Building Career Insurance: Leveraging LinkedIn’s “Über” Networkers
Your network is everything, whether you need a pair of kids’ crutches on New Years day, as I did (thank you Facebook Friends) or if you suddenly find yourself in need of a new job. It’s who you know that will really count when you are in a bind. And there are always a handful of people who just know everyone. Some of them are on LinkedIn, and connecting to just a few of them can exponentially expand your search results on LinkedIn. This is because of one of LinkedIn’s primary features–an internal firewall that only allows you to see first, second, or third degree connections or people you share a group with. If you don’t have enough connections, or your connections don’t have many connections, your research and connectivity with new people will be very limited. In fact, Linkedin research indicates that the ‘magic’ number of connections you need to be able to access enough information to make it valuable is 50.
How to find and contact these well-connected people? The first step is to do an Advanced Search for People by clicking the Advanced link to the right of the Search box on the top right-hand side of the screen. You can then do a very sophisticated search:
- Delimit your search by zip code or country and postal code to find people in your target geography–very handy when relocating!
- Use a job title or keyword to find people with a certain job function.
- Find people who have switched careers by searching by “Company” or “Job Title” but selecting “Past not Present”–for instance, if you are an ESL teacher and want to find a new job, search for people who used to have the title of ESL but no longer have that title.
- Select industries.
- Choose alumni from your college or even high school by filling in “School.”
Now here comes the magic part. Sort the resulting list of people by “Connections.” The default is to sort by “relevance,” but if you sort the list by connections, the super-connectors will be on the top.
Most of these superconnectors are open networkers (LIONS) and most will be happy to add you to their network if you send an invite. Take a look at their profile to see what groups they’re in and learn about their background, company and industry. Just adding a handful of these top connectors will make your search results much more robust the next time around.