Job Action Day 2010: Stories of Creating Opportunity Through LinkedIn

A Job Action Day 2010 Guest Blog Entry by Don Goodman, with Julie Davis

Today is Job Action Day 2010, so I’m sharing two stories about using LinkedIn to create opportunity:

JobActionDay2010Logo.jpg Don Goodman (picture below), president of About Jobs, tells this story:
I received a call from a recent client asking for some quick tips for an upcoming important interview. He was meeting with the VP of sales for a sale leadership role and really wanted to make sure he nailed it. My first piece of advice? Go to LinkedIn.

First, I asked him to look up the interviewer on LinkedIn and find out where he came from, how long he had been at the company and what did people say when they recommended him. Then I asked him to lookup the company and see who had recently joined, who had recently left and where they went. Pretty simple to do.

DonGoodman.jpg Here is what he found: The company was clearly ramping up its sales force as there were many new hires for the territory he would manage. All of the new hires had good industry experience. He also saw that someone had this job before and left after eight months. Finally, he noticed that the interviewer had been there six years and his past included a stint in Iraq in the military.

Now, it seemed apparent that the person holding this position did not work out. The employer was rebuilding the sales force and would probably want someone who could come in and train the new hires in the appropriate practices to quickly become productive. So my client mentioned his military training, (knowing that the interviewer would pick up on that) and how he was practiced in driving a disciplined approach to sales. That tidbit prompted a long conversation about how the military was a terrific background to have in these types of positions and the interview quickly changed into a conversation.

The result? A 30-minute interview turned into a two-hour discussion. During the talk, my client admitted he used LinkedIn to research the company and the people, which so impressed the interviewer (after all this is a sales job) that he was offered the job the next day.

Everybody knows you should research a company before interviewing with them. Now you can see how LinkedIn can provide unique insights to help you.


Meanwhile, my former student, Julie Davis (pictured below), also shared a LinkedIn success story:
I was just offered a position that I applied for through LinkedIn. The company posted a job on the LinkedIn job board with directions to apply through their site, but I couldn’t find the job post on their site.

JulieDavis.png I went ahead and sent the hiring manager a message (I believe she was in my network or I might have sent her an InMail, not sure) with my cover letter directing her to my online portfolio. I recently updated my portfolio to be an interactive PDF which is what I believe really impressed her, granted this position is with a brand agency and focuses on making new business presentations.

They said they were attracted initially by my unique approach to applying though. They offered me a position after one phone interview and an in-person interview!

Don Goodman, is a nationally recognized expert resume writer, certified career management coach, and job-search strategist. A graduate of the Wharton School of Business and Stanford University’s Executive Program, Don has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Read his blog; contact him at 800-909-0109 or by e-mail, or follow him on Twitter.

Julie Davis is a new college graduate. The position she attained through LinkedIn is as business development and marketing coordinator at FutureBrand.

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Kathy Hansen, PhD, is a leading proponent of deploying storytelling for career advancement. She is an author and instructor, in addition to being a career guru. More...

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