Following on from our post about LinkedIn profiles last week, Part 2 of our LinkedIn for Motorsport guide takes you through the benefits of the platform for networking in the motorsport industry. LinkedIn is hugely beneficial for anyone looking for a career in motorsport. It has jobs, groups and industry updates which can only help when it comes to advancing your career in this highly competitive industry.
Statistics show that 45% of LinkedIn users are in senior management – just the sort of people who you will be working with or for in the future. Now that you’ve got your profile sorted, let’s look at ways of using the platform to network your way to a new job….
For anyone who hasn’t used LinkedIn before, the platform is based on connections, rather than ‘friends’. Unlike most social media platforms, your profile is solely work related and your connections will usually be work colleagues, tutors and suppliers, contractors or other people you have met during your time in the workplace. That’s not to say you’ll personally know all of your contacts and this point takes us back to making sure that your profile stands out.
Building your ‘network’ of connections can be critical to helping you on your path to a career in motorsport. You can use the platform to connect to recruiters, industry influencers, future line managers and team bosses. It’s then down to them whether they accept your connection request. If your profile says that you are currently working in a fast food outlet but looking for a job in motorsport, chances are they’ll ignore you. If your profile makes it clear that you are on your way to becoming a fully-fledged motorsport engineer or graduate with a specialist interest in hybrid engineering, they may just accept your request.
Nowadays there’s a function to include a note when you send a connection request. This is good practice as it gives you the opportunity to explain that you are using the platform to improve your industry knowledge and network. Don’t be offended if people don’t accept straight away. This isn’t Facebook or Instagram where everyone checks their feed every five minutes. Nearly half of LinkedIn users access their account from a laptop or desktop, suggesting the most people only use the platform during work hours. Some may not access their profiles even weekly and others may simply not have time or desire to ‘network’ outside of people they know. Don’t, for instance, send Ross Brawn a connection request and be offended when he doesn’t accept. He must get hundreds each week!
If you don’t know who you’d like to connect to by name, LinkedIn’s search function will bring up people, jobs, content and groups relevant to your search. It will also give you other suggestions which may be helpful or related to your search.
Beware the Share!
LinkedIn is predominately a B2B (Business 2 Business) platform. Companies and individuals fill your feed with interesting stories, updates, articles and imagery. Don’t forget, this is a business platform and anything you like, share or post is visible to anyone in your network, depending on your privacy settings. Consider very carefully what you share or comment on and decide whether it is something which prospective employers will look favourably on.
Look at LinkedIn as your own personal PR platform. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion, start conversations, comment on current stories and share ideas. This is what the platform was designed for. You’ll meet all kinds of like minded folk from the motorsport community once you get involved.
Despite the huge benefits LinkedIn can have for your career its also too often used in inappropriate ways with sometime hilarious consequences. Some people have been known to push their own personal agenda, share pictures of their animals/boats/cars and even boast about their personal life. You can read some of the most embarrassing posts from the world of LinkedIn on this sometimes hilarious Twitter account. Or this one…
Groups are, in our opinion, the best thing about LinkedIn. They allow you to be part of an industry specific virtual network of people who all have one common interest. From forums on motorsport engineering innovations to job specific groups, you will find hundreds of interesting Groups to join.
Here are some of our favourites:
- Professional Motorsport Engineers Group
- Motorsport Professionals Group
- Jobs and Careers in Motorsport
- Mechanical Engineering Forum
LinkedIn’s slightly cringe-worthy mantra is “People you know, talking about things you care about.” This does however epitomise the Groups function perfectly.
There are over 10 million company profiles on LinkedIn and almost every team, manufacturer and mover-and-shaker in the motorsport world will be on there. This is where you’ll find jobs within the industry as well as the latest updates on new technology, team news and company information to help you with your interview preparation. You can ‘follow’ company pages to ensure that you get the latest news on your feed every day.
To make sure you stay up to date with the best opportunities for careers in motorsport as well as latest industry news, try following some of these:
- Follow us for a start! National Motorsport Academy
- Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains
- Toyota Motorsport GmbH
- M-Sport Ltd
- Formula 1
LinkedIn now has a feature showing ‘Community Hashtags’ on your home page. Most people, companies and job adverts now feature searchable hashtags to allow you to find relevant posts. If you are sharing an update or article on LinkedIn, it’s now best practice to hashtag your post to allow others outside of your network to find it.
Get Yourself Out There!
Accessing a career motorsport is easy when you use the digital tools that are out there. Social media platforms are a fantastic way to look for jobs, carry out company research and reach out to people in the industry who can help you find the perfect position or placement. You’ll find recruiters eager to connect and that can often be the first step towards getting the job of your dreams.
To find out more about careers in the motorsport industry, why not take a look at the new Industry Zone on our website. Over the coming weeks you’ll find new pages for our Motorsport Industry Directory, Motorsport Careers Advice and other industry related content to help you have the best chance of securing a career in this great industry.
You can also visit our blog to read our regular Hot Jobs in Motorsport feature!