Networking is one of the most important — if not the most important — activity that you can leverage throughout your career.
Because the majority of job opportunities are not publicly advertised, it becomes vital that you manage and grow your network of career stakeholders to ensure a healthy flow of support, information and potential job leads.
In today’s digital age, while in-person networking will always be important, many first impressions begin with an online search, making it even more essential that you be present, searchable and branded in everything you do online.
LinkedIn is the ideal place to start the process for several reasons:
- LinkedIn is an interconnected network of over 120 million professionals (and growing) from around the world, representing 150 industries and 200 countries.
- LinkedIn is highly ranked in Google and other search engines, and your LinkedIn profile is often in the top search results for your name.
- Your LinkedIn profile is your online resume. Not only does your profile require your experience, education and credentials for 100% completion, but it is also where career stakeholders expect to find you and your professional information.
- Your network of contacts is one of the most valuable assets you have to leverage throughout your career. While similar to other top social networking sites, LinkedIn is specifically designed to help you manage your professional network for your career and/or your business.
One LinkedIn feature many professionals overlook is LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups are free to join, and you can choose to join up to 50 groups from a list of thousands of user-created groups for literally just about anything. Not only do these groups provide you access to connect with and contact fellow group members who could become future partners, employees, investors, customers etc., but the groups’ discussion board can provide networking opportunities, job leads and insightful advice, tips and support.
While there are thousands of quality groups out there, here are the Top 50 LinkedIn Groups MBAs MUST Join to help build their brands and launch their careers:
- On Startups – The Community For Entrepreneurs
- Startup Specialists
- Bright Ideas & Entrepreneurs
- Private Equity and Venture Capital Group
Marketing & Communications
- Marketing & Communication Network
- Public Relations and Communications Professionals
- Marketing Executives Group
- Innovative Marketing, PR, Sales, Word-of-Mouth & Buzz Innovators
- Advertising Professionals
- Online Advertising Professionals
- Social Media Marketing
Sales & Business Development
Product & Brand Management
Finance & Accounting
Business Intelligence & Information Technology
- Business Intelligence & Analytics Group
- Business Intelligence Professionals
- IT Specialist Group
- The IT Architect Network
- GreenBiz.com — Green Business Professionals
- Telecom Professionals
- Biotech & Pharma Professionals Network
- Media Professionals Worldwide
- Event Peeps: For Live Event Industry Professionals
- Retail Industry Professionals Group
- Travel & Tourism Industry Professionals Worldwide
- Sports Industry Network™
Career Search & Development
Academic & Professional Career
- Your Graduate School/MBA Program Alumni LinkedIn Group
- Your Undegraduate College Alumni LinkedIn Group
- Your Past Employer’s LinkedIn Group
*These 50 groups are not listed in any particular order.
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MBA HIGHWAY RELAUNCH GIVEAWAY
To celebrate the MBA Highway relaunch, we are giving away some great career tools, free career services, books, prizes and more – all as a Thank You for signing up for our MBA Highway Newsletter. Check out all the prizes available at http://tiny.cc/MBAHighwayRelaunch!
Chris Perry, MBA, is a Gen Y brand and marketing generator, brand marketing manager, personal branding expert, speaker and brand consultant. He is the founder of Career Rocketeer, MBA Highway and multiple other ventures.