As you probably already know, I am very active on LinkedIn as a LinkedIn Open Networker or LION. I accept all invitations, and I respond to each invitation with asking my new connections how I might be able to help them. I often get the following response, which I again received just this week:
I do have a question you may be able to help with. I’m attaching my resume so you can get an idea about my skills and experience, but if you were in my shoes, what would you do in finding an opportunity in the XXX metropolitan area? You have any contacts I might get in touch with here in XXX? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
I would like to devote this blog post to all of those who are using LinkedIn while in transition and looking for a way to make networking work for you by reaching out to people like myself. I hope it gives you enough information to allow myself, as part of your extended network, to help you find your next job! And I hope that this blog post also makes you understand how and why I respond to you when you ask the above question the way I do!
So here are my suggestions as to how I, and your network, can help you find a job on LinkedIn:
1) Consider Purchasing My LinkedIn Book
Look, I am not here to sell you my book. But, as a former active jobseeker who used LinkedIn as my primary job searching and networking tool, I do give the potential jobseeker 300+ pages (more pages than LinkedIn for Dummies!), more content devoted to helping you leverage and maximize your presence on the social networking site than any other book on the market. Plus, I wrote the book with personal branding in mind; in other words, if you follow the advice in my book, you’ll be able to create a heavily branded Rockstar LinkedIn Profile that will help you attract recruiters. You can also read reviews on my Books page from others that have read it as well as the Windmill Networking success story of my editor who found a job on LinkedIn using my advice before the book was ready for publishing! I’ll stop here.
2) Connect with Me as well as Some Other Super Connectors
If we’re not yet connected, please send me an invitation to connect from my LinkedIn Profile. Here are ten other LinkedIn super connectors that you should connect to. Why? They will help you increase your visibility in the LinkedIn database, and thus there will be a greater chance that you will actually be able to find the Hiring Manager for a particular company when you search for them. And, I am sure many of the people on the list, in addition to myself, will help you get connected through Introductions should you need them. Finally, as a result of this, you will also be more easily found by others using the reverse logic! Brilliant! Yet so few people realize this…
3) Use LinkedIn Companies to Create Your Target List of Companies You Want to Work For
Without a target list of who you want to sell your product to, how I can help advertise for you? Without knowing what specific companies you might be interested in, how can I help you? You know the industries and types of companies that you are interested in working at. Use LinkedIn Companies to find companies where you want to work at close to where you live that are in your target industry and look like they will be a good fit. Create a list to send on to your network. Anything from a few companies to 30 or even 50 companies is fair game, but it will be an important resource that will allow your network to more easily help you. If you don’t like using this Companies application for whatever reason, fine, go ahead and use Hoovers.com. Doesn’t matter: you just want to create a target list of companies out of the exercise.
4) Search for the Hiring Manager for the Position You are Looking for at Each of Those Target Companies
Now that you know who your target companies are, search the LinkedIn database using Advanced People Search for people at those companies that you may be able to meet for an informational interview. These would be people that you are already connected to that may have landed jobs at these companies without you knowing it! 1st degree connections that work at companies on your target list should always be your first line of offense when trying to attack your target companies. From there, you may be able to get a nice introduction to the Hiring Manager or find out you may not want to work at that company after all!
What if you know no one at the target company? Do a search for who the Hiring Manager may be for the role that you are seeking. But even if you are in the same LinkedIn Group, don’t send them a message yet…
5) Contact Me or Whoever in Your Network that is Directly Connected to That Person and Ask for an Introduction
The golden rule in professional networking is that a “warm lead” or introduction from a trusted associate of your target person will always be more effective than a cold call. LinkedIn tells you who connects you with the Hiring Manager. All you need to do now is ask for the Introduction.
And keep in mind another golden rule, this one from sales: You won’t get the order (or the Introduction…or the Job!) unless you ask for it! Start thinking more like a sales hunter and go out there and engage. At least you will gain some valuable networking experience, find out more about potential companies to work at, and you may even make some friends Windmill Networking along the way. I know I have!
Make sense? Anything else that you would recommend I do to help you find a job? The microphone is now yours! Please let me know!