How to get real job leads from LinkedIn and secure jobs

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.

ulrich schild LinkedIn profile

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.


Here’s how:

  • 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:

Definite Keepers

  • 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

Bye Bye

  • 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:

  1. It shows your network and your followers that you are a resource who has something to give instead of someone blaring for attention.
  2. It gets the attention of your LinkedIn connections.
  3. 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: 

best times to post on LinkedIn

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, ….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 qualityMake and keep it personal at all times.  Leverage your knowledgeTrack, follow & foster your relationships and focus on genuine human interaction. And, as always, remember to hunt wisely!



The Job Hunter Insights the Recruiters Don’t Talk About

Every day thousands of job hunters are online searching for quick answers and solutions to secure a new job. Too many don’t realise that they are just doing the same things everyone else is doing.  I want to share with you some insights that HR professionals don’t talk about. Read more

25 Ways To Generate Job Leads (That Actually Work)

“What is the best source for finding good jobs and Generate Job Leads?” How do you generate job leads… and “Where should I focus my time?” Read more

Two Kick Ass Job Alternatives That You’re Probably Totally Qualified To Do.

Everyone dreams of having or finding a more exciting job. But those dreams tend to be quickly crushed by the realisation that all the really kickass jobs are the ones that require the kind of training or experience that is next to impossible for most of us to acquire without capturing a wish-granting elf. Read more

5 Ways to Get a Job Without a Resume

When job hunting, many people obsess over their resume. Is it the right length? The right format? Is it stylish enough? Well, I have some news for you: stop obsessing about your resume and look at some alternatives to score a job interview. Hiring managers and recruiters will love you for it.

Here are the ways to get a job without a resume:

Hiring professionals dislike the whole “resume” business as much as you do. If you offer any opportunity to avoid it, they happily welcome it and most will actually go for it. You will only end up as another resume in an ATS like most job hunters who like to do things the old-fashioned way by following the ‘rules’. There are other ways to get noticed by a hiring manager outside of tricking a computer with keywords…

I have five alternatives to save you time and get you right in front of the hiring professional.

# 1 Referrals from current and past employees

This one is great because employees who are referred to an organisation already have a personal connection through the past/present employee. Also, people who are referred to a job generally stay longer and are more engaged at work. Managers at all levels love this, which is an added bonus for you, the job seeker.

# 2 Recommendations from their own professional networks

The personal connection comes up again with this strategy. Your professional network can be a real asset if used effectively. The advice I can give you here is that you should research your connection and the position carefully to make sure they are a fit. If you get this wrong it can be a real tarnish on your reputation.

# 3 Connections on LinkedIn/Facebook

Following from #2, using your social networking platforms is a great idea. I’m not talking about putting a status update that says “So broke, need a job… LOL”, but using these platforms to create a personal connection. This is especially true for people who you may have worked/socialised with a few years ago, but have since drifted apart. Be strategic with who you talk to and about what you talk about. If you know someone in a position that can help you get a job, or can refer you to someone else, then these are the people to talk to. Always make sure that you are not too forthcoming with your needs – don’t forget these are people with their own feelings. Warm up the contact first with a brief catch up before bombarding them.

#4 Conversations with Twitter followers

Not many people know that twitter can be an awesome job search tool. This best kept secret won’t last forever, so you should definitely use this sooner rather than later. This post is a great starting point for those who don’t know where to begin. If you have been using twitter already, then check out this post for a more advanced guide.

# 5 cold-call introductions

If you’re feeling gutsy and ambitious, then cold calling an employer of choice is a great idea. Almost no one does it, and for good reason – it can be nerve wracking and intimidating. But for those who do this, the hiring manager will definitely remember you for being a go-getter. This is particularly important for companies that are not hiring. I’ve heard stories of positions being created for people who do this. It demonstrates the sort of value employers can never get enough of – determination. This is the sort of behaviour that can make you an asset to a business. To do this you need to have an angle – how can you help them? Can you solve a pain-point that they are currently experiencing? To answer these questions you need to do your research on the company

So there you have it, the above are all alternate methods that don’t rely on resumes by which hiring managers fill open positions. Have you ever used any of these, or used another strategy that worked? Tell us in the comments below.

