Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


How to use LinkedIn to find a job

One of my favorite networking gurus, Liz Ryan, founder of WorldWIT, wrote the following terrific letter in response to a query on a private mailing list from a woman asking about how to use LinkedIn to help find a job in the graphic design field. I immediately asked Liz for permission to republish it and I'm pleased that she said yes. Please, read it and learn about professional networking from a true expert...

Dear Emily,

Congratulations on your new degree! Here are a few ideas on using LinkedIn in your job search.

I don't think that an overt outreach campaign that reaches out to people (whether hiring managers, HR folks, or other influencers) at various companies and tells them about your job search, is going to be especially satisfying for you. For one thing, this is the sort of contact that people fear when they're trying to decide whether or not to join a network like LinkedIn. Unless there is some clear, compelling intersection between your background or talents and the company's specific need, I would view this as typically unwelcome contact.

(I'm just one person. But I'm a ridiculously long-in-the-tooth HR person, with a focus on job hunting.)

Luckily, there are many better ways to use LinkedIn in your job search. Here are four of them, for starters...