Friday, December 25, 2009

Now that I’m Linked, Who do I Link TO?

A "Best of" reCareered post...

You’re on Linkedin …What do you do next? You filled out a profile, put excerpts from your resume, got a few recommendations, linked to your close contacts.

So then what?

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If you’re adopting a tight network strategy, then you’re pretty much done with linking. But you can imagine that a tight network strategy has limitations for job seekers.

For a broad network strategy, building your network is about targeting and efficiency. You want to build as quickly as possible, but build your network with people who are more likely to be able to help you.

So if you are limiting your search to a specific metro area – it’s probably a good idea to concentrate your network in that metro area. But not so fast, bukko, keep in mind that Linkedin gives you 3 levels of connections. That means the guy you link to in India, might have many contacts in the US who can help you…and by linking to your new Indian friend, you get those people in your database also.

An efficient strategy includes targeting to a couple levels of geography, plus industry focus, potential boss’ job title, and target companies.

I recommend “The Rule of 50’s”:

Link to me: ( You start out your database with as many as 3M connections. Happy Birthday.

Close Geography: Link to the top 50 connected people in your metro area. Regardless of industry or job function, link to the most connected people, and you’ll pimp your database in no time.

Broad Geography: Link to the top 50 connected people in your State (different ones than city), and in your country. Again, these folks are hubs, and hubs connect to lots of people. Hubs will likely accept your invitation, because they are interested in building their own databases.

Industry: Link to the top 50 connected people in your industry. These are industry hubs….maybe not as broad of a reach, but more targeted.

Boss’ Title: If you are an IT Manager, connect to the top 50 CIOs, Director of IT, VP of IT. If you are a Controller, connect to CFOs and VP Finance. If you’re bucking for a promotion, connect one level up the food chain. Consider geographic limitations here also.

Target Companies: Link to 10 people in each target company. Since people in target companies often link to their peers, you’ll get a reach of a few hundred at larger companies. Add more selectively as needed.

Results: This method delivers 300-350 level 1 connections, and millions of level 3 connections.

Caution: Don’t spam. Linkedin kicks spammers off its system.

Think that’s a big enough database to get started?

So….what are you waiting for? I don’t see your invitation in my inbox yet!

Executives exploring Career Change: For a free 30 minute resume consultation, or career advice for executives, email your resume confidentially to reCareered (, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

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Additional resources - Networking topics

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