How LinkedIn Can Help Facilities Managers Grow Their Network
Two new people join LinkedIn every second. Yes, you read that correctly. With that type of professional following, there are some serious networking opportunities out there. From joining groups to creating a killer profile- we show you how to navigate LinkedIn like a pro.
Read the second entry to our four part series, today’s topic: LinkedIn.
A quick recap on LinkedIn:
The largest professional social network of its kind, with over 250 million users, and 27 million active brands with registered accounts. LinkedIn has evolved into a resume and official networking site for nearly every professional industry. Individuals have profiles dotted with personal information, education, previous employment, current industry, and current working status.
Users can search for available jobs, meet others in their industry, and stay educated in their field.
Facilities Managers can gain the most out of LinkedIn in three simple steps.
1). Create Your Profile 2). Start Networking 3). Join & Contribute to Groups
Create Your Profile
If you’ve already done this step, that’s great. If not it’s quite simple, get started here. LinkedIn will guide you through the process of entering your name, email, company, head shot and your current position to start. It will periodically ask you to update your profile with previous job experience, special skills, which is completely optional- but it is in your best interest to do so.
After you’ve updated your profile, it’s important to update your contact information, simply go to your edit and under your head shot and basic info you will see a box labeled “contact info”. If you click on this box you can update your email and add your other social media accounts.
You can also make it easier for others to find you by editing your public profile URL. To the left of the “contact info” box you’ll see your personal LinkedIn URL, to edit this, simply click the link and it will take you to a new page. You will then see a box labeled “your public profile URL” in the bottom right corner, click the customize button and take this opportunity to add your first and last name (or a variation if someone has already taken your name) to the URL to make it easier for others to find you.
Be sure to fill in your summary with a little information about yourself. Share more about your accomplishments and elaborate briefly on your current position. Don’t leave this section blank! It is the first portion people see of you after your profile heading.
Don’t forget to include a profile picture, profiles that don’t have one are often looked over as spam accounts. Chose one from your company’s directory or a clear shot of just you in front of a blank background.
LinkedIn has a system that identifies other users based on who your current connections are and your previous employment locations. LinkedIn will provide suggestions of “people you may know” in the right top corner of your home page. This is a great way to connect with other people in facilities management, that may come in handy later on if you’re looking for new opportunities or some guidance when purchasing a new HVAC system or IWMS software.
Under the Network button on your tab bar, you will see a place to connect with other alumni. You can use this tool to connect with previous classmates or others who studied your major.
Under the Interests tab, you will notice a button for searching for companies. You can follow these individual companies by viewing their page and clicking “follow” in the top right hand corner of their profile. Be sure to follow your current employer if your company has one. This also makes it easy to stay informed on openings in companies you have interest in pursuing. If your company has a LinkedIn page, get in touch with your marketing team who runs the page. You can periodically update them with any facility status announcements you normally send out through email, or any job openings in your department.
Join & Contribute to Groups
This is where LinkedIn really shines. These public and private groups provide professionals who are in the same industry or share common job descriptions to share content, post job openings, find answers to industry questions and to make business contacts. This is a great way to stay on top of everything going on in the FM industry, and to discover the opinions and experiences of other professionals. You can search for groups in the search bar on your homepage, and as you join certain groups, LinkedIn will recommend new ones for you to (optionally) join.
One thing to note is the original settings when you initially join a group will automatically allow LinkedIn to email you an update of that group’s discussions each day. If you’re not excited about receiving email updates, you can change your settings to receive them just once per week. Click on your photo while in the group, which will take you to your activity in that group. Click on the slanted i in the right corner and it will take you to your settings, which you can then adjust accordingly.
Also, here is an article by Inc. on finding the best LinkedIn Groups.
Some of the top FM groups to join:
Facilities Management Association
Facilities Management Professionals International
Integrated Facility Management
International Facilities Management Association
It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but just logging on to LinkedIn once per week will help you grow your network and improve your online credibility. Try carving out 30 minutes each Friday to answer connection requests, check on group postings, read a few “influencer” articles or even post one yourself. The few minutes will be worth your time in the long run.
LinkedIn isn’t slowing down anytime soon:
- 184 million unique users visit per month
- 200 countries and territories represented
- 40% of users check LinkedIn at least once daily
- 1.2 million products/services listed on company pages