Thursday, January 12, 2006

Using LinkedIn To Get A Specific Position

How can one use LinkedIn to find employment? Here are some ideas I posted to the Yahoo! Group MyLinkedInPowerForum in response to a query from a recent college graduate looking for a position related to web design in the Washington D.C. area:

0) Of course, build your LinkedIn network using tips posted within this group's
messages and all over the 'net.

1) Use LinkedIn to connect to all of your former classmates and professors. Note that professors are often overlooked, but many professors have key contacts in sundry industries, not just academia. Assuming you made a good impression in school, when you ask one of these people to forward a LinkedIn request for you (e.g. to a potential employer), they will be add a note about what a great student you were.

2) Send LinkedIn requests for informational interviews to those who are a) at companies in which you are interested, and/or b) in positions in which you are interested in (in the short term or the long term). Here's a good guide to informational interviews: http://www.career.fsu.edu/ccis/guides/infoint.html

3) For a company in which you're interested, send a LinkedIn request to someone on the inside to see if they will submit applications for you. Often this can be a win-win situation: Your application might get more attention being submitted by an employee, and the employee may be able to earn a referral bonus
if you get hired.

4) For a position in which you're interested, use any contacts you've made at the company (from 2 and/or 3 above) to find out who the hiring manager is. See if you can initiate a conversation with them directly. Some managers may turn you down, saying that policy is for HR to handle all requests about positions. Yet in other situations, talking directly to the manager may get you a position which you couldn't have gotten otherwise, because HR may have filtered your application out.
Shortly after I posted my advice, Liz Ryan, founder of WorldWit, wrote a response in which she cautioned against following my advice, and gives additional advice. You can read this response at Dave Taylor's blog The Intuitive Life Business Blog.

2 comments:

Jacob Share said...

Hi Rick,
Just wanted to tell you that I mentioned this post in my recent blog article:
Gigantic Tips Guide for Finding Jobs With LinkedIn

Richard Upton said...

Jacob,

Thank you for posting your comment; your Gigantic Tips Guide is a great resource!