I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “It’s not about what you know but who you know,” right? Well I agree with this statement 100%, especially when it comes to searching for jobs. In this post, I’m going to let you in on a secret that will help you meet these important people. The secret is LinkedIn. Becoming familiar with and learning how to navigate LinkedIn can be a career saver and propel you into positions that you’d never imagine that you could be in. I’m going to explain a few tips to find those key connections on LinkedIn to find that exact opportunity that you’ve been searching for.
Build Your LinkedIn Profile
The most important step of this process is creating an attractive LinkedIn profile. Your profile is your first impression and your potential connections will base their judgments of it. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep your personal information (name, location, current position, education, etc.) and your past experiences updated at all times. You should also always keep an updated resume attached to your profile. Next, you can add things like interests, skills, and volunteer experiences among other things. During this process, I would encourage you to focus on the “Strengthen Your Profile” box that is prompted each time you log in and view your profile. Each time you see this box, update one item that it displays. This is an easy way to gradually make your profile more attractive.
Once your profile is ready to go, it’s time to make connections. To do this, we will be using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search tool. You can find this by clicking on the magnifying glass next to the search box near the top of the page. Once there, you will click on “people” under the search box and then focus in on the filters on the right side of the page.
Personally, I focus on the location, industry, and school when I am filtering for people to connect with. This is just my personal preference. I focus on the location because I typically want to find someone that I can easily meet in person, industry so that I can talk to someone with experience in my desired field of work, and finally I filter for alumni from my school because they are typically the most likely to help. Once you’ve filtered the list to your liking, glance through the list of people and write down 10+ names. Another way you can easily find people to connect with is to use a people search tool, such as herosearches.com.
Now this is where you will make your money. Draft a short statement to send out to each person on your list as you request to connect with them on LinkedIn (You can send them all the same message). This statement should include at least an introduction of yourself and a question requesting advice about something. You are asking for advice because you want to build relationships with these people, not just ask for a job. Remember it is better to surround yourself professionally with like company. If you want to work in digital marketing spend time researching advertising agencies. If you want to get a job working for a local law firm, reach out to other lawyers. Build and foster these relationships. Eventually ask to meet in-person to ask more questions. Once you have built a relationship, you can then ask about possible job opportunities. It’s important to do this after you’ve built the relationship because if you ask too early, you may rub them the wrong way.
It’s not about what you know, but who you know. The point of this process is to create opportunities for yourself. Find the courage to reach out to these people. The worse they can do is not respond. If you do these things, new doors will be opened for you in no time.
About the Author
My name is DaSean Daniels. I am 23 years old and I’m about to start my final year of undergrad. I’ve been blessed and fortunate enough to have worked three internships since I’ve been in school and the above tips have worked wonders for me. I also write my own blog, MoneyRookie.com, that targets beginners in personal finance. Its goal is to provide simple yet detailed money management and investing advice that is easy to understand. Thank you for reading my post and I hope you enjoyed it.