Posts Tagged ‘passive search’

5 Strategies for LinkedIn Job Searching

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

LinkedIn has been called the Facebook for professionals… or MySpace (dated reference) with ties. From humble origins, it has grown to become the premier professional networking site, par excellence, throughout the internet, and despite the company’s various attempts to hide its more useful features, especially for job seekers and recruiters, behind pay walls and “premium accounts”, for the most part it is still free and open and certainly one of the best tools a passive or active job seeker has available.

However, as anyone who has been a member for any length of time (and received the countless spam messages from sales and marketing professionals in India) will know, LinkedIn can be used properly and then it can be abused and what goodwill you might have generated may be quickly squandered. Nothing like putting your foot in it when thousands of people are watching. And the more connections you have collected, the more opportunities there are for that grand faux pas that has sunk the career of more than one actor, politician, sports star, and internet thug on Twitter or Facebook.

So how then does one effectively use LinkedIn for a job search without abusing it and without falling into the trap of trying to do “too much”, to the ire of connections and staff admins alike? Here are a few basic tactics to employ that don’t require a premium account or paying for InMails:

Follow a company. You will get updates on who in your network moved where. While it’s interesting to see who the “New Hires” are, more important is where they came from, as these might point toward openings at their old company. Also note what their new positions are to get an idea of a possible career path. And, of course, a company’s “Recent Departures” list also lets you know of openings.

Mine new contacts for even newer ones. Every time someone connects to you, look through his or her list of contacts. View the profiles of those that intrigue you, and reach out to a few of them, citing things like common interests, schools attended, and shared company experience, or even just mention photos they’ve posted… LinkedIn allows people to put up so much content — slide shows, groups, awards, reading lists, articles, blogs, Twitter streams — it’s very easy to find a common reason to connect.

Connect with highly visible people. Search on terms like “speaker,” “author,” “writer,” “coach,” “trainer” “evangelist,” “sales,” “keynote,” “award-winning,” or “expert.” These people are often uber-connectors with thousands of connections. When you find one in your field (or a related one), search for him or her on the Web to find something he or she has written, and send a thoughtful comment or compliment. Make sure it’s sincere. If you get a good response, follow up with an invitation to connect, but don’t pester the person if he or she ignores you. These well-connected types are very busy people. A visit to the person’s Website might reveal an upcoming speaking engagement in your area. Whatever you do, respect an uber-connector’s time. Recruiters are in their own category; they often have connections in the thousands and knowledge of job openings, but they are also overwhelmed. If you contact them, make sure you give them a good reason to link and try to be memorable.

Connect to “interesting” people. Search on an unusual interest of yours to see who else has it. You might get ideas about career direction, or a contact might be able to give you a job lead. Imagine you’re a medical assistant who likes dancing. A search on “flamenco dancer” brought up this title for one person: “Medical Doctor, Wellness Expert, International Speaker, Life Coach, Author & Flamenco Dancer.” You could reach out to say, “Wow, another person in health care who loves flamenco!” It’s a long shot, but life is made up of such coincidences.

Leverage even weak links. I once got an interview by sending a message through LinkedIn to one of my contacts, with whom, truthfully, I was only loosely connected. Not only was she someone I’d never met in real life, but I’d turned her down for an interview! (I got a job offer elsewhere.) A year after our initial connection, I was job searching again, and I noticed she was connected to someone I was targeting. It was gutsy of me to do, but I felt I had nothing to lose, so I contacted her. She forwarded my resume, and I got the interview.

Some people are keen to update their profiles to “Job Seeker” or put something rather desperate sounding in their current title or job description (like “Looking for the Next Great Opportunity!” or “THE Candidate You’ve Been Looking for!”). Always seems a little desperate and likely to attract the wrong sort of attention from recruiters and hiring managers. While it’s always good to be honest about your current job status, no need to wave around being unemployed like dirty underwear.

Get started on LinkedIn BEFORE you are out of work, so you have the resources in place beforehand and it doesn’t look like you’ve joined or become suddenly active only because you’re looking for a job. Then you’re free to use LinkedIn like your online resume for both passive and active opportunities that come up.

Good luck!

5 Tips for Using LinkedIn During Your Job Search | Maureen Nelson via Quint Careers

How to Network For A New Job — Without Losing Your Current One

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Ah, the age old conundrum: How do you get out of that job you sort of hate, without losing that job you sort of hate?

OK, maybe you don’t hate it. But if you’re looking to exit stage left (ASAP) from your current job, how do you network with other professionals—the very people who may be instrumental to your forward progress—without tipping off your colleagues (or, worse, your boss)?

Carefully, that’s how. Very carefully. Here are just a few ideas to help you pull it off.

1. Approach Networking With Genuine Interest, Rather Than Obvious Job Search Intent

If it’s imperative for you to keep a lid on the fact that you’re searching, you don’t want to approach relative strangers and immediately bust out the details about what you’re up to. Because guess what? Those relative strangers may know your boss, your colleagues, or your clients. Not ideal.

A better way to go about it is to approach people who may be helpful to the hunt in a curious, genuine manner. Ask them about their jobs, their companies, and the things they enjoy most. Probe, without coming right out and saying, “I want a job at your company. Can I give you my resume?”

Instead, be interested in and interesting to the people you approach. You can gather tons of good information about a prospective employer using this method and, if you build enough rapport and trust with this person, you may feel comfortable revealing your intentions as the conversation unfolds.

2. Be Aware of Your LinkedIn Messaging, Especially in the Headline and Summary

While you most certainly want to align your LinkedIn headline and summary sections to the requirements and preferences of your target audience, don’t make it obvious that you’re up to something.

For instance, if you’re currently working in a territory sales position but want to shift into corporate finance, it’s going to look a bit fishy if, all of the sudden, you’re showcasing nothing but your finance strengths on LinkedIn. Certainly, you can—and should—weave some of this messaging in (and reach out to people in the financial sector as you network), but keep in mind that your current boss and co-workers may be popping by your profile. And, yes, they’ll wonder what you’re up to.

Likewise, if you join any career or job search related groups on LinkedIn, hide the logos from your profile. Nothing screams “Hey, I’m looking!” quite like a bunch of job seeker group logos.

3. Consider Volunteering at, Instead of “Attending” Certain Networking Events

I worked with a client—a covert job seeker—who revealed that he’d recently attended a local career networking event. Five minutes in, he bumped into the director of marketing at his current employer. Hello, awkward moment. He still can’t look her in the eye, and it’s been three weeks.

One great alternative to this scenario is to consider volunteering at job search networking events. Just call up the coordinator and see if she needs someone to work the registration desk or help out with other tasks. That way, you get all of the benefits of the networking opportunity (typically, at no cost), and if you bump into the director of marketing? You have a perfectly good explanation for being there.

4. Be Careful Who You Tell

People love to blab. They just love to. So, for the love, don’t count on colleagues (unless they are beyond tight confidants) to keep mum when you whisper, “I’m trying to get outta here” in their ears. Pick your networking people wisely.

Likewise, when you begin interviewing, be sure and emphasize to everyone in your path (including recruiters and prospective employers) that your search is confidential. Mention it more than once.

It’s definitely tricky navigating a career transition when you’ve got to fly under the radar, but it’s by no means impossible. Networking will (truly) get you everywhere in job search, so don’t scrap it entirely out of fear you’ll get caught.

Instead, get scrappy. And strategic. You may have a job that you sort of hate, but don’t lose it before you’ve landed that job you really love.