Wait, There’s More…
Networking on LinkedIn!
You did it! You just conquered updating your LinkedIn profile! Congratulations for persevering and choosing the perfect headshot, casual collar, yet professional. You added new keywords to your Headline, just like they told you to do, and finished up a day of edits on your About section.
They told you to be a bit casual, even used the word, chatty. “What’s ‘chatty?’” You tried out ‘I’ sentences over third person with thanks to your colleague for the tip. You learned recruiters get bored rereading exact paragraphs transferred to LinkedIn from your resume. So, sadly the ‘cut and paste’ from your resume is out.
It’s done! Celebrate with dinner out.
But wait, there is more…
Well done, you found a job posting for Salesforce on LinkedIn, and you applied. Now you plan to confidently wait for their recruiter to contact you for a first interview, certain your experience is an exact match for the job. And, actually, it is.
But wait there is more…
In the back of your mind is that word, Networking. Someone told you that Networking on LinkedIn is the ultimate answer to finding a job. Networking on LinkedIn has an ROI of 80%. You won’t admit you have no idea what ROI has to do with a job search. Return On Investment, but you’re not investing in stocks. You are looking for a job. Then your neighbor explained that ROI is job search lingo meaning an investment of your time. 80% of jobs are landed thru networking, thru someone you know.
But wait there is still more…
Networking on LinkedIn can be done without having to go to a dinner party, carrying hastily printed business cards shoved in your right pocket, poised to hand to anyone who already has a job.
Take the job at Salesforce you applied for. LinkedIn eliminates standing around at the hors d’oeuvres table, pretending to be networking.
First, find the Search box at the top of your LinkedIn profile. It has a very clever magnifying glass. Type into the space, Salesforce. Simple. You can do that. Now you have some choices to make. LinkedIn calls them Filters. Choose, People. That means that anyone who works at Salesforce, or the People who used to work there, will show up as a list.
But it’s a daunting list. A lot of people work at Salesforce, maybe thousands around the world. You want to make the list smaller, manageable, and hopefully find someone you know. Go to Location, and type in where you live or the metropolitan city close by.
Now your list magically shrinks to people that live nearby, and you just may know a few.
You surprisingly discover that two people are on the list that you forgot you knew, colleagues you used to work with. And, better yet, these two colleagues, now your new best friends, are currently working at Salesforce.
But wait there’s more…
First, connect to both unsuspecting friends on LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives you an easy button labeled, Connect, which you simply click to connect, and you can also write a quick personal note before sending it. Something like, “I’d like to connect on LinkedIn with you. After we worked together at (your mutual company), I see that you moved on to Salesforce. I would like to learn more about the company in general. Would you be free for a short 20-minute phone call soon?”
You did it! You are networking on LinkedIn!
You have reached a specific colleague, at a targeted company with an outcome you have communicated. You simply want to learn more about Salesforce and what it is like to work there. Most former colleagues like to reconnect, so nine out of ten, you will receive a positive yes. Glad to talk. And you are off and running.
So, the phone call is set for Tuesday at 10 AM. Now what?
DON’T ASK: ‘Do you know of any openings at Salesforce?’
First of all, you already know of an opening because you applied for it. Instead, with all of the confidence of not caring one way or the other, whether Salesforce ever contacts you for a phone screen, you ask, “How is it going for you at Salesforce? How do you like it there? Salesforce is a company I’ve targeted and wonder what you think?”
From there, the conversation will take off on its own. Just stay engaged, positive about your future, excited for your job change, without a care in the world that your electric bill is overdue.
People are attracted to positive, confident former colleagues who are ‘exploring the job market’ and just want to land in a company that is a good fit. Not in a big hurry.
Likely, your LinkedIn-discovered former colleague will give you all kinds of helpful information, perhaps even introduce you to others at the company, and if you really hit it big, will offer to walk your resume to the recruiter for the position. That’s a bullseye.
Your colleagues may not know about a specific job opening. But at the very least, now you are top of mind. Employees are usually glad to refer a solid colleague because they might receive a substantial bonus, possibly pay for their summer vacation.
LinkedIn is more than an online resume. A lot more. It’s your go-to place to network, reach out to former colleagues, connect to people doing what you want to do, and ultimately find a good company to reach out to for a great new job.