Getting No Response from LinkedIn Connections? My thoughts…

June 25th, 2012 | by Jason Alba |

I got this email from a friend and JibberJobber user:

As you know, I am looking for work. Each time I find a job ad, I look for a LinkedIn connection to find out if the job is active or who is the hiring HR or manager is. The only response I get is to submit it on their website. More often, I get no response. So, what is the value of having countless connections if no one connects in a meaningful way? What can be done to give a better result?

Let’s take this question in pieces:

Each time I find a job ad, I look for a LinkedIn connection to find out if the job is active or who is the hiring HR or manager is.

AWESOME. This is exactly what you should do when you find an opening you are interested in.

The only response I get is to submit it on their website.

I would love to know how you are reaching out to them?  If you ask for info on the job, or the HR manager, perhaps change your approach to them.  You are asking a direct question, and they are giving a direct answer.  Instead, try to get an informational interview, or asking other questions.  Not to be sneaky, but perhaps to have a different purpose (that will still help you get closer to the hiring manager).

More often, I get no response.

I wonder how strong your relationship is with these people?  Could it be that the message sent through LinkedIn went to their spam box? Yes, this is possible, even coming from LinkedIn’s system.  If you have a good relationship with them, and they don’t respond, assume they didn’t get your request in the first place, and reach out to them a different way.  Or, send them a note asking if they got it.

If you don’t have a relationship with them you need to have a different approach… asking someone you know for good information vs asking someone you don’t know require different questions.

One thing I would focus on is not so much the information, but starting a long-term professional relationship.  Too many people ask questions and appear to use their contacts, but don’t do anything in the way of developing real, professional relationships that last for a long time.

…what is the value of having countless connections if no one connects in a meaningful way?

Interesting question, which goes to the “quantity vs. quality” debate.  For those of you who don’t know, this is the almost-religious debate about whether you should have quantity (lots and lots of contacts) or quality (real relationships – only people you know/trust).  I’m really not going to tell you where you should be… but I will tell you there are merits in both options.

Actually, I like to think of it more on a spectrum than either/or.  And I can’t tell you were to be on the quantity/quality spectrum – you have to figure that out for yourself.  Wherever you are, there is value there.  And you’ll be giving up things from other places on the spectrum where you aren’t.

In short, to answer YOUR question, there is value in having countless connections in that your LinkedIn account gives you access to a big database.  Big on FINDING.  That’s how recruiters use LinkedIn.  Big database = lots of results when looking for contacts.

It’s not the only way, but there is value there.

Furthermore, this goes to the “hidden job market” idea.  Let’s say someone is hiring a payroll officer. They might have it posted, they might not.  If you have a large network, and you’ve branded yourself well, and you stay in touch with your contacts who are in-the-know, they might bring the job to YOU, before it’s ever posted!

What can be done to give a better result?

Nurture relationships with your contacts.  As mentioned above, ask them different questions (different than what you already asked them).  Try something more personal, to reduce your perception as a spammer (or unsolicited communicator).

What about using Introductions?  Getting introduced from a mutual friend could be powerful.

An “introduction” doesn’t have to be through the LinkedIn system… :)

I’d love to see your messages to the people you aren’t getting any reaction from…

If all else fails, the phone tends to be pretty powerful!

 

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