You can join up to 50 LinkedIn Groups for your profile (plus another 50 subgroups). You might think you could never keep up with that many groups but there is more than one purpose (and a sound strategy) for joining the maximum number you can.
Just because you’re a group member doesn’t mean you need to participate, but by joining all the other members of the group will be able to see your activity updates when you post them. Simple math shows what kind of network you can create with 50 groups, some of which have thousands of members.
Depending on your objectives for using LinkedIn, you can choose groups that will contribute to your overall strategy. You can also participate in those of personal interest.
You can find the main Groups directory here: http://www.linkedin.com/directory/groups/ or by using the search box at the top of the Linkedin dashboard.
Think of your Group selections fitting into four broad areas:
- Personal Interest
- Professional Interest
- Professional Networking
- Local Networking.
Personal Interest groups would be those that might not have anything to do with your career. Perhaps your interested in martial arts or tandoori cooking. You can often find groups that reflect your hobbies.
Professional interest groups are those which related to your specific career speciality or job search goals. If you’re an Army veteran for example, you might join non-military groups related to your MOS, such as personnel, logistics or transportation, but also join groups for your old unit, veterans groups and so on.
Professional networking groups are the ones you choose because they combine elements of your personal background, education, military background and career objectives. Examples would include Alumni groups, various military-related groups and others.
Local networking groups especially with the defense industry would include those that are geared towards networking among people in a specific geographic location, such as a city or state. Examples are real groups from my area: DaytonDefense — The Dayton Area Defense Contractors Association or the Greater Columbus/Dayton Defense Technology and Intelligence Job Network.
Open or Private Groups: When you look for groups to join you’ll find two different approaches. Open groups are those that anyone can join. Private groups are moderated and when you click to join, someone will manually approve you after reviewing your Linkedin profile.
Below are 60 links to consider when putting together your LinkedIn Group selections. I have also included the number of members as of November 4, 2013. Links below take you to the group’s detail page and gives more suggestions.
Aerospace & Defence 21,523 members
Aerospace & Defense Jobs 15,681
Aerospace Professionals 10,682
Aviation Week 11,325
Cleared Connections 22,176
Cleared Networkers 2,677
ClearedJobs.Net – Active Security Clearance required 7,041
Connected Marines 5,604
Defense and Aerospace 64,513
Defense Engineering Jobs 2,841
Defense Industry Network 15,252
DOD Clearance Group 3,197
DoD Contractor Jobs 2,150
Security Clearance Jobs 15,331
The Intelligence Community 33,956
The Value Of a Veteran 11,036
The Veteran Network 2,377
Top Secret Candidates 9,913
U.S. Veteran 33,771
US Military Veterans Network 35,011
US Navy Veteran Group 5,025
Veteran CEO’s 1,080
Veteran Job Opportunities 10,299
Veteran Mentor Network 14,137
Veterans Hired 5,983