Two months ago I received another one of those all too familiar calls from one of my clients, Brad from Brisbane. He was frustrated and confused by LinkedIn and he felt he wasn’t getting any job leads or jobs. He was job hunting and spending a lot of his time on LinkedIn searching for quality job ads and job leads.
We had a good chat, followed by a short LinkedIn training session.
Fast forward 4 weeks later and Brad not only generated plenty of solid job leads, he also secured a new job as Financial Controller for one of Australia’s No. 1 pharmaceutical companies.
Like Brad, most LinkedIn users don’t know how to tap the value of LinkedIn or how to generate real job leads with their profile. So, I thought it might be helpful to offer my assistance.
LinkedIn regularly updates its features, but unfortunately, this constant “updating” tends to confuse the users instead of actually helping, So, dear job hunter, career changer, freelancer or contractor, if you are asking yourself, “How do I get real job leads from my LinkedIn?” then:
Here are five sure things that work:
#1 Make & Keep it Personal!
Receiving LinkedIn invitations from someone you don’t know happens to all of us. And, honestly, no matter how long you have been on LinkedIn it’s still a strange experience.
I personally believe that LinkedIn makes it too easy to send an invitation to connect with anyone with absolutely no context, especially via the incessant feature: “People You May Know” page.
If you have 500+ connections and they are not doing anything for you, read this: It’s not who you know, it’s who wants to know you!
When you send a LinkedIn invite, always keep it personal, keep it short and simple and tell them with a personal touch why you want to connect. Give them a good reason to say yes.
- Use the person’s name
- Mention where/how you met (if you’ve met in person) e.g. an event, via a common friend, meeting, a conference, social situation, etc.
- Offer something of value based on your review of the person’s profile or your personal knowledge of the individual
- Explain how you can help the person or how he/she could help you
- Help the person feel good about the connection and don’t just use standard lines such as “I would be honoured to have you join my LinkedIn network.” Instead, pick the reason or points that are most relevant to the situation
- Include a friendly closing statement and avoid being overly formal
#2 Trim Your Network
What matters most on LinkedIn is the quality of your network, not the quantity. So, trim your network and apply the learning from point one. A smaller number of connections means you engage with connections that are important to you because they want to engage with you. Downsizing your list isn’t hard.
Here is how I regularly trim down my network connections:
- People you feel will be breaking out into another career
- Friends in your social circles but who have a place in your business circle as well
- Meaningful connections you made professionally, such as through an industry event
- The ones you love, like or have a great connection with
- People who you can’t recognise by name, face or employer
- People you feel were mainly around because you were trying to “sell” to them in a former job
- People you feel were mainly trying to “sell” you and are no longer relevant to your situation
- Most freelancers, such as photographers, insurance agents and graphic designers to name a few
- People in your network who have not engaged with you in any shape or form the last 12 months
#3 Give Two – Ask One Back aka Leverage Your Knowledge
Too many status updates or group discussions are actually self-promotion. LinkedIn is a professional network, not just a jobsite. Of course, we all mingle or network for ulterior business or job hunting reasons, but you have to do it right if you want to get traction. Refrain from the “all about you” approach and instead post about a LinkedIn connection who is doing something of value to other LinkedIn users. Focussing attention on connections in your LinkedIn network offers three instant outcomes:
- It shows your network and your followers that you are a resource who has something to give instead of someone blaring for attention.
- It gets the attention of your LinkedIn connections.
- It puts you on equal footing with that person’s network.
Here’s a recent post from my blog on how to leverage your skills and experience to secure a job:
An easy social media scheduling app to keep on top of sharing news about your network is to queue up LinkedIn updates in Buffer. I use it regularly when ideas come my way.
#4 Consistently Connect On More Than One Network
It is 2017, not 2009, and most switched-on professionals who have something to say or do interesting things promote their skills and experience on more than one platform. If you’ve connected on LinkedIn, check if you can also follow him/her on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Github, Angel.co ….you name it. Work out where people in your tribe mingle, what platforms and social networks they use and then consider connecting. But, a word of caution – don’t stalk them.
There is more to all of us than our resume. The same goes for your LinkedIn connections. By locating them, listening, and responding, you can often get a better insight into their personalities and interests. I use LinkedIn to observe industry trends and pressures, Facebook for my private social life, and Twitter as a search tool for hot topics.
#5 Track – Follow Back – Foster
It’s pretty simple. When people respond to your activity in posts or updates, or when they engage with you in conversation in groups, they are interested in you. They have become fans.
Keep track, follow back and foster the relationship to enable great things to happen in due course.
Here is how:
Write a response. Invite new people to connect, and ask questions about their experiences or challenges or how you can contribute with insight, skill or experience to something that matters to them. See Point 1. This is how you generate genuine networking opportunities and also potential genuine job leads.
You can connect with LinkedIn users all over the world, but what does it all mean? How can you cut through the clutter and generate leads?
The answer is simply. Focus on quality. Make and keep it personal at all times. Leverage your knowledge. Track, follow & foster your relationships and focus on genuine human interaction. And, as always, remember to hunt wisely!