One Way to Use LinkedIn to Land a Job Interview

Use LinkedIn to get a Job InterviewI have been part of the LinkedIn community since late 2006, and as a community junkie I try to utilize every aspect of LinkedIn. One huge advantage LinkedIn provides is your network of contacts. You can use this vast network to land a job interview even in this difficult economic climate. Are you wondering how is this possible? So what I have 500+ connections how are they going to help?

First find your job and apply. Then go to LinkedIn and login to your account. Find the LinkedIn search bar on the upper right side of the screen in the header navigation.

LinkedIn Search

Make sure “People” is selected and not “Companies” as your filter. Then enter the company name where you applied as your search query. Then click on the magnifying glass icon or hit enter. LinkedIn will provide some fantastic and useful intelligence that will help you land a job interview. Below you will see the results for me when I used “Expedia” as my search query.

LinkedIn Search Results

(Names for contacts redacted)

Notice the first result? Look at the profile picture of that person. There is a 1st overlayed on the bottom right of the picture. That means that person is one of my connections that currently works at Expedia. The pictures with a 2nd on them means one of my connections is connected to a person that works at Expedia. Why is that important?

A dozen of my friends are recruiters either in-house or self-employed. All of them tell me they receive hundreds of resumes for each open position. They do not read every resume to find the best candidate. Most of the time they only look at the resumes of people they have been told to or referred to review.

So for a direct or 1st level connection ping that friend and provide the following information:

  • Job Title
  • Job ID#
  • When you applied
  • A copy of your resume
  • Name of the recruiter or hiring manager filling the position if known

It is also quite wise to start the email with a big hello and how are you since they are probably a friend, former colleague or acquaintance and you are asking for a favor.

For those contacts that are secondary you will want to identify your primary contact that is a direct contact with that person. The LinkedIn search result page does that for you with the, “How are you connected?” section in the result. Ping your primary contact and provide the following information:

  • Name of person at the company that your primary contact knows
  • Job Title
  • Job ID#
  • When you applied
  • A copy of your resume
  • Name of the recruiter or hiring manager filling the position if known

In my email I will write the following:

Mike,

What is going on? I just applied at Expedia for the SEO Manager position (Job #29384). I noticed one of your connections currently works there (Johnny Dangerously – Marketing Director). Any chance you can mention that I just applied? Attached is the resume I sent to Expedia for that position. Thanks and lets get together soon.

Does this actually work? My buddy Dan Contreras that recruits for E&D at Microsoft has told me a referral is huge and will always prompt him to review the resume. If one of his friends is willing to vouch for an applicant then he is more than willing to review that candidate and get him an interview.

This has worked for me time and time again. I tell all my friends to utilize this feature at LinkedIn and it works for them. One of my good college friends from my days at Western Washington University took my advice and did this recently for her “dream job.” She found out a friend had a contact with the company which in turn resulted in an interview and she landed the job. Congrats Emily!

Now of course you should be qualified for the position, so do not expect to land an interview for Finance Director when you are a web designer. If you are qualified for the position leveraging LinkedIn in this manner will get you that interview.

This means you need to build up your connections. I add anyone that I have met online or in person. I DO NOT scrape LinkedIn and add every member. If you blindly add people they can decline your invite and even indicate that they do not know who you are. If you rack up too many of those notices then LinkedIn will start restricting how many people you can invite to connect. Do not be a LinkedIn SPAMMER. Just invite those people you that you have established a relationship with. Good luck and get that job!

6 thoughts on “One Way to Use LinkedIn to Land a Job Interview

  1. This is the truth behind real social networking in the traditional and contemporary sense. People we know and trust and their proximity to us drive many of our opinions and actions. It really surprises me that more people don’t leverage this. LinkedIn is a great tool for personal branding. Good post!

  2. Great tips Garth… And I seem to resemble one of the connections in your results example πŸ™‚ Hope all is well.

    Dan

  3. Pingback: One Way to Use LinkedIn to Land a Job Interview | Marketing For
  4. Great stuff here, my only question is what if the person who works in the company is not a decision-maker. What exactly would you ask them to do for you?
    Are you asking the employee to tell the hiring manager to consider a friend of a friend, who they don’t even personally know?

    • Andrew,

      Gut call. I personally only ping those that I have some connection/relationship with. If the targeted contact could not recognize you or would not say “Hi” in passing then perhaps you would not want to use that resource. πŸ™‚

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