Networking 101: LinkedIn Messaging

Hi Guys, I hope you enjoyed my last post about Networking with Coffee Meetings.  You can check it out here if you'd like!

I wanted to share a little bit more advice I have learned along the way about LinkedIn messaging.  Now if you'd job searched before then you may know that LinkedIn is an amazing tool to help you connect with people and find jobs.  One of the things I found extremely helpful was connecting with people and sending them a message.

I had two ways I went about messaging people.  I either went for HR/Recruiters or someone that may be my potential boss.  I usually went for both of these routes on multiple companies. My reasoning for this was because human resources or recruiting usually knew best about the potential job openings. But I also found it really helpful to find someone who was a supervisor of the position I was looking at.  They can be very insightful on the position its self.  They know know if positions may be opening up sooner than HR.  This also makes an amazing impression and gives you an in to the company some times.

I had a template that I followed whenever I reached out to someone.  One thing you MUST do is make the message personal.  This takes a TON of time if you're reaching out to a lot of people.  I won't lie, but it does pay off.  

Make sure you personalize it with their name, say you're interested in the company, or a specific position you have seen. I would write about why I was interested and how my experience aligned.  

Make sure to keep it short and sweet.  These people are usually very busy and want you to get straight to the point.

I would also attach my resume and let them know how to get ahold of me.  If you don't hear back with someone don't be afraid to follow up in about a week.  Sometimes people forget to respond and it shows you're serious.  Do not message them every day though!

I found this method extremely helpful.  I learned about companies, made connections and someone once even told me they were leaving the company and to never work there for good reasons. 

I hope this method works for you! I'd love to hear about your experience and good luck to you if you are job searching!!

Use Your Resources

I know that everyone says things like, "the world is at your fingertips" after graduating, entering that next chapter of your life, or working towards any life goal. It's also true when job searching, even if you are feeling discouraged, it's true.  There are a million and one different websites and resources that can be used when job searching.  There are groups, forums, and networking events all the time, its just a matter of finding them.  Here are my top three online resources when job searching: LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor. 

1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great resource for many reasons.  It is a way to research companies, see if you have connections, find job postings, even find companies you didn't know about. I would research agencies in Cincinnati and when I got to the page of one company, LinkedIn recommends or shows similar results in the right margin.  This is a great tool when looking within a certain type of industry and is much more targeted than Google searches.  LinkedIn is a great tool to connect to a ton of people and see if there is anyway to network into a company.  When recently job searching, I would reach out to the HR department or presidents of companies. I would inquire about positions, explaining quickly (about 3 sentences) my background and what I was looking for.  *When doing this make sure that this company has the type of positions and work you want.  For example, you wouldn't go to a design company and say I'm looking to do research, that would shut down any chance you'd have immediately* I have found this extremely effective, especially compared to just applying online. It really stands out to the company and I have even found out about positions before they are posted.  I am by no means saying this is a 100% guarantee job offer or even a response, but it has been something really impactful in my previous job searches.  

2. Indeed 

Indeed is a great resource for job searching.  This is where it is really important to learn key words and phrases about a position you are looking into.  I will touch on this in a later post, stay tuned.  With Indeed, you can sign in and have several searches that will save and update daily.  This is a great online resource because Indeed pulls from all sites that post jobs and is updated constantly. It also knows where you left off, therefore you're not constantly looking at the same postings. So a job may not be posted on LinkedIn but instead on a companies personal site and Indeed will pull from there and display it for you. This is a one stop shop. Highly recommend and its free!

3. Glassdoor

Glassdoor is a great site for reviews, learning about the companies culture, and salaries without stepping a foot in the door.  Glassdoor also has job postings but is less thorough. I have used this site to get a feel for the company culture and see peoples reviews, both current and past employees. There are also comments on the interview process and what to expect if you get the chance to interview.  I found that the comments are usually pretty accurate and often give me a heads up on what to look for when I get in the door. That being said, all of the reviews should be taken with a grain of salt because sometimes a lot are written in a negative light. Although they can be informing at times, they can also be very bias.  Lastly, the site is a great place to find salaries for the positions you are interviewing for.  It gives you a ballpark and makes it easier to know what is within a companies range and what isn't.

These are just my top three resources overall.  In short, I use LinkedIn for connections and finding companies, Indeed for job postings, and Glassdoor for reviews and salaries.

I would also recommend doing a deep dive into your industry and joining groups within your city.  For example when I lived in Columbus there was the Columbus Society of Communicating Arts (CSCA) which posted jobs and talked about events within the communication arts industry in the city. There are groups nationally and more local that cater to everyone's needs. 

What sites do you use to job search?