively use LinkedIn Groups and land your next engineering position!

This is a guest post by Anthony Fasano, PE, author of Engineer Your Own Success. Anthony found success as an engineer at a very early age and now writes and podcasts to help other engineers do the same. Visit Anthony’s website and subscribe to the top 3 resources Anthony has used to become a partner in a firm at the age of 27.