LinkedIn’s “Advanced People Search” feature is a fantastic tool for finding people in your extended network or shared groups who can help you to reach your career goals. Including boolean logic in your search terms such as AND, OR, NOT, parenthesis and quotes around phrases can greatly expand its power. To demonstrate, here’s an example of a client who was interested in obtaining a marketing manager or director position at Pfizer. My client began her people search as follows:
- On the upper right of her screen, she clicked on “Advanced,” to the right of the “people” search box.
- Under “Location,” she selected “In or Near” her zip code, “within 50 miles.”
- She kept “Sort by Relevance” (experiment with these sort options to vary the results).
- Under “Company,” she entered “Pfizer,” and just below that she selected “Current,” meaning the results will show only people who currently work there.
- She then clicked on “Search” at the bottom.
Her result: Thousands of entries came up. Within the first couple of pages she saw many 2nd degree connections (people to whom she could be introduced by her first degree contacts) working at Pfizer. But she realized she was not getting enough senior marketing people in her results– that is, people in a position to hire her. So she refined her search by adding the following criteria:
- For “Title” she entered: Marketing AND (Senior OR VP OR SVP OR Executive OR Chief OR “Vice President”) AND NOT “Senior Manager” and selected “current” just below to ensure these keywords were in their current job title.
Notice that entire phrases such as “Vice President” can be searched for (or in the case of “Senior Manager” excluded) by enclosing them in quotes, and that the boolean logical connectors (AND, OR, NOT) must be capitalized.
The result—my client found the potential hiring managers at Pfizer that she was looking for, including a Senior Vice President- Marketing, Senior Director/Group Leader- Consumer Marketing, and a VP – Head of Global Marketing & Brand Strategy. The first two of these were second degree connections. She shared a group with the third one, meaning she could reach out to this contact by messaging him directly through their shared LinkedIn group.
I’ll have lots more to share about leveraging LinkedIn for your career in my ‘LinkedIn Intensive’ webinar on June 6, 7-8:30pm EST.
Having an effective contact management system can save you a lot of time and missed opportunities, whether you are in business for yourself, in a job search, or on the job. It’s just too easy to let your inbox grow to unmanageable proportions, miss an important follow-up, waste time with things like “filing” or looking for that one email, or lose touch with potential clients. The key to solving all these problems and more, for me and for my clients, is to have a desktop-based or cloud-based system where all communication elements for a contact are associated with the contact, together in one place. These elements include Read more…
This blog entry was originally posted in the Glasshammer’s website.
Some clients who first come to me for help after a long and frustrating search attribute their difficulties to something they can’t control, such as age, experience (i.e. over- or under-qualified), weight, ethnic background, gender or, less often, some other physical feature. Yes, these biases do surface at times in the job search. But, once these clients start describing their search in more detail, nine times out of ten, I see that the problem is actually in their job-search strategy or execution!
So, if you have that “out of control” feeling, here’s a checklist of 10 things to make sure you are doing, to help you get back into the driver’s seat and on the road to the job you want.
1. Are you “positioning” yourself correctly? That is, are you focusing on how you can help your target audience? This means dropping the jargon that is only relevant to your current or last job, and using the language of your next.
2. Are you too general, or trying to be all things to all people? This strategy can be tempting because this way you don’t rule anything out. The problem with the too general approach, however, is that people are not going to take the time to figure out how you can help them. Or, they will put you in a place you don’t want to be! Having a specific resume and pitch for each job target is the way to go.
3. Are you too scattered, trying to go for many different job targets at once? It really helps to focus on one thing at a time, with some overlap. You want to be perceived as an “insider” in the industry or profession you are targeting, and to do that you need to focus and build your network within your target. Become known, have conversations with lots of people!
4. Are you going out and getting what you want, or just waiting for the ad to show up or the headhunter to call? The way people find most jobs these days is via leveraging their network and contacting people directly who they don’t know. LinkedIn can be a great help with these latter two approaches.
