How to Meet People in Real Life via LinkedIn

Last week a new LinkedIn connection, who I don’t know in real life, sent me the following note (more or less):

Donna,

Thanks for connecting on LinkedIn. Take a look at your schedule in the coming weeks and see if we can chisel a few minutes for a cup of coffee. I enjoy meeting my local connections whenever possible.

Paul Halvorsen

In looking at Paul’s profile, I could see that we have a lot in common professionally. Why not share a cup of coffee? The next time I’m in Boise, or he’s in Sun Valley, we’ll take the LinkedIn connection to real life.

How might this approach serve a job seeker wanting to do informational interviews?

Find Your Connections

Look in your first and second level connections for locals, and even better, people who work(ed) for your target companies.

How do you find these people?

    1. Click the magnifying glass in the LinkedIn search box.
    2. Enter your location in the right-hand column, e.g. “Greater Seattle Area.”
    3. Enter your target company’s name in the right-hand column, e.g. “Google.”
    4. Check 1st and 2nd for Connections.
    5. Click “Search.”

Reach Out to Your First Level Connections

Now reach out. That note might look like:

Donna,

Thanks for connecting on LinkedIn. Take a look at your schedule in the coming weeks and see if we can chisel a few minutes for a cup of coffee. I’m job hunting. Because you’re a production manager with more experience than I have, I would love to ask you for a little career advice – not a job – just advice.

Also, I simply enjoy meeting my local connections whenever possible.

Thank you,

Paul Halvorsen

Will you get 100% “yes” responses? Of course not. But you probably will meet some people who are willing to give you an informational interview.

Convert Your Second Level Connections

Invite your second level connections to become first level connections. You can see how to do that here.

Follow up with an invitation to meet in person.

Striking Out?

You need to grow your network. You can see several ideas for how to do that here.

Cautionary Note

Use sound judgment when you move relationships from social media platforms to real life. Frame your meetings professionally.

    1. Dress appropriately.
    2. Meet in a neutral, public place such as a Starbucks near your connection’s office.
    3. Schedule meetings just before or during normal business days and hours. Nothing after 3:00 p.m.

If you have any reservations about your safety, invite more people or cancel.

Now, go ahead, expand your world!

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here. The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at donnasvei@gmail.com for more information.

Image Courtesy of Seemi Samuel
Updated June 2017

© 2011 – 2017, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 11

  1. Donna, this has got to be the *BEST* LinkedIn networking tip ever. I wasn’t aware I could use LinkedIn in this fashion, but I’ll definitely check it out over the new few days. Something tells me I’ll be drinking A LOT of coffee quite soon. Thanks!

  2. Donna:
    Welcome to Career Collective! So happy to see you here!

    This is an awesome example of how to take LinkedIn connections to the next level! I am so glad you walked us through not only the how to find people part (on LinkedIn) but also the sample wording for the invitation!

    Great work, as always!

  3. I didn’t realize you weren’t already part of the Career Collective, congratulations!

    One of the hallmarks of your blogs is your clear, easy-to-follow steps and it’s great to see how those steps appear in this blog!

    Something I’ve started trying to do is move my social media conversations to the phone/F2F where I can. It ties to the same idea you’re discussing here: going from virtual to physical. I’m willing to do what I can for a Twitter/LI friend, but if I know that sound of your voice or the way you laugh, I’m willing to do more for you.

    As always, excellent!

  4. Donna –

    Ed’s right! I love your posts because of the logical, step-by-step guidance you offer. NO EXCUSE for not implementing!

    I enjoy going to TweetUps here in Wilmington, NC. There local tweeters can take online connections to face-to-face meetings. Online conversations are great but there’s nothing quite like having those “online avatars” come to life during a meet & greet.

    Welcome to the Career Collective. It’s marvelous to be blogging with you!

  5. Donna:

    As usual, great content with real world examples. Your advice of using social media to build IRL/hand to hand relationships is something that has been lost on many. Social Media offers opportunities to touch people at light speed from distances near and far. Keep up the great work and thank you for your dedication to inform. #ittrulyhelps:)

  6. Donna – Great reminders about how to use LinkedIn’s tools. So many people under-use social media tools and don’t realize all those “back end” resources to help move social media relationships to productive, professional friendships! I’m glad you’ve joined the Career Collective and look forward to your future contributions.

  7. Donna,

    Great post, I agree with Ed and the previous folks that your posts are always concise and easy to implement. They are of great value to everybody, so thanks for being a great resource.

    I plan on leveraging these tips a lot more now, thanks a bunch!

    Cheers,
    Michael

  8. Thanks Miriam and Mike. The information and opportunities to meet people today, compared to just a handful of years ago, are simply amazing. The rewards will go to the people who show up, on-line and in real life!

    Donna

  9. Who knew you could connect with local people via LinkedIn so easily? It is definitely the norm for to think of social media as the “little friends who live in our computers,” but you help us push the envelope in this area. My LinkedIn experience has gone from my local connections first to online connections and now shall return to actually meeting some of the local connections I made in the first place, whom I have never met in person. Thanks for this valuable tip!

    I love “little friends who live in our computers” Nick! LOL Donna

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