Daniel Gulati, a columnist for the Huffington Post, recently wrote a column detailing the long list of favors he’s asked by his LinkedIn.com contacts. Job seekers, for instance, frequently write to him asking him to get them an interview with a high-ranking executive. Others write to ask for his personal recommendations. Others ask for any information he can provide on specific companies. In many cases, Gulati says he helps these people. In other instances, though, job hunters’ LinkedIn job search habits have turned him off.
And when that happens, he doesn’t provide much, if any, help.
Searching for Work Through LinkedIn
This should be a good lesson for anyone hoping to make a professional job change. LinkedIn, the social media site dedicated exclusively to the world of business networking, is an important tool for people trying to make an executive career change. But it’s also one that can easily be misused. And if you misuse LinkedIn, you run the real possibility of annoying the people to whom you’re turning for job search help.
Gulati says that he separates the professional LinkedIn job search requests from the non-professional in a simple way: He asks people who contact him through LinkedIn to perform a qualifying task before he grants them their favors.
The LinkedIn Job Search Etiquette
For instance, if contacts ready to make a professional career change contact Gulati and asks him to set up an interview with a high-ranking executive, Gulati will ask these people to first write him three paragraphs on why they are qualified for the position they are seeking.
When contacts ask Gulati to introduce them to a person in his network, he’ll ask these contacts first to write a one-paragraph summary of their request. This proves that the contact isn’t just, as Gulati calls it, “kicking tires” and trying to meet anyone and everyone on LinkedIn.
Those contacts who don’t perform these fairly simple qualifying steps, don’t receive their favors from Gulati.
Asking for Help the Key Today
To get ahead in today’s competitive business world, it’s often necessary to ask people for favors or for help. There’s no shame in doing this, but there is a proper etiquette. Don’t bother your contacts endlessly for interviews and meetings. Only request interviews for jobs that are good fit for your skill sets. And only ask for introductions to people who are actually relevant to your field.
And when someone asks you to perform a small task before they’ll grant you your favor, don’t ignore the request. Complete the task; it’s the professional thing to do.
If you need help conducting a professional LinkedIn job search, sign up for our Get Hired Bootcamp today.