As always, remember to Keep it Simple Sunshine



Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It…

Uni students – let’s be realistic about the jobs we work. Most of the time, they’re a bit crap. It’s easy to let your motivation fall and to get bitter about work. But it doesn’t have to be this way. I have three ideas to help you stay motivated at work.

Read more

Time is Your Most Valuable Asset: Don’t waste it!

Have you ever wondered why job hunting seems like such a bore? It’s because you’re eventually wasting a lot of time looking for the wrong type of job. I’m going to put forward that job hunting can be an exciting time for you… if you follow these steps.

Read more

When job hunting chews up your mojo (and 8 ways to get motivated)

Let’s be honest, for most job hunters it’s a tough game out there. While many job seekers feel like they’re powerless to change their situation, the feeling of hitting brick walls while looking for that next professional gig doesn’t have to be a drainer on your mojo. Instead, here are some ways how you can recharge your job search “mojo” and reclaim your motivation. Read more

Job Hunting: It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Wants To Know You

I am sure you have heard this adage before: “It’s not what you know, but who you know”. I think it’s old fashioned. This phrase may be spot on for business, but if you are in job hunting mode what you should really be thinking is: It’s not who you know, it’s who wants to know you. Read more

Passion is Bullshit

My client Michael Z believed that Passion is Bullshit – and I agreed. Apologies upfront. I know, closing the blogging year with such a controversial headline might not be suitable for everyone. My business partner and I just met in the office to clean up old emails, discuss strategy and prepare for the New Year. We had just finished, opened a beer reflected on our most memorable client of the year. Here is my story of my Most Memorable Client of 2014.

In early November of this year, Michael Z – name changed – was referred to me for 1on1 job search coaching because our Booking Coordinator, Susan, thought he would be a hard case to service. What was Michael’s problem? Simply put, he had lost his mojo — he kept telling himself that he had lost his passion for the job.

Michael had been unemployed since May 2014 when he was made redundant from his position as Customer Service Manager for a big Australian retailer and things had been going downhill since then.

I met with him for a 45 minute skype session and a short while later for a second personal 1on1 session in our Melbourne office. I realised right after the first session that Susan was right with her first assessment. Michael was really feeling down. He truly had lost his energy and his belief in anything he ever thought had made his work life special. He had lost his passion.

He kept referring to his “loss of passion” at the start, during and the end of nearly everything he explained to me and, no matter what angle I took to engage Michael in a different kind of mindset, our sessions went nowhere. He was convinced that he had become unemployable.

So I agreed with Michael that Passion is Bullshit and told him to give up.

I am not kidding. Why should I tell you to think differently if all you want to hear is that Passion is Bullshit?  Because Michael was right! He was stunned, since he obviously expected something else for his booking fee.

We shook hands and I offered to refund his fee but only if he did one last thing before he gave up. All I wanted him to do was to read a book by Scott Adams and call me when he was finished and if he still felt like giving up, I would fully refund his booking fees.

The Book is titled: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Yep—I am not kidding, it occasionally helps to refer clients to other specialists. It worked, Michael is fine now.

It took him 4 days to finish the book and only another 3 weeks to secure a job interview and find a new job. Nothing has changed. Michael still believes that Passion is largely Bullshit—but Michael has learned that it is he who has to deal with the truth. His problem was not job search related. His problem was, loss of faith, believe and mojo. Not Passion.

So if you are stuck with this type of problem, don’t give up—there is a job for you out there, just try to deal with the truth. Try the book – it is brilliant and fun to read, very uplifting and so true. If you are stuck with job search matters contact us.

Have a great NYE celebration, be safe and Look Out for your friends and family and when you go back to the job hunt in 2015 always remember to hunt wisely!

Your Job Search Coach