Applying Traditional Networking Strategies to LinkedIn

Tried and tested strategies to leveraging LinkedIn to advance your career

Photo portrait of Alison Foo, MSc, PMP
Alison Foo, MSc, PMP
Photo portrait of Alison Foo, MSc, PMP

Alison Foo is a career, communication and leadership coach. She’s passionate about changing lives through teaching professional skills. She has worked with graduate students, newcomers, marginalized groups, and professionals from various industries. Her specialty is the clinical and research sectors. Alison is also a clinical research professor. She teaches at Seneca College, McMaster University Continuing Education, and ACCES Employment. Previously, she worked on all phases of clinical trials and specialized in clinical trial management, clinical data management, clinical monitoring, and stakeholder management. When she’s not working or volunteering, she’s spending time with her rescue dog, watching Asian TV, and saving recipes she’ll never use.

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Published:Dec 11, 2023
|3 min read
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I’m always surprised when people say that networking on LinkedIn hasn’t helped their career. My experience has consistently been the opposite, so I wanted to share my tried and tested strategies that can be applied using a free LinkedIn account. 

After completing this webinar series, I’m sure that you, too, will be able to leverage LinkedIn to meet new people, develop mutually beneficial relationships, and get help with your career. This is the third webinar of my four-part networking series. 

For the best experience, watch the webinars in order, as each part builds upon knowledge covered in the previous ones:

Part 1: Networking, A Different Perspective
Part 2: Conversational Strategies
Part 3: Leveraging LinkedIn
Part 4: Effective Informational Interviews

In Networking For Clinical Lab Professionals Part 3: Leveraging LinkedIn, you'll learn:

  • The value of LinkedIn beyond getting a job
  • How to improve your chances of connecting with professionals
  • Tips for creating effective LinkedIn profiles
  • Strategies for leveraging LinkedIn algorithms
  • What to do if someone doesn’t respond to your connection request

The webinar starts with exploring the number one mistake: expecting people to respond simply because the request came through LinkedIn. If you wouldn’t use a certain approach with a stranger you walked up to, then it’s not likely to be effective through InMail, either. 

Traditionally, networking principles followed the six degrees of separation idea to create organic pathways to the person you wanted to meet. The same method should be applied to LinkedIn.

Reevaluating your definition of success

In this webinar, I also explain the importance of reevaluating our definition of success. For example, an interaction is considered successful if it results in any one of the following:

  • Having a pleasant experience
  • Engaging in an interesting conversation
  • Learning something new or gaining perspective
  • Exchanging information or assistance
  • Maintaining the relationship long-term

Think of referrals and interview/job offers as unintentional outcomes of networking. Most people fail to develop relationships through LinkedIn because they ask for action when they should be asking for information. The difference in approach may seem subtle, but the impact is huge on another person’s openness to meeting with you. 

For example, instead of asking someone if they’re hiring (which has an implied request to consider you as a candidate), ask them questions to help figure out if the role would be a good fit, or ask what type of experience someone needs to succeed in that role, etc. 

After you’ve confirmed that it’s a good fit both ways, assuming you’ve made a good impression, then consider asking for action. In this scenario, an action might be to let you know if they have upcoming openings, or to give you advice on your resume, or to introduce you to the hiring manager. At this point, you’ll need to practice your informational interviewing skills, which brings us to part 4 of the Networking Series.

Part 4: In the last webinar of this series, we will cover the most underrated approach to networking—informational interviews. I’ll teach you how to conduct effective informational interviews to inform career decisions, discover opportunities, and tailor job interview answers.

Banner for the Networking Series Part 4: Effective Informational Interviews webinar.

Alison Foo, MSc, PMP
Alison Foo, MSc, PMP

Alison Foo is a career, communication and leadership coach. She’s passionate about changing lives through teaching professional skills. She has worked with graduate students, newcomers, marginalized groups, and professionals from various industries. Her specialty is the clinical and research sectors. Alison is also a clinical research professor. She teaches at Seneca College, McMaster University Continuing Education, and ACCES Employment. Previously, she worked on all phases of clinical trials and specialized in clinical trial management, clinical data management, clinical monitoring, and stakeholder management. When she’s not working or volunteering, she’s spending time with her rescue dog, watching Asian TV, and saving recipes she’ll never use.


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Careersnetworking professional development
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Most people fail to develop relationships through LinkedIn because they ask for action when they should be asking for information.
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