A candidate recently asked me, “How do I find a hiring manager in a large company like Microsoft?” There are a lot of ways to do this but one of the easiest and best is using LinkedIn. When I recommended this to the candidate he completely agreed, however, the problem was he only had about 60 connections. Too few to be effective.
So often I speak with candidates that just don’t understand the value of LinkedIn as a job search tool. We constantly are sent invitations to join someone’s network only to find after months of searching they are just now starting build a LinkedIn network. You should consider building your LinkedIn networking all the time. NOT JUST WHEN IN A JOB SEARCH.
Some benefits to a large LinkedIn database of contacts:
People can find you. The more people at the second and third degrees of separation the more times you will show up in a search. For example, I have around 500 contacts. However, I am linked to over 5 million people on LinkedIn. When I search for a candidate that is a huge database. LinkedIn will eliminate the need for resume databases on Ladders, Monster, Careerbuilder and other job boards. This is because it costs on average between 5,000 and 10,000 dollars to have access to these resume databases. LinkedIn is free. Why would a recruiter or any company pay that when we can use LinkedIn for free. Resumes databases by the job boards are not pick up by Google or any search engine. These are the ones you want to make sure you show up on. LinkedIn is and you can even improve your search results for as little as $25 a month. (See prior blog article SEO Your Search On Google) It helps you find the people you want an introduction to. This is very powerful. I have helped numerous people with introductions as a result of LinkedIn. On a weekly basis I receive requests indicating they found a person in my connections and would I make an introduction. I always agree. Even when working this is a great tool for resources, customer contacts and introductions, references, service providers and even potential hires for you or your company. On a personal basis it is a great way to stay in-touch with friends, colleagues, prior employees and networking contacts. When you update your profile they will get a notice and likewise when they update theirs.
Work hard at building your connections. Make every effort to reach that magic 500+. If you use Outlook download the LinkedIn tool bar. It makes inviting people very easy.
There are many more positives to building your LinkedIn network than there are negatives. Many have resisted. I believe this recession has proven to be good thing for everyone’s network.
If you have other ideas share them by adding a comment. Lets help everyone build a strong network.
A good way to start is building a network is making sure your profile is complete. If it isn’t start there and then begin expanding your contacts. Don’t miss the opportunity to get a high ranking on Google.
You can download for free our “8 Matrix LinkedIn Profile Assessment” tool.
Our complete job search home study course the, “Career Success Factor Methodology” is a comprehensive resource that covers all 5 steps in an effective job search. You can review the complete system for just $14.95. We will even pay the shipping and to ensure your success include in a copy of our job search workbook. To review the Career Success Factor Methodology CLICK HERE.