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LinkedIn has over 100m users, and with 1 joining every second, that’s growing massively!  Many of my clients worry about the time it takes to locate good candidates and clients because of the volume of data online. I want to share with you one of my top tips for getting LinkedIn to work smart for you (after all, that’s what tech should do isn’t it?)

I Recommend that you Train LinkedIn to generate tailored candidate and client lists.

Note, this advice is for those of you who want a tailored and targeted network. If you want to spread your reach as wide as possible and connect with everyone out there, then this tip is not for you.

I subscribe to the theory that my network is a precious asset and one that I want to keep clean, fresh and want to actively network with – there is only so much of me to go around.  (Likewise I don’t follow everyone on twitter who follows me…)

Equally, I want to use software to get home on time.  I do not need millions of clients and contacts – I need to build ties with those in my industry, that I have something in common with, that may be able to help me in the future (and vice versa).

So, what’s my process?

See that People You May Know box in the top right of your LinkedIn homepage?

Notice the fact that you can connect to people direct from this area (without their contact details….), AND that you can cross off the ones who are not “in your zone”.  By crossing off users, you are sending a message to LinkedIn that they are not ideal for your network.  By connecting with certain people the message confirms who you are looking to connect with.  Presto, over (not very much) time, you will begin to see great results.

Notice that you can also press the See more>> button – this will bring up even more people for you to connect with.

In a follow up session with a team of recruitment consultants last week, there was a lot of grinning when they realised that this had only taken a couple of days to work.  They are having a more targeted day, and dare I say it, spending less time on LinkedIn and more time calling clients. BINGO!

Two issues that you may have

  • You feel uncomfortable linking in with people you do not know... my view? If you go to a club, expect to be asked to dance…  If you sign on to LinkedIn, expect to LinkIn with people.
  • LinkedIn often makes reference to you only connecting with people you know.Do I really believe that they have built a platform on that premise?  Definitely not – the software is designed to locate people you have never met and expose you to people you would love to know, so use it! They charge $1000s to corporates for access to this data, so I doubt very much that they subscribe to the only connect to people you know mantra.

By training LinkedIn to find people you want to work with, you save yourselves lots of time hunting. I regularly go to my People You May Know window and it’s full of juicy contacts – it’s no coincidence!

Good luck building your network – a good network make the world of difference.

We run LinkedIn for Recruiters courses for time-starved recruiters, who think they have a handle on LinkedIn, but want to improve their profile, increase their relevant application response and place more jobs. Read about the courses here.

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