Category Archives: LinkedIN

Yes Social Networking Does work!

Here is an article from The New York Times that demonstrates the power of Social Networking in job searching. My neighbor Brian Karbel who works at HubSpot (a fantastic product BTW if you are looking to beat your competition in search engine rankings, drive traffic to your site and generate more inbound leads, I can’t speak as eloquently as he can on it so call Brian!) was a subject of the article so I know first hand that this does work!! Check it out.

Bill Meirs is the Managing Principal with the Church & Palfrey Group, a search firm specializing in Technology and Sales Searches. Bill has 11+ years experience in corporate and agency environments. He frequently consults companies and individuals in the areas of talent acquisition, recruitment process improvement, recruitment advertising and branding, resume writing, and salary negotiation.

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5 Networking Sites to See!

siteseeMost of you know the major social networking sites (Facebook®, LinkedIN®.) Well, there are a few out there you may not know about that are starting to emerge as viable networking places (membership, hits, growth, etc.) even though they may not be what you would think as a social network. If you aren’t on or visiting these, you should check them out and get on at least a couple. By the way, I am not compensated in any way by listing these sites, these are unbiased opinions I am rendering. I have put a short description and rated them on certain criteria important to me on a scale of 1-5 (1 being the worst, 5 being the best.) These are in no particular order.

  1. Plaxo. Has been around a while. Started out as a web based contact management site but has morphed into more of a true networking one.
    Value of “free feature” vs. having to pay for account upgrades: 4
    Ease of setting up a an account: 4
    Ease of Navigation/accuracy of searches: 4
    Depth of contacts: 4
    Value Groups feature on site: 3
    Spam factor (do you get a lot of spam from company to upgrade, etc.): 5
    Overall Job Seeker value:
    4
  2. Spoke. They market more to the B2B crowd, but for the job seeker truly using networking, it is a powerful resource to get directly to your potential boss.
    Value of “free feature” vs. having to pay for account upgrades: 3
    Ease of setting up a an account: 4
    Ease of Navigation/accuracy of searches:4
    Depth of contacts: 4
    Value Groups feature on site: 3
    Spam factor (do you get a lot of spam from company to upgrade, etc.): 5
    Overall Job Seeker value:3
  3. Jigsaw OK, so Jigsaw doesn’t fit in the classical definition of social networking site (if there is such a thing), but it meets my criteria in that you put your info up there and find info on others. It is a definite business lead generation site more than a job seeker one, but like Spoke, it has its value to savvy job seeking networkers. It’s like an old fashioned business card swap. You actually earn points (and thus access) to other peoples’ direct contact info (phone number email, etc.) if you contribute to the site’s database of contacts. The bad news is that the “free” component is pretty limiting, which isn’t great for people out of work.
    Value of “free feature” vs. having to pay for account upgrades: 1
    Ease of setting up a an account: 4
    Ease of Navigation/accuracy of searches:4
    Depth of contacts: 5
    Value Groups feature on site: 1
    Spam factor (do you get a lot of spam from company to upgrade, etc.): 3
    Overall Job Seeker value:3
  4. GoBig Network I personally love GoBig. Again, not a classic social networking site. They were built with the start-up entrepreneur in mind and that’s what the site is geared to (start-ups seeking funding and funders seeking investments), but they list jobs with these companies that pay in money and promises (equity). If you like the start-up environment and are not risk averse, this could be a treasure trove.
    Value of “free feature” vs. having to pay for account upgrades: 5
    Ease of setting up a an account: 5
    Ease of Navigation/accuracy of searches:5
    Depth of contacts: 4
    Value Groups feature on site: 3
    Spam factor (do you get a lot of spam from company to upgrade, etc.): 5
    Overall Job Seeker value: 4
  5. You tell me! Is there one that you feel is great from a job seeking, networking perspective that you want to share?I know there are ones I don’t know about, maybe they are for a certain industry and that’s OK. Send me the website and I will review. I will post the ones I like in the near future.


Bill Meirs is the Managing Principal with the Church & Palfrey Group, a search firm specializing in Technology and Sales Searches. Bill has 11+ years experience in corporate and agency environments. He frequently consults companies and individuals in the areas of talent acquisition, recruitment process improvement, recruitment advertising and branding, resume writing, and salary negotiation.

Networking using LinkedIn®, part 2 of 2

pic_logo_119x32 2

OK, so last time we spoke about setting up your LI account and basics you need to get going. Today, we will talk about some basic hints on using it to find a job.

We will assume you have gotten some recommendations and have made connections to whomever you can. One thing I didn’t get into last post was “open networking”, because I didn’t want to confuse the basic process to making connections. I am an open networker. This means I choose to allow people to contact me or connect without having to have a prior relationship.  As a recruiter and businessperson, this makes a lot of sense for me to do. This is something you may want to do, but it will definitely increase the amount of time you need to spend on LI and will also get the word out much quicker that you are on the job march. The other thing is, depending on how many connections you amass, you may get lots of introduction requests.

An introduction is this: a connection of yours sees on your connection list someone they would like to get in touch with. If they have a business account, they can request a formal introduction through LI, and you can choose whether to forward or not (you don’t need to have a paying account to forward). This all assumes you choose to make your connections visible. I have no opinion either way, it is all a matter of personal choice but this is a networking site, so the whole purpose of networking is sharing who you know so that’s why I choose to show mine. My rule for forwarding is if you ask me to do this, don’t just send a request without some context as to why you would like to speak with them. Massive intro requests without reason should not be forwarded.

