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Linkedin 106; 11 Secrets to Mastering Linkedin and Getting the Job; It's all in the Cards!

Let me begin Linkedin 106 (the conclusion of the Linkedin Training Series) with my parting words in the previous segment (Linkedin 105), "You have now learned how to connect the dots between the Open Job, Hiring Company and Employee Contact(s), but the biggest dots are still left to be connected: What is the best strategy utilizing the RIGHT contacts that can get you an initial phone or face to face interview?".  If you have followed the series and done your homework you should really have an awesome profile that would attract your right contacts that may help you get a job or enhance your career!   So now to share with you the BEST STRATEGY of how to use Linkedin to leverage yourself where you want to be!  Think of Linkedin as a game of chance, not too different from the Monopoly Game we all played as children (and some of you as adults too!).


In Monopoly, you have cards that are face down and you get the luck of the draw, in addition you have a board with opportunities for you to build your empire or stumbling blocks that can put you in jail with a toss of the dice!  Linkedin can also be viewed as a game too (hopefully it will not get you into jail!) with unlimited opportunities to meet people by landing on their profile and after evaluating their backgrounds and position, decide if they are someone that could help you within your career, business or perhaps even personal life (need a Lawyer or Financial Planner?).  The pitfalls of this game; people you want to attract may ignore you and respond with "They don't know you" or worse, GASP, mark you as a spammer! So the Linkedin Game has an element of tossing the dice too each and every time you request them to add you as a contact!  Linkeded, Unlike Monopoly where you are stuck with your landing place, you get to search for your landing place (a Linkedin Profile) and elect to move off it WITHOUT engaging the person or throwing the dice that they will reject you and hurt your account status if attempting to add them as a contact (as mentioned earlier in the Linkedin Training Series, Linkedin will freeze your account if only a few people reject you!). 


Keeping this all in mind, I have crafted 11 Linkedin Game Cards that you can select from to play at any time, given your situation and inclination to help you win the game.  What is wining the game?  You decide; you may be playing Linkedin merely to build your professional network to 500 or 1,000 people (or more) as an insurance policy against job loss, maybe you have a business and you want to build a mass of new potential customers, maybe you are playing a more high pressured game like "I need a freaking JOB NOW, I am unemployed".  Whatever your game, you better know which game cards to pull when you land on a Linkedin Profile you want to engage, so here they are!


11 Linkedin Game Cards

  1. Risk Measurement Card, you know that a potential new contact can reject your invite and Linkedin will freeze your account, you should only invite medium to low risk contacts. Medium risk of a contact accepting your invitation; inviting people that minimally have at least 200 contacts and their picture uploaded to their COMPLETE profile.  Medium Low Risk if they ALSO are a Member of at least 1 Group (more groups, lower the risk) and super best if you share that Group with them.  Lowest Risk if they ALSO paid for a premium profile and they allow free Inmails (you can email them directly without them being linked to you). 
  2. Low Risk Invite Card, you are only allowed to invite up to 5 people to Linkedin with you at a given time (the Free Program), the quicker they accept your invite, the more people you can invite! Suggest to invite only Medium Risk to Low Risk Profiles.
  3. Customize Your Invite Card, you understand that even with a Medium to Low Risk Contact that you just don't hit the, ADD JOE to your Network button and merely leave the canned "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" in the blank space and send it out!  You customize your invite by adding nice connection words before it and after it; "Hi Joe, I see we both know Jim (or we both worked at XYZ company) and I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.  Would that be ok with you?  I hope so and all the best, Regards, Lauren".  This card will increase the number of people who will say yes to your invite!
  4. Join YOUR Group Too Card, You see that an important contact (you are not Linked too yet) is a member of a Linkedin Group, you go join THAT Group too because you know that all members of a Group become united and can invite each other directly to their Linkedin Network.  Once in your targeted contacts Group, you go back and invite him to your Linkedin Network saying, "Hi there, we are in the same XYZ Group together.."!
  5. Join 50 Groups Card, join up to the permitted 50 Linkedin Groups that have the most MEMBERS and pertain the most to YOUR industry or need. You can join up to about 5 at a time, so go back for more little by little!
  6. Personal Thank You Note Card, after a person has accepted your invite; you go back and send a personal thank you message to them and let them know if you can ever help them by increasing their connections (or whatever) you are there for them!  You also may want to ask them of your main intent for connecting at the end (ie; any job openings, do you know the hiring manager in Chicago and etc.).
  7. Linkedin Voyeur Card (don't worry, this is legal!), once a valued new connection has accepted your invite, you can go back and look at their Linkedin connections (you can see ones you have in common and if they did not block out the "see all feature", you can see ALL their first level contacts YOU aren't Linked too yet!).  You know this card will allow you to pick through their now second level contacts to you and invite the important ones to be your first level contact: and so on and so on!
  8. Smart Inmail Card, You find a person you REALLY deem important, but their profile reflects a High Risk Contact that could decline your invite (less than 100 contacts, no picture, only most recent job added in profile).  You elect to use an Inmail FIRST to ask them if you can connect with them over the phone, email or maybe ask FIRST if you can politely invite them to your Linkedin Network.  You give them a solid reason of why it would benefit THEM to connect with you (and YOU are selling nothing to them, no one wants to connect with a spamming sales person!).  On Inmails you can and should put your personal email address and telephone number so they can circumvent Linkedin if they feel safer and contact you directly.  You understand you only have 3 to 5 free inmails to use each month, so use them carefully.
  9. Job Seeker Company Card, you have identified 4 companies that you want to work for AND you have the background that these companies would be interested in (better yet, if you use an aggregate job board to see if they have a job opening currently, or use Linkedin's Job Search tool associated with Simply Hired).
  10. Job Seeker Highest Level Card, you have identified the highest level person working in those companies using the ADVANCED SEARCH button on your Linkedin Profile and you start there first to connect if they reflect a low risk profile.  The trickledown theory, (ie: if you are a District Manager looking for work try to connect with the President or Vice President of Sales, no connect?  You head downstream to lower levels, until you get a connect. Why?  I have never heard of a HR Department or Region VP ignore a President or VP who says, "CALL THIS GUY, he looks good!". This trickledown theory works for ANY position within a corporation. Suggested to use this Highest Level Card with the Smat Inmail Card (no. 8) for best results. 
  11. Job Seeker Recruiter Card, you connect with as many recruiters in your field as possible.  You know they are all poor slobs trying to make a living by really just being Head Hunters working straight commission and NEVER decline anyone to their Linkedin Group (unless you look like a unabomber!).  They have probably blocked their contacts from you (but you can see mutual ones).  You are smart and connect with all of them and if your boss ever asks, "Why are you connected to so many recruiters", you just smile and say, "Yep, I am not looking for a job but I connect with ALL recruiters ALL the time, it is just smart to do..don't you?".  

So there you have it, I conclude my Linkedin Training Series on how to Master Linkedin.  Yes, it is time consuming, but if you play your cards right, it could enhance your career and maybe help you end up in the most coveted of all positions...on Boardwalk or Park Avenue! 

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved


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Comment by Linda Hertz on June 27, 2011 at 10:42am


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