5. Are you being proactive at all stages of your job search? That means, you need to be following up, and keeping in touch, with people in your network or people you have met with. Don’t let these contacts disappear into a black hole! A client once followed up with 23 phone calls (not messages– just leave 1 or 2!) before he got to speak to the person he was trying to reach– and then they thanked him for being so persistent and gave him an interview!
6. How are you communicating? Is your “message” getting lost because of poor delivery? Get feedback from someone on how you come across in all your communications channels – resumes, emails, phone-calls, cover letters, and interviews.
7. Are you meeting with both the right people, and enough of the right people? At the Five O’Clock Club, we say that you must have six to 10 “things” (i.e. conversations) in the works with people who are in a position to hire you at any one time, because five of those six things will fall away through no fault of your own. Don’t just hang all your hopes on that one position you are interviewing for! Building up enough volume is key– if you are doing everything else right, it’s still a numbers game.
8. Are you targeting enough positions? If you have only 10 companies that you are going for, each with two positions that would be suitable for you (whether the position is open or not), that means only 20 positions you are targeting. It will thus take you forever to get a job because you have to wait for one of the 20 people to leave (or for a new job to be created)! The Five O’Clock Club recommends as a rule of thumb that you target 200 positions. Again, it’s a numbers game.
9. Are you spending at least 35 hours a week on your search if you are unemployed, and 15-plus if you are employed? I tell clients to treat their job search like a full time job. Get to your desk at 9am and leave at 5pm! Don’t kid yourself that you are in a serious job search if you spend only one or two hours a day on it!
10. Are you having fun? Take breaks from this search and go do what you enjoy doing! If you’re not taking care of yourself, it will come through in your interactions with potential employers! Spend at least a couple of hours a day doing something you enjoy.
In LinkedIn’s blog and a recent Wall Street Journal article, a new LinkedIn capability was described. Career Explorer is designed to help college students use LinkedIn’s network to make career decisions; it’s now being tested in 60 schools.
Career Explorer looks like it will be quite helpful to students (and others as well as it gets rolled out to a wider audience), for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a helpful way for students to get introduced to LinkedIn– an essential job-search/career development tool for many professions. Today’s college students are Facebook-centric; their Facebook use is almost like eating– just another vital part of the daily routine. But many (or most) have not yet grasped that Facebook is no substitute for LinkedIn in aiding their professional advancement. The Career Explorer tool will help them to see that.
Second, this tool does introduce three new features that are not currently available on LinkedIn, and could be useful to anyone seeking to make a career move. (Two other features are also mentioned, but seem similar to or the same as what you can do on LinkedIn now, just repacked under the Career Explorer umbrella.) My take on the three new features follows:
1) Explore different career paths: This feature recommends career options based on what others on LinkedIn with your major and industry preference have done in their careers. What I like about this is it gives you (graduates and perhaps others) another useful way to brainstorm career options. It’s a nice starting point for career ideas. I would encourage any student contemplating a career move with access to this feature to give it a try.
One thing to be cautious about: not to feel boxed in by the “top” career options that LinkedIn selects for you. Also research out-of-the-box options that could be more relevant to you based on your self-assessment; i.e.what you enjoy doing most that you are good at, how these fit with your longer term life goals and your work-related values. The bottom line– don’t necessarily default to the tried and true route based on what LinkedIn (or anyone else) tells you that “everyone else” has done. See the career links page on my website for other ways to research career options.
2) Follow Potential Employers: This feature suggests companies based on the number of people on LinkedIn with your degree/industry preference who work in these companies. I appreciate how this could help give you a place to start in developing your job search marketing plan– it will help to give you an idea of what organizations (and what types of organizations or industries) you should approach.
3) Get the Unique Insights You Need (i.e. industry/profession research): If sourced externally (as salary data appears to be according to the WSJ article), it could be very useful, but I would need to compare it to other resources when the capability is rolled out formally. Research that is based only on LinkedIn’s membership might be less useful; many professionals are not on LinkedIn, or have not updated their profile, which could skew the results.