Last week a new LinkedIn connection, who I don’t know in real life, sent me the following note (more or less):
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.
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?
- Click the magnifying glass in the LinkedIn search box.
- Enter your location in the right-hand column, e.g. “Greater Seattle Area.”
- Enter your target company’s name in the right-hand column, e.g. “Google.”
- Check 1st and 2nd for Connections.
- Click “Search.”
Reach Out to Your First Level Connections
Now reach out. That note might look like:
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.
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.
You need to grow your network. You can see several ideas for how to do that here.
Use sound judgment when you move relationships from social media platforms to real life. Frame your meetings professionally.
- Dress appropriately.
- Meet in a neutral, public place such as a Starbucks near your connection’s office.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Image Courtesy of Seemi Samuel
Updated June 2017
© 2011 – 2017, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.