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LinkedIn is a powerful tool for professionals and executives—when used correctly. One of many ways you can properly utilize LinkedIn is by participating in different groups. Joining a few groups can boost your LinkedIn profile development, since you’ll naturally gain more connections as a result. However, you have to be careful with how you approach these groups. Here are some great tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile and expand your network by joining groups.

Choose Your Groups Wisely

You can join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn, but you don’t have to actually join that many. Consider joining groups related to your industry, your social life, interests, hobbies, school affiliation and other similar groups. The more groups you join with relevance to your interests, the better chance you’ll have of expanding your network properly with people you can relate with.

Observe Group Conversations

Once you join a group, you might not want to jump right into conversations. People in groups are generally familiar with one another, so they may not like it if you barge in on their discussions. Instead, sit back and observe conversations for a few days or a couple of weeks. See how the group members interact with one another, so you’re able to fit in more naturally once you become more active in the group.

Introduce Yourself

After you’ve made your observations and determined the group is a good fit, make a nice introduction to the group. Tell them to visit your LinkedIn profile to learn your background, but also tell them things about yourself that aren’t on your profile. The more you tell about yourself, the wider range of people you’ll be able to relate to. When you’re trying to boost your LinkedIn profile with more connections, relating to people is the best way to go.

Be Active

LinkedIn groupsWhen you’ve introduced yourself, be sure to reply to any comments welcoming you to the group. From that point on, people are at least familiar with your name and would enjoy having you in discussions. One mistake people often make is not being active in a group, so other members will forget about you. Activity in LinkedIn groups is the best way to expand your network.

Professional Resume Services is dedicated to helping professionals and executives boost their LinkedIn profiles by giving the best tips on LinkedIn profile development. Feel free to reach out to us any time for tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile and expand your network at the same time.

By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Find Erin at http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.

LinkedIn profile tutorial** Check out Career Confidential's LinkedIn Profile Tutorial that includes more information on how to utilize LinkedIn groups in your job search and career growth.