Updated: December 2020
Linkedin is probably the most valuable tool there is for the job search. It provides a platform for networking and career path research. Being optimized on LinkedIn also creates the potential to be found for life-changing opportunities. One LinkedIn feature I highly recommend is LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups are virtual networking rooms that put you in the right circles with like-minded industry professionals. In this blog post I will share the benefits of joining LinkedIn groups, how to select the best groups, and a list of specific groups for AmeriCorps members.
The Career and Job Search Benefits of Being in LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups provide a number of benefits for job searchers and working professionals. LinkedIn Groups are a venue for:
- Finding mentors
- Learning about current industry trends
- Conducting career path research
- Contributing expertise
- Establishing a presence amongst industry peers, hiring managers, and recruiters
- Finding jobs
In addition to these benefits, the Groups feature is also important for your online SEO & overall profile optimization strategy. Your LinkedIn search ranking partially depends on the number of common groups you share with other LinkedIn members. Therefore, if you’re hoping to be found by hiring managers and recruiters, you’ll want to be in those target industry groups. LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups. I highly recommend joining as many relevant career groups as possible for this reason.
How to Find Industry-Relevant LinkedIn Groups
The group search feature is fairly simple to maneuver. First, enter your keywords into the search bar up top and select “Groups” from the list of filters below the search box. You’ll see in this screenshot, that I have searched using keyword “nonprofit” by typing it into the search box in step 1. In step two I filter my search by group so that LinkedIn gives me a list of groups with the same keyword:
A simple keyword search should pull up all relevant LinkedIn groups for that particular keyword. However there’s another strategy for finding the right industry groups based on individual profiles. If you find the right professionals or professionals you admire, see what groups they are in. You can find this information listed on the bottom of their LinkedIn profile.
What to Look for When Analyzing Individual Professional’s Profiles for Relevant Groups
To produce more of the right groups for my professional goals, I analyzed various AmeriCorps Member & Alumni profiles, at all career levels, to see which groups they had joined. I also analyzed the profiles of various professionals in the non-profit world. Finally, I conducted keyword searches around popular career targets and sectors within the AmeriCorps community. Since the value of LinkedIn Groups often depends on the number of members, I was careful to select groups with no less than 1,000 members. Here’s the list I came up with:
- The Organization Where You Served – Most organizations or companies will have their own group. Some will have a local chapter and/or national group. Join as many as you can find so that you are fully connected with everyone from your AmeriCorps assignment. This is a great way to connect within the organization, especially if you are hoping to turn your AmeriCorps assignment into a paying job.
- University Alumni Group – This may not be affiliated with AmeriCorps but your university alumni group is a standard since alumni usually feel compelled to assist fellow alums.
- AmeriCorps Alums – Speaking of alumni groups, this is a no-brainer!
- AmeriCorps Alums Local Chapter – Most major cities have a local alumni group. Join your local group as well as the chapter for another city if you are targeting a geographical change for your next job. You might also find this resume advice helpful if searching for out of state jobs.
- Work for Good – This is a national job board dedicated to helping nonprofits and others connect with job seekers looking to make a difference. With hundreds of new jobs each month, they claim to be “the go-to source for finding purpose-driven work.”
- Development & Fundraising Professionals – This group is hosted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Development and Fundraising Group. It offers professionals in the field an opportunity to connect with their peers and Chronicle staff to discuss ideas and trends. It also provides the latest news and information about fundraising.
- Young Non-Profit Professionals – YNPN National provides support and resources for local YNPN networks through leadership development, networking, and advocacy activities. YNPN National seeks to build and expand the YNPN movement throughout the United States. Their focus is on building local chapter leadership and capacity, along with developing a unified, national voice for early career professionals.
- Non-Profit & Philanthropy Jobs, Powered by ImpactFlow – This group offers a community for nonprofit and philanthropic job seekers and recruiters. The goal of this group is to connect, network, share ideas and post employment opportunities.
- Job in Non-Profit – JNP provides a community for non-profit and social enterprise connections. JNP is an excellent resource for job seekers looking to accelerate their career through career coaching. It also provides a venue for non-profits/social enterprises in need of employees seeking purpose-driven jobs.
- Idealist.org – Hosted by one of my favorite non-profit job boards (here are a few more job boards I recommend).
- Corporate Social Responsibility CSR and Sustainable Development – This is an online network of more than 20,000 professionals engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable development.
- The NonProfit Times – This is a forum for discussing issues that affect every single nonprofit including accounting, fundraising, marketing, human resource and much more… You might not work at a non-profit yet but if you’re targeting this space, hiring managers love people who can solve problems!
- Nonprofit Network – This is a group that spans a variety of focuses within the nonprofit space: social, investment, program project management, philanthropy, fundraising, charity, development, grant-making, health, public, policy, trade, society, green, environment, sustainability, sustainable, education, enterprise, energy, funding, jobs, job, career government, and business corporate law,
- GuideStar – The Nonprofit Conversation – A group designed as a gathering and meeting place for nonprofit professionals. This is a group where nonprofit professionals can read, comment, and debate GuideStar’s content as well as share their own relevant news or information.
- Careers in the charity/nonprofit sector – Do you love working in the charity/nonprofit sector and want to progress your career? Or, would you like to investigate the possibility of a career working for charities? This group is for you.
- Common Good Careers – Common Good Careers is dedicated to helping today’s most effective social entrepreneurs hire the best talent.
- Jobs in Charity – Third Sector Jobs – Third Sector Jobs is a specialist job site for the charity, not for profit and voluntary sectors from the publisher of Third Sector Magazine. The group carries hundreds of charity jobs across a range of sectors, locations and experience.
- Jobs in NGO, International Government Jobs, Non Government Vacancies, Not for Profit Jobs – A leading development job portal providing information on jobs in NGOs, International Development Agencies, UN Agency and many other vacancies from Not-For-Profit organization.
- Non-Profit Leadership – A resource for nonprofit executives and management, NGO / program management, socially responsible enterprises, grassroots organizers, and other public sector and nonprofit professionals. Share your experience and find solutions for the greater good. Not a non-profit leader? This is till a great group for networking with potential mentors or hiring managers in your target companies!
- United Nations Careers – Networking group for those interested in launching a career working for global causes – ending conflict and alleviating poverty, combating climate change and defending human rights.
What to Do Once You Find the Right LinkedIn Groups
Once you find the right mix of LinkedIn Groups, be sure to join them! If you are an AmeriCorps member or AmeriCorps alumni, join these LinkedIn groups. They will provide great opportunities for networking and finding the right contacts for advancing your career. You will also be around like-minded people!
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