We are delighted to share with you a guide to virtual Networking with Jamie Zuppinger, trustee of RMA – The Royal Marines Charity.

“Networking is a key skill that the Military leaver must master – think of it as a drill.

The next step is to think of LinkedIn as virtual networking which is another essential drill that needs mastering. Think of it as a place where you are constantly networking even whilst you are asleep to over 500m people. Nearly every industry uses LinkedIn to find candidates and over 90% of all recruiters rely on the site. If you are serious about searching for a role, you must invest in the time to build your LinkedIn profile, it’s as important nowadays as your CV. In fact, it’s a dynamic extension of your CV.

Top tip: If you think only large organisation use LinkedIn you would be wrong as 59% of all LinkedIn users have never worked at a company with more than 250 people.

Some basics points to master:

  • Users who list their education appear in searches up to 17 times more often than those who don’t.
  • Location is another important detail: filling out this field with where you want to work will make you appear in up to 23 times more searches.
  • A professional-looking photo will get up to 21 times more views and up to 36 times more messages than someone without one.
  • Recruiters and HR will search LinkedIn for keywords of the job description they’re trying to fill. Placing some of these words into your skills section, summary, and work experience will make them come to you. To find what they are looking for spend some time searching for relevant jobs you would be interested in and note the specific skills they’re looking for and include at least five relevant skills. With over 11 million job listings on LinkedIn, you will be able to find lots of examples.
  • Like a CV your profile needs to be dynamic, bring it to life through key achievements and how you stand out, not just a list of responsibilities. Fill out the “summary” field with 5–6 of your biggest achievements.
  • Check spelling and Grammar carefully, remember this is your window on the World.
  • Networking on LinkedIn is key; you must build quickly to 50 plus contacts or else you will look like Billy No Mates! Join Industry Groups which interest you and build contacts through them. Once you add Education and work history LinkedIn will suggest people you already know on LinkedIn – connect and network with them.
  • Why is this so important? To give you a personal example of the power of networking on LinkedIn, I now have in excess of 2,000 direct contacts which means I can directly message over 1m people in my network across a myriad of industries. This is a useful reach to have – especially if you require an introduction, advice or help.

The above is by no way exhaustive but is designed to get you started and on the journey. But you must undertake this journey as part of your role search.

Finally, 41% of all Millionaires use LinkedIn, hopefully, with a successful transition you will add to the number! Good luck!