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I've already posted about this once to friends-only but I promised to do a public post on utilizing me as a means for helping you find a new job.

That being said, feel free to pass this around but do note that family and immediate friends will have to take first priority. I will do my best with everyone I can who has needs - I want to help as it is my nature.

So - the key to this? LinkedIn.

Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business "social" networking site where your profile is basically your resume. It's a place to post jobs and search for them. Over the past year, they've added the ability to "change your status" and a "News Feed" that lets you know when your contacts change their profile- including leaving or moving to new jobs.

Not only do I connect with the people I work with and those in my peer network but also friends and family. Being in a heavily geek community in the Boston area, you never know who will be working at an organization that you're interested in being a part of or who has an SO working in an industry not necessarily tech-oriented.

But it's all about MAINTAINING your professional network. Sure, you can maintain friendships with many of these people on Facebook but who really updates where they work there on a regular basis? And who thinks to look there as a means of discovering opportunities? Plus when you're being social in-person, do you really talk a lot about work? LinkedIn is great because more and more people are connecting to it - especially given the state of the economy and it is just for that reason and volatility that LinkedIn is a hugely valuable tool for finding out quickly if someone has left an organization, where people end up or whether or not they've found a job yet if you have a lead.

What's even better is that if you have GMail or Outlook (or Hotmail, MSN, Yahoo Mail etc) at work or home, you can export your full contact database, import into LinkedIn and it will tell you who from that list ALREADY has a LinkedIn account. No need to send out unsolicited email invitations and if your contact has used LinkedIn correctly and kept putting in their email addressees from every place they worked, you can search on old once they used to work at allowing you to find people you perhaps worked with 5 years ago.

For instance, everytime you email or receive email from someone in GMail, it slowly builds its own "Contact List" - very handy. I will often export my LinkedIn contacts and import back into my GMail contacts so I have a cross-synchronized list. Unfortunately, Facebook, Livejournal, and Twitter do not allow you to export the email addresses of your friends even if said friends have given you access to that information. Very frustrating.

Be sure you have your personal email address associated with your LinkedIn account. One issue that will happen is if you do get laid off from work and they cut off access to email, you will lose access to your LinkedIn account. I believe LinkedIn has a means of identifying yourself as owner of the account but it's just easier to make sure the account is attached to your personal account as well.

Etiquette-wise

  • I never send a LinkedIn invitation to someone not using the service unless I have told them about it and they sounded enthusiastic about joining.

  • I never send a Connection Request to someone unless I've interacted with them a few times and feel they'll remember me and feel our interactions were valuable enough to include me in their network.


  • I almost never to add headhunters, recruiters, marketing, sales, LION (Linked In Open Networking) people, or general connection "whores" into my network. You can recognize the latter by mention of "LION" and their number of connections in their LinkedIn title. These people tend to be on LinkedIn simply to mine the contact info and details of others.


  • I turn off direct access to my contact list. Not even my contacts can see each other just for this reason. I'm a networker by trade and prefer to do the managed connection myself. It can go far more smoothly and with my intuitive abilities, I can ensure a much more successful transaction. However you can "see" who I'm connected to by using "Advanced Search". As you're searching, if I pop up as a 2nd or 3rd degree separated from someone, then you know I'm somehow connected to them. Just email me and I may be able to tell you how.

When I first made a post like this in January 26, 2009, according to my LinkedIn network I was directly connected to 900 people giving me access to 129,400 other people and tangentially their 4,696,400 contacts. 11% of those are in Boston, 11% in the SF Bay area with 9% in the NY Metro and 6% in the DC Metro.


Since then, I've only added 64 people but I'm up to 142,400 and 3 degrees away from 4,939,900. Now, I rely on my ability to professionally network and connect people for a living - I manage a closed-community of professionals from the information security & risk management teams of about 70 Fortune 1000-sized organizations. I need to be able to pull both experts and peers of these people from outside that community to sometimes meet their research needs.

My Offer

I am always looking to grow my network, likewise I believe in karma so while I have a good job that I enjoy, I want to help as many friends, family and peers as I can with my professional network. If someone makes an introduction for me on behalf of someone else, I owe them a favor in turn down the line.

I've made a poll at the end of the post which will help - please fill it out.

The gist is this - I do not have time to find you job listings. But if you give me job listings and company names, I can search my network for someone at those companies in those groups/subject areas (or someone who knows someone at those companies/in those groups) and broker an introduction passing along my endorsement through my contact along with your resume. It may actually even be someone you know but didn't realize it - or be a friend of a friend you never made the connection to.

This should result in heavily supplementing your already-in-progress standard HR efforts and give you a major boost over any competition.

A few of you have taken me up on this offer and learned a few things: (+/-)

  1. - I don't have the time to find you actual job listings. I wish I did...then I'd do this for a living.

  2. + What I do need is the job listing itself, the name of the company, ideally the location of the position and names of any people who have interviewed you if you're in the middle of the process.

  3. - You need to keep on top of me. If you want this job, I am not being paid and have a lot of things I am doing between work and family. I am near ubiquitously available via cell, SMS, IM, Twitter & email. Don't stalk me but don't throw me information and then disappear.

  4. + I mean what I say. If I have a good contact, I will get you in with potentially the most senior person in the department for the job you are applying for and use the weight of my contacts to put in good words for you.

  5. + Another skill I've discovered is resume writing. Not in the actual format sense but in the job role sense. If you had a crew role in a local/community theatre production, acted as Autocrat for an Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) event, or pretty much organized/volunteered in a role at anything outside of your usual job there's potential for it to be turned into legitimate resume fodder. It's all in the wording and crafting.

  6. + I also refuse to believe many of you belong in retail or menial roles. If its a case where the jobs aren't available, I can see where that's a problem. Perhaps I just need to encourage you to actually take some of the Career Center classes offered by Unemployment to realize that you are capable of doing far more above your pay grade. Therefore I may attempt to encourage you to apply for jobs I believe you are suited for after talking to you, boost your self-esteem, show you how your life experience is actually more than you thought.

I think that covers everything. Go ahead, fill out the poll, and do feel free to spread the post around. Provided I don't get absolutely overwhelmed with responses, I will do what I can to help - just remember if you're serious, I do get distracted and can lose focus. Not staying in touch with me will make me think my services are not truly needed.

I will note a lot of this information is confidential and personal. That is why I set it up so only I can see the responses. I will understand if you choose not to fill those parts out. Feel free to email me off-journal via bkdelong@pobox.com with a subject of "bkdelong LiveJournal Job Survey details" if you'd like to include that information.

In my day job, we have a non-signature binding statement of confidentiality that everyone in the community subscribes to. I hold that same confidentiality to any information shared here unless I ask and receive your permission to share said information.

[Poll #1376820][Poll #1376820]

Date: 2009-04-02 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roniliquidity.livejournal.com
I was invited to Linked In some time ago but didn't really know what to do with it. I never really got into it, but since it's sounds so useful, I'll take a second look.

Date: 2009-04-03 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bkdelong.livejournal.com
I think once one knows how to use it and ignores a lot of the clutter they're starting to add to the "News Feed" ala Facebook, it becomes an extremely valuable tool.

The key is for you to go out and connect to all the folks you've worked with and for over the past few years and rebuild your network in the digital sense. Then add in those other people you know already not necessarily from a work relationship and you'd be amazed the professional connections you can make.

Great icon, BTW.

Date: 2009-04-03 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roniliquidity.livejournal.com
Thanks!

Yeah, at the time it seemed like yet another social networking site, but I'm getting it's other uses.

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Date: 2011-03-11 05:10 am (UTC)
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