LinkedIn is a key place to make contacts who can help you with your job search and support you throughout your career. Although it’s easy to find tips about how to network on LinkedIn, some of these may not be relevant to you. This is because Gen Zers are using the platform a little differently than the generations that came before them. One reason for this is that Gen Zers are trailblazers in general and — as the first generation born during the digital age — especially in the internet sphere. Another reason is they have different ideas about work and are putting a greater emphasis on company culture and values. With this in mind, here are a few ways Gen Z should network on LinkedIn.
1. Connect with People You Know
Start building your network by adding people you know. It doesn’t matter if they’re not working in the right field — they may have connections you’re unaware of. In addition to adding classmates, professors, and faculty staff, connect with family members, former employers, and coworkers.
2. Search for Valuable Contacts
If you only have a few contacts who are likely to be useful in helping you meet your career goals, you should definitely network beyond the people you know. Think about what kinds of connections you need. This could include people who have your dream job, who work at a company where you’d like to work, or who could act as a mentor for you. Do a search on the platform to find these kinds of contacts.
If you’re unsure exactly what career you want to pursue, spend some time on the platform exploring job possibilities. Joining groups can also be beneficial for learning more about a particular industry.
3. Send Personalized Messages
Once you’ve found some users you’d like to connect with on LinkedIn, send them personalized messages explaining what attracted you to their profiles. You’ll find that many more people accept your invitation to connect if you include a message. Plus, you’ll be able to build a relationship. That way, if there’s a job opening or another opportunity, the person will be much more likely to think of you.
There’s no need for your messages requesting to connect to be long. Mention what attracted you to the person’s profile. Perhaps the person posted an interesting article or specializes in a niche area that you also want to work in. Plus, make it clear what you want from the contact. This should be more than a job referral — for instance, you may like to arrange a time to chat to gain advice.
4. Update Your Profile Regularly
Other users of LinkedIn are more likely to find you on the platform and see a reason to connect with you if your profile has current information. Update your profile often with new experience you’ve gained (such as work, internships, and volunteering), the skills you’ve learned, and the projects you’ve completed. You may also like to return to your summary to better reflect your career goals as you come closer to figuring out what you want to do after you graduate.
Another place where you can network is at your student housing. Foundry Mack is a student community with one- to five-bedroom apartments near Queen’s University. You can meet new people in the outdoor recreation area and collaborate on group projects in our bright study rooms. Book a tour before you secure a lease.