Five Ways to Mine Prospects on LinkedIn

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I sent a client’s resume to a recruiter friend of mine to see if he could help in his job search.  While he didn’t have any suitable positions for him, he offered some interesting advice for prospecting on LinkedIn.


LinkedIn is quickly becoming THE place for professionals to connect and network.  I heard one “expert” predict the demise of the resume as a result of social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook.  Who needs the lengthy process of gathering, opening, scanning, filing and then retrieving resumes when you can just login and get what you need from the wealth of public information on the Internet?  LinkedIn also has the advantage of company sponsored profiles, discussion groups and a comfortable, professional way to connect with others.  I predict that along with the phone interview, a Skype interview will become part of the regular candidate pre-screening process.  


To widen my client’s network, my recruiter friend made a few suggestions:


  • My client had a side business working for a supplier to the culinary industry.  His customers were restaurants and food service companies, so why not connect with managers at his customer’s companies?


  • He had been an executive chef, with experience in designing and setting up commercial kitchens.  Another source of contacts could be colleges and universities with culinary programs that could use his experience in designing restaurants and kitchens.


  • He worked in a very non-traditional company with an emphasis on “green technology.”  He can leverage his experience in these work environments by connecting with other companies with the same unstructured, environmental focus. 


  • He could do a search of his high school and college classmates and past co-workers and clients.   People frequently change jobs and start businesses, and one of them may be in a position to give him a great recommendation.


  • Offer to write recommendations for contacts who have a connection to his target companies or industries.  Many will return the favor and write one for him as well.   The more recommendations he has, the better he will appear to a prospective employer. 


You’re more likely to get an interview if your resume travels on the recommendation of a colleague, former boss or business professional.  Use LinkedIn or other social media sites or a Google search to find the name of a manager or human resources representative and send a paper copy of our resume after you apply online.  The online version may never get through the robotic online screening system.  Be creative and use every angle you can find.


How are you mining social networking sites?  Share your tips in the Comments section below.


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