Career Advice, Interviews

How To Connect With The 'Best' Contacts on LinkedIn

Last week we discussed how corporate recruiting is changing. Recruiting departments are starting to act more like executive search firms, looking for ways to gain advantage by finding great talent before their competitors. Researchers are used in order to achieve this objective. We discussed how part of being brand talent is ensuring that researchers can find you. And finally, you were introduced to Shally Steckrl, one of the industry’s most widely recognized and respected researchers. The topic of last week’s article was tips from Shally setting up your LinkedIn account.

There was a lot of positive feedback to the article, so I asked Shally to keep showering us with his wisdom. Here are the next couple of tips. Remember, you will need to set-up your LinkedIn account first before following this advice:

Connect with “Power Networkers”: Over 37 million people have profiles on LinkedIn. But only about 52,000 of those people (0.2%) have more than 500 connections (or “links”, which is where the name of the service comes from). These “Power Networkers” can be an invaluable resource for you in your job search. They often have first-hand knowledge about the health of an industry, the movers and shakers in a company and people you should know as you look for a job. But before you get too excited, you need to understand the first rule of effective networking:

  • Give Before You Get: Shally warns against just reaching out to people and expecting them to connect with you. He recommends that you email a brief bio about yourself, highlighting how your interests and experience could help your potential contact in some way. And always ask what you can do for them before you start asking for favors. Shally’s favorite phrase is: “How can I help you achieve your goals?”
  • How to Find Networkers: To find Power Networkers go to the “Advanced People” search page on LinkedIn (under the People Search drop down towards the top left of any page). Use the industry checkboxes to select the industries within which you are interested in making connection (for instance “Fine Arts” or “Graphic Design”). Shally recommends sorting by “Relationship and Recommendations” so that you get the best results (those people most highly recommended and more closely connected to you) at the top of your search results.

Once you have your list, email them as suggested above. If you get a response, ask then to “link” to you so that your number of connections keeps growing.

Growing your LinkedIn network, especially with power networkers, will ensure that when recruiters run a search looking for people with your types of skills that your name is more likely to come up at the top of the list.

Next week we will talk about the next step: making sure that once a recruiter finds you that they become interested in reaching out and contacting you. And remember, Shally is always interested in hearing directly from you at