Job Search Basics

In today’s job market, successful job searches always involve LinkedIn.

It’s the go-to place for networking, identifying open jobs, and showing you are available for a job opportunity. Today, I’ll deal with:


Yes, that dreaded word! I urge networking because it WORKS! Every single client gets interviews and ultimately jobs through contacts.

These contacts are not the people you know and love. They are people two degrees from you.  Imagine a bulls-eye target of concentric circles. You are in the middle. The circle immediately around you is all your first degree connections.  The next circle out is your second-degree connections.

Use LinkedIn to access these second-degree connections, for they will be the way into a company and your “right fit job.”  And then get to know them in person.

When you move from connecting with people on LinkedIn to actually meeting them, some wonderful things can happen.  One that often happens:  someone you meet through LinkedIn becomes an advocate for you in your search – pulling out their virtual rolodex and recommending you to people who might have jobs.


1.  Build your first-degree network. Include:

  • Colleagues
  • Former colleagues (from 5, 10, 20, 30 years ago)
  • College pals and acquaintances (alums in some schools will help another alum just because they went to the same school, so don’t worry if you don’t know the person really well)
  • Neighbors (you’ll be shocked at who lives near you)
  • People in your town
  • Family (even if they won’t help you directly, they do know people)
  • People you meet at networking events
  • People in your field
  • People in LinkedIn groups that you join.

The bigger your first-degree network, the more access you have to their connections.  It’s exponential reach.  Jeff’s 1 connection leads him to 10,000 others.  S’s 183 lead her to 73,200+ second-degree connections and 5.4 million third-degree connections.  My 500+ connections that connect me to 10 million other LinkedIn users.


A.  See if you are connected to someone at an employer that is hiring.

When you go to the Jobs/Find Jobs section of LinkedIn, enter in keywords that are similar to the jobs you want and skills you want to use. You’ll find job listings, and some of them will have information that says “so and so” can connect you to the person who posted the job. You can ask those people, if they are comfortable, for an introduction to the person.

B. Find people you want advice and guidance from in your job search.

You can find well-connected people by trolling your first-degree connection’s own first-degree connections (those are your second-degree connections). The default for people’s profiles on LinkedIn is that you get to see your first-degree connections’ own connections.  If you go to their profile page and look at the summary box, you’ll find their number of connections. Click on the blue number and you’ll see their connections names and photos. Look through to see if anyone works at an interesting place or has a job similar to one you want. Ask your first degree connection to put you in touch with them so you can get advice and guidance on your job search (don’t ask for a job).

There is so much more you can do on LinkedIn, and I’ll post about that soon.