Friday, August 22, 2008


If you're looking for a new job or to change careers, hopefully you've heard of LinkedIn (if you haven't I strongly suggest checking it out!). LinkedIn is a great way to expand your network and find contacts that might be able to give you a great informational interview or possibly get you a job.

From a NY Times article (on 8/13), "The Social Network as a Career Safety Net":

While it lacks the glamour of more popular sites like MySpace and Facebook, LinkedIn “is the place to be,” said the JupiterResearch media analyst Barry Parr, if you want to make professional contacts online. LinkedIn is a “Chamber of Commerce mixer,” he said.

LinkedIn has more than 25 million members, and it is adding new ones at the rate of 1.2 million a month — or about one new networker every two seconds.

According to the article, one of the ways to find valuable connections (or to become a valuable connection or candidate yourself) is to ask for recommendations to build your credibility and your profile.

“The only way to get recommendations is to go out and ask for it,” Mr. So said. “It’s kind of a weird system. I typically go to my bosses and peers and say, ‘Do you mind?’ ”

The flipside of that system is that it behooves you to be generous. Jeremiah K. Owyang, senior analyst at Forrester Research, has watched the growth of online social media since 2005 and advises social-networking users to follow an 80-20 rule. “Give information and answer questions 80 percent of the time, and 20 percent of the time ask for help,” he said.

When a contact asks for a recommendation, write it graciously and promptly. If you think that person isn’t worth a recommendation, think again about being connected to that person.

Great suggestion. Here's a deal - starting September 10 (when I get back from vacation), if you're interested in a recommendation, I'll be happy to write one (provided we've worked together or I've seen you in action). Make sure to find me on LinkedIn.


Here's another suggestion I came across regarding LinkedIn that I thought was helpful (by way of a Networked Recruiter newsletter):
Bypass Needing LinkedIn Connections and Use a X-ray Search:
  • Search inside a site with a simple but powerful formula via Google.
  • Try it on linkedin, here is an example. (developer and C#)

This could help both job seekers and employers. I haven't tried it yet, so if it works for you, please let me know in the comments!


celeste w said...

Found you via Twitter. I share your skepticism about new age-y coaching and love your "no nonsense approach."

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to connect to people on Linked in, it makes it difficult to connect and contact people without upgrading your service, which of course costs money...

Nickname unavailable said...

Hi Lee:

The power to search data and make connections on Linkedin is amazing. Thanks for listing reference to my site Networked Recruiter as we are releasing some free training to get people started with the X-ray search tip. Join us online at

Jacob Conway- Founder