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The LinkedIn Job Seeker Connection Dilemma: Quantity or Quality?

The LinkedIn Job Seeker Connection Dilemma: Quantity or Quality?

In all my speaking, training and coaching, this has to be the most popular question when talking about LinkedIn. To link or not to link…should a job seeker go after a high quantity of connections or focus more on the quality of connections? My answer – in short – is both. I am a strong believer and advocate that out of quantity comes quality.

Guy Kawasaki, of Alltop fame, says it best when talking about Twitter: “Nobodies are the new somebodies.” Albeit a different medium, I think that philosophy applies here. LinkedIn is the premier on-line professional networking site. And, just as you would network at a live event, the goal should be to get to know those you don’t already know. Moreover, following Kawasaki’s logic, don’t try to predetermine who can help you…those second and third degrees of separation with the most random of persons can take you places you never expected to go!

It’s essential to connect with likeminded people. A massive number of connections with non-networking types nets you “garbage in, garbage out.” Personally, I have used OpenNetworker to grow my network from under 2,000 connections to over 15,000 in just over a year. More importantly, 15,000 connections who want to network. This has been instrumental in helping me get the word out on what I do and the pain I address (more on this in a second). I don’t decide who needs to hear my message – I let the audience…my connections…decide what has value. They then make the introductions and connections accordingly.

For the job seeker in particular, you must have your message down. More importantly, your message (or, as I call it, Your Solution) isn’t that you are unemployed or that you are looking for work. It’s all about where you have consistently delivered value to employers in the past – painting the picture of what you can do for a future employer. When working with clients on their Solution, we get crystal clear on the problems (or pains) they solve. Fine tune the Solution, push it out as a clear message, attract those in pain (i.e. those who need what you can deliver) and then explore the fit (interview).

About Kevin

Kevin Kermes
Founder

Just like his firm, Kermes Consulting, Kevin formed Career Attraction on the core premise that every career transition is as specialized as the individual undertaking it. Through his acclaimed personalized training program – Career Attraction University – Kevin is able to provide an affordable, highly effective and easy to implement job search strategy for clients. It is based on the foundation of attracting opportunities through inbound marketing, networking and simply “being yourself.”

Kevin has over 15 years experience building boutique search firms, placing executives in Fortune 100 companies, and helping high level professionals transition to the C-Suite. He harnesses this unique first-hand 360 degree perspective for his executive coaching clients, providing them the tools they need to excel in today’s marketplace.

Kevin is a frequent presenter at executive career focused groups in organizations such as Citibank and PMI (Project Management Institute). He also is published in a variety of media, including the Wall Street Journal, TheLadders, Monster.com and a columnist for the Examiner.com.

Kevin holds a BS in History and Spanish from Georgia State University and also served as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army. He has worked and consulted for Robert Half International, Freddie Mac, Northrop Grumman, Computer Sciences Corporation, General Dynamics and formed two boutique search firms.

About ResumeBear

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4 comments

  1. Quality almost always trumps quantity. Accepting connections from everyone and anyone makes very little sense. Focus on your career and professional goals and it will become quite obvious where and when to nuture connections.

  2. The concept of second and third degrees of separation is very valid. Just like the saying that anyone is just 6 introductions away from meeting anyone you want to meet in the world.

    Thanks for the tip on OpenNetworker. I will look into it.

  3. Appreciate your insight on this Kevin. I can’t tell you how many times I have consulted and coached clients about the importance of quality not quantity. It is a marathon, not a race, right?

    I believe Linkedin to be the best networking platform on the planet! Although, if you don’t properly implement and execute, I can see why others don’t ‘get’ Linkedin.

    Thank you for sharing your tips and advice. I am looking forward to sharing this with my fans, followers and clients.

  4. I’m a big fan of developing a clear message re: the value proposition of professionals in transition. It’s so important.

    Yet I tend to find that for many job seekers, who are often new to LinkedIn and social media as a whole, are intimidated by and uncomfortable with the prospect of having as many as a hundred connections.

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