OK, back to your reason for being on LinkedIn. Make sure when setting up your account you also indicate in your profile you ARE looking for career opportunities. It doesn’t stop me from contacting people as a recruiter because it doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t looking, but some people set up their searches to find people who explicitly say this. You may not be looking but someone you know with similar skills may be and you may be a referral.

Like your resume, when things change in your career life, make sure you reflect that in your profile: new training, a contract position while looking for a permanent role, etc. LinkedIN is excellent at getting to the top of search rankings, so it is a great way to be found, which is why you need to keep it current.

Lastly, don’t wait for potential employers to come to you. Go to them. LI has 2 types of job postings and the distinction is important:

  1. They have paid job listings posted on LI’s site that usually tell you who is leading up the hiring
  2. They also pull jobs from other boards and company job sites on the web through SimplyHired®, these are not directly correlated to a LI member

You can do a hybrid of traditional job search and networking here. If you see a posting on LI (#1 from above), see who is posting it and find out how you are connected to them and do the necessary networking to get yourself to the front of the line. Again, people like to see well-recommended candidates, so make sure you have at least a couple of recommendations up there too.

If you see a posting that interests you from category #2 above, search the company on LI to find out people from that company on LI that you could be connected to through your network. LI published a nice page on how to do this.

Some colleges teach courses on LI so there is no way I can detail all the benefits here. A lot you will learn by just familiarizing yourself with the site. If you have a specific question, please contact me. I am also available for phone consultations (sorry, not free 😦 ), but special consideration given for those not working.

Next post we will talk about Facebook® and the ups and downs about using it for job searches.

Bill Meirs is the Managing Principal with the Church & Palfrey Group, a search firm specializing in Technology and Sales Searches. Bill has 11+ years experience in corporate and agency environments. He frequently consults companies and individuals in the areas of talent acquisition, recruitment process improvement, recruitment advertising and branding, resume writing,  and salary negotiation.

A good article on Social Networking to get a job

I will be back to blogging about networking using LinkedIN® on Monday, but I had come across this article in U.S. News & World Report about leveraging networking to get a job. Happy reading!

Networking using LinkedIn®, part 1 of 2

pic_logo_119x32Most people have heard of LinkedIn® (LI) and may even have an account. What I want to discuss today is if you are looking for a job and don’t have a LI account (a basic account that is free is all you need), get one. If you have one, some easy things to make it work better for you.

First, a brief (well, we’ll see about that) history of LI. It started out as a business to business networking platform where people selling products and services could connect to people needing said products and services by leveraging their “connections” (people also on LI that you officially connect to – business acquaintances, former colleagues, friends & family, etc. You send a request to connect and they decide to accept or not or they request to you to connect.) The thinking is that these connections know folks who may be potential customers of yours and can provide anything from a simple intro making an otherwise “cold” call a little warmer all the way to setting the foundation for putting together a bona fide business deal. It probably still does this today to some extent, but I believe the larger part of LI’s activity is around recruiting. Using the same principles of the business deals, it is a way of connecting potential employees to employers/recruiters in a less intrusive way than traditional “headhunting.” This is why you need to be on there and be current in your profile.

After you have created an account, the first thing I suggest you do is have your resume open too. You want to replicate your resume history back about 10 years or however long it is relevant to the jobs you are looking for today. You needn’t be as granular in LI as your resume. A one or two sentence “snapshot” will suffice, more of a teaser than the whole story. If you work with any specific technologies that make you very valuable, do mention those in the LI profile. It will help people find you in keyword searches.

After your profile is set, you can do a few things that will connect you to people hiring:

  1. There is a place in your profile to put website links. Make sure you have a resume online for someone to click to. You don’t need to pay web hosting charges to do this. Get a Google account, upload your word resume to Google applications and hit a button that says “publish to the web” and you have created an online resume. It will have  bizarre URL with a lot of mumbo jumbo characters, but just copy that URL into your websites listings (you can have 3 i think), and simply name it “my resume”. Recruiters will click right to it without needing to know the long URL. Alternatively, LI has a 3rd party application you can add called box.net. You can create file cabinets right in your profile and assign who can see them and who can’t. You can upload your resume in its native state there.
  2. Connect. Connect. Connect. Search all the companies you worked for or did business with, where you went to college, friends and yes even family. As long as you A. Have an email address of these people or B. can show you worked with them in some capacity you can request a connection.
  3. Get “pre-qualified”. One great thing about LI is it allows people to write recommendations for you that outline where you worked with the endorser and in what capacity (co-worker, did business with, superior, subordinate, peer from different group, etc.) Ask your connections to write a recommendation for you. Recruiters love this. They can quickly assess your strengths. The more the better, as long as they are well balanced. Generally 80% of people you ask to recommend you will do it. Not that the other 20% think you are a slouch, but they just don’t have time or forget to do so. That’s why the more you can request, the higher your yield will be. You will have the opportunity to review the recommendation prior to it going on your profile so you can ask for any changes or modifications or even choose to use at all. Also, reciprocate any recommendation! They took the time to endorse you, so return the favor.

OK, there is a lot more ground to cover, but I will stop there for now. Next post will be about proper care and maintenance of your LI profile and utilizing the LI groups feature.

Bill Meirs is the Managing Principal with the Church & Palfrey Group, a search firm specializing in Technology and Sales Searches. Bill has 11+ years experience in corporate and agency environments. He frequently consults companies and individuals in the areas of talent acquisition, recruitment process improvement, recruitment advertising and branding, resume writing,  and salary negotiation.