Google “how to use LinkedIn” and the articles talk about how to set up a profile, but not how to communicate with people. Most people probably wouldn’t walk up to someone at a networking event, hand them their resume and say “review my resume and get back to me with the jobs that are a fit, thanks.” Unfortunately, this is how 99.9% of the people interested in working at Google approached me on LinkedIn, yup 99.9%. Full disclaimer, I received more than one LinkedIn message asking me to find them a job a Facebook, so….
Similar to any relationship there should be a nice balance of give and take. And the constant influx of take while I was at Google showed me that people have the wrong impression of how to use/utilize LinkedIn to their benefit. Below are four quick tips for building more meaningful relationships using LinkedIn. This article is targeted towards those looking for a job, but the themes and methodologies apply in a number of different scenarios.
Tip #1 - Do a Simple Boolean Search
This item takes two to three seconds. If a person is looking for an internship at Google for example, Google has an entire team that focuses on hiring interns. The simple step would be to type into LinkedIn’s search bar, “University Recruiter” AND Google or “Intern Recruiter” AND Google. This simple approach will pull up hundreds of Recruiters that hire interns there. About 40% of people that reached out to me for jobs at Google reached out about an internship, a few seconds would have greatly increased their likelihood of success.
Tip #2 - Create Specific Messaging
This step will get you to the right person with more accuracy and improve your response rate. For example, an experienced candidate looking for a new Software Engineer position in the cloud space at Google. They would search “Recruiter” AND Google AND cloud and when they find Sue the Recruiter, send her this specific message, “Hi Sue, I noticed that you recruit Software Engineers in the cloud space and I have been working for the last three years at AWS in a similar capacity. I found these three positions (attach the links) that appear to be a good match for my background. I attached my resume and I am available to talk any weekday between 3–5pm PST at 555–555–5555. Thanks! Jane”
This message is directed at a person in the space, provides why they are a fit, the positions they are interested in (with specific links), a resume, availability, and a phone number (without having to open the resume to get it). And lastly, it is short and to the point, long winded messages are often ignored.
Tip #3 - Offer Something of Value
While I like tip #2, I prefer tip #3. A LinkedIn message that offers something of value without asking for anything in return is a great introduction. For example, “Hi Bob, I came across your profile in LinkedIn and noticed you hire for client facing Engineers in the cloud space. I have been doing client facing engineering work at Azure for the last two years, and found this awesome article in Fortune regarding the need for more people in these types of roles. I thought you might find this article useful and I look forward to getting connected on LinkedIn. Have a great day! Thanks, Barbara.” In this example Barbara identified the right person, created specific messaging, and offered something of value.
Tip #4— Repeat Steps 1, 2 & 3 and Get Creative/Be Persistent
If the person of interest does not respond, try someone else and or try again sharing more valuable content. Challenges will arise, lack of responses, inability to message/connect with people, but creativity ultimately will prevail. One strategy I love is paying it forward, find a role for a friend looking for a job, this may lead to a job opportunity at the same company down the road. There are a ton of ways to get creative, persistence will pay off.
Give these four simple tips a try and let me know in the comments if it worked!