LinkedIn offers may features to assist you with your job search, and it takes time to learn about all the advantages it presents to take your career to the next level. The truth is, though, many executives aren’t proactive enough in this regard. A key aspect of your LinkedIn profile development is joining various groups related to your industry. These groups allow you to network with professionals who aren’t currently a part of your network. Whether you’re actively searching for a job or just looking to build credibility, joining groups with your LinkedIn profile is valuable. Here are a few of the most important aspects of LinkedIn groups.

Build Your Brand

You can hire an executive LinkedIn profile writer to create your actual profile, but once it’s complete, the ball’s in your court. Your LinkedIn profile is a living document, and it’s up to you to continue building your brand everyday. This means posting original articles, commenting on other original articles, participating in meaningful discussions, and more. You can build your brand by offering expertise and not expecting anything back in return. The more your name shows up in these groups in a positive manner, the better the reputation you’ll have.

Look for Ways to Learn

LinkedIn provides so many avenues to learn from others. Joining a LinkedIn group gives you a cohort of experts in your specific industry who will, no doubt, have great information to share. Use this knowledge to your advantage in your current job or use it as a springboard to land your next job. When you approach LinkedIn groups with an open mind, you may come across great opportunities you never expected going in.

Grow Your Connections

As you communicate with your LinkedIn group on various industry topics, group members will visit your LinkedIn profile. Once this happens, this is your opportunity to turn that visit into a new personal connection and grow your network. At this point, you will be able to see any updates they post to their profile and vice versa. Keeping in touch with your connections is valuable in many ways, even if you’ve never even met them in person.

Look for Networking Opportunities

As you develop connections with your LinkedIn group, you may come across individuals who live close to your home or office. Conversations in LinkedIn groups can lead to direct message conversations from your LinkedIn profile. And if there is mutual interest, you can both attend a formal networking event or simply meet up to exchange ideas, or you could offer to meet up with coffee or lunch sometime. Simply being conversational is the first step to creating valuable networking opportunities that can lead to much greater things.

LinkedIn offers many advantages beyond simply looking for a job, and many executives overlook these important aspects. You don’t have to be actively searching for a job to participate in LinkedIn groups, so be creative in how you utilize this platform to advance your career.