How To Use LinkedIn to Find Mentors and Build Your Network

I started LinkedIn Strategy by Nnenna Umelloh in January 2019 because LinkedIn is severally underutilized by business owners and professionals. About three years prior to launching this business, I founded Achievement Consulting by Nnenna Umelloh. As a millennial entrepreneur, I understood the importance of social media in growing and sustaining my business. Social media platforms, namely FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn, have been the lifeblood of my career as a Higher Education Consultant. 

LinkedIn especially has been quite rewarding because it gave me the platform I needed to grow meaningful relationships with other entrepreneurs and professionals. In fact, the first touchpoint I had with my first mentor was on LinkedIn. 

Although LinkedIn is severally underutilized, fortunately finding mentors on LinkedIn is not rocket science. 

#1 Tap into your alumni network

The first place to look for a mentor is in your alumni network. LinkedIn has made it extraordinarily easy to do so. Virtually every university on the platform has an alumni pool. The best part about this network is that they’re not restricted to any particular city. That means you can connect with alumni from around the world!

Need advise on how to enter a market in Australia?

Trying to transition from oil and gas to the entertainment industry?

Want to learn some pointers on how to advance your career?

LinkedIn can help you get in touch with the right people to accomplish all these goals.

Step 1: Type in your university into the search bar

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Step 2: Navigate to the Alumni tab

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Step 3: Filter based on key characteristics

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One of the benefits of using LinkedIn to find mentors is that you can be fairly specific in the type of people you want to find. LinkedIn allows you to filter people based on location, where they work, what they do, what they studied, what they’re skilled at, how you are connected and when they graduated.

For instance, if I was looking for advice on how to land a job at Google but I was not interested in relocating, I can filter my search results to only show me alumni who work at Google, but live in Austin.

#2 Search by a specific company

Sometimes your alumni network may not recruit talent from your university. Another way to find mentors is to look for people in a specific company. This is especially useful if you are looking for advice that is industry or regional specific.

LinkedIn will allow you to filter people at specific industries based on location, past companies, industry, school, and title.

Step 1: Type the company name

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Step 2: Click “See all employees”

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Step 3: Set your filters

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This type of search query will help you find the right professionals in a specific industry who have the skills and experience to help you out. The search query I have above would pull up a list of people who work at Google, were located in Austin, Texas, were previously employed by Microsoft and work in Marketing.

#3 Follow “what people are talking about now”

LinkedIn has a cool feature that will allow you to track what people are talking about now. They have an algorithm that will allow you to digest the most relevant information quickly. The people who bubble to the top of these lists and mentions tend to be industry leaders and experts.

Take a leap of faith and reach out to these thought leaders for guidance.

The trick is to tap into a thread that you find most appealing and relevant.

Step 1: Navigate to the top right of your LinkedIn feed

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Step 2: Pick a relevant thread

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Step 3: Read curated content

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Once you read the curated content, you’ll get a good idea of what is going on at the moment and who’s leading the conversation on those topics. Go ahead and send a LinkedIn request to people who you believe will be able to help you out.

Before you send a LinkedIn request…

Do your research! Take the time to learn about the person and their career. Also be sure that your profile is neat, informative and up-to-date. The people you reach out to are at the top of their game for a reason. Make sure you can add value to their network if you do end up sending a request.

LinkedIn will allow you to add a note before you send a request. Always add a note. In that note, be specific about your intentions for sending them a request. Chances are you are in need of help or guidance so say so. This is not the time to ask for a job or an introduction. The goal is to learn from their experience to help you build your career.

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These tips can help you find the right people who can help you build your career, but this won’t happen over night. Chances are you will be rejected often. That’s normal. It’s also a time investment to find the right people.

As a LinkedIn Strategist, I can help you find the right people you need to connect with in order to expand your network and build your career. This whole process is a part of a greater service I have dubbed LinkedIn Diving. I can get you a list of 40-50 people who meet your specific needs.

Whether your trying to grow your business or build your career, you’ll need a coalition of mentors to help you get there. Use LinkedIn to help build a team of people who support you and your goals.

3 Easy Ways to use LinkedIn to Find Mentors Infographic

Infographic succintly describing how to use LinkedIn to find mentors across industries

How did you meet you current mentors? Share your experience in the comments sections.

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