Part 2: Real life success stories using LinkedIn.
This is a continuation of Part 1: Secret Tips to Leverage your LinkedIn Network.
Here are a few of my success stories using LinkedIn:
- Viewed a company I wanted to apply for a job.
Upon reading a job posting, part of my research of the company includes checking the company profile on LinkedIn. This often has information not found on their website.
- Viewed a contact before we met for an interview.
The interviewer already knows a lot about you. They have probably searched the web for information about you as well. On one occasion, when I knew who was going to interview me, I looked up his profile on LInkedIn. I discovered the interviewer used to work at a company that I also had worked at. In the interview I was able to focus on successes that I had at that company since he could relate to them.
- A second degree connection was able to tell me about his job and his company.
I was interested in an international company that was opening an office in the area. I had no connections to the company, but in viewing the employee list, I found a second degree connection in another state with a similar job title. I asked to be introduced and then learned more about what people did in that role at that company.
- Discovered an old co-worker at a company and he helped me get an interview.
I applied for a job at a company. Then I checked the employee list on LinkedIn and it showed I had a 2nd degree contact there and in fact, I personally knew this person. So I sent him an invitation to connect and then told him I had applied for a position there. Not only did he know about the position and gave me more background about it, he also went to the hiring manager and handed a copy of my resume to him. I got the interview and a job offer.
- A second degree connection from a long lost friend saved me from taking the wrong job.
This is my favorite and most complex LinkedIn experience. I had just joined a social club and while viewing the website, I noticed that one of the new officers was an old friend that I had lost touch with. I didn’t have his email address or phone number, so I looked him up on LinkedIn and sent him an invitation to connect. I reviewed his connections and discovered one who happened to have a similar job title as mine. I reviewed her profile and discovered she once worked at a company that I had just applied for a job. I sent her an email to ask what she could tell me about the company. I was glad I did. She told me more about the details of the work environment. Armed with that knowledge, when I went into the interview I was able to ask probing questions that I never would have thought to ask otherwise. They offered the job, but I declined. Had I not made that chain of connections I would have made a big mistake in accepting the position.
Remember that every person whose path you cross is a possibility. The stranger waiting in line beside you at Starbucks, the person sitting beside you on a flight, the parent of one of the kids in your child’s class. Remember that everyone has a story just as deep and broad and complex as your own. And everyone is a portal into their own vast network of connections. That network is invisible and unknown until you meet them and begin to connect with them, much like the creatures in the movie Avatar. Occasionally you will meet someone who leads directly to an opportunity. But it is more likely that opportunities will come from a secondary connection. It is not just the person, but that person’s network that is so powerful and broad-reaching. Consider that a linkedIn network of 250 people will have about 40,000 second degree connections and over 3,000,000 third degree connections!