LinkedIn Network

Three Tips to Quickly Start Your LinkedIn Network

Focused on getting a job? What, no LinkedIn network? Relax, that’s not unusual.

StacyZapar, the Most Connected Woman on LinkedIn, says, “Dig the well before you need it.” Fantastic advice, but not many people follow it. 

Let’s assume you’re in the “My LinkedIn network bulges with 60, count them, 60, contacts” group. If that’s the case, you probably want to grow your LinkedIn network, and you probably want to grow it fast.

Why? Because the people we know, especially former co-workers, and the people they know, help most job seekers find their next position.

Three Quick Growth Tips

We talked about how to grow a LinkedIn network ASAP on Twitter’s LinkedInChat a couple of weeks ago.

  1. Emily Birchfield, a Richmond, Virginia HR professional, suggested that you connect with your current professional contacts.
  2. Katie Germain, an Atlanta resume writer, suggested that you connect with colleagues from previous jobs.
  3. Jeff Carroll, a social media marketing professional from Bellevue, Washington, suggested that you connect with former classmates.

I love those ideas. They represent the low hanging fruit of LinkedIn connections.

How Do You Find Those People?

Make a list of your current and former:

  1. Co-workers.
  2. Suppliers.
  3. Customers.
  4. Classmates.
  5. Professors.
  6. Who else? Please share in the Comments below.

Find them on LinkedIn, and invite them to connect. That might look like:

“Hi Juan, I’m updating my LinkedIn and would love to connect. Thank you, Donna”

2020 Update

Fast forward nine years from the original post. Click out this huge compendium of network growth ideas I crowdsourced from my LinkedIn network!

A Reassurance

When you grow your network quickly, you might end up with a few people who aren’t a good fit for you. Don’t worry, it’s easy to delete, hide, or block a LinkedIn connection if that happens to you.

Thank You

Thank you to Viveka von Rosen, the moderator of LinkedInChat, for inviting me to co-mod the Special Job Search Edition. It was a blast! More thanks to Stacy Zapar, the Most Connected Woman on LinkedIn, for the “dig the well” advice. And thank you to everyone who has added additional methods and insights in the comments below.

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here: Donna Svei, Executive Resume Writer.

The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.

Featured on SmartBrief on Your Career
Image Courtesy of Jeremy Bishop
Updated November 2019

© 2010 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 13

  1. As you know, I’m a big fan of LinkedIn for job seekers. One thing that a lot of newcomers or casual users of LinkedIn often get wrong is their headline. There’s this wonderful space for text that appears every time your name does–your own personal billboard–yet many people make the mistake of populating it with, “[Job function/industry] professional”.

    Another idea: incorporate a few Applications (go to More|Applications Directory) on LinkedIn, such as a blog whereby you can demonstrate your professional expertise.

  2. ….and the people they know, help most job seekers find their next position.

    Should I mention that some job ads now come with a referral bonus- ‘if you know someone who might be interested’ can equal a $$ thank you if the person you refer (your connection) gets the job.

  3. Hi Tricia,

    Indeed you should mention referral bonuses. I have blogged about them to help job seekers understand that their networking isn’t “all about them” at all. Rather, by connecting with someone in a company, or even outside a company, they might help someone earn a referral bonus.


  4. Thanks, Donna. I read that article – TWICE – and didn’t even NOTICE the “dig the well” comment till you pointed it out to me. Eye strain or dymentia? Hmmmm… LOL

    Anyway, thanks for crediting me and for racking your brain. Good memory! :)

    Thanks again! :)

  5. Stacy,

    They’re both great posts. I’m glad you shared two, not just one!


  6. Ed — I’m all about getting as much mileage from my headline as possible — that’s why I include all of my pertinent contact information following my ‘about me’ blurb.

    As far as the apps go, I’m really a fan of the Reading List. In fact, it has actually garnered me additonal connections waaay outside of my network, due to questions people had about books I had read, shared reading interests, etc.

    My Twitter account is not fully integrated with my LinkedIn account, because I don’t want to spam people with a rapid-fire succession of status updates; however, if there’s an article, case study or presentation that I think may be of interest to members in my network, I will push it to LinkedIn (by using the #in hashtag).

  7. Jeff,

    Thank you for these terrific ideas! I love your Twitter and LinkedIn bios and agree that Twitter is a better place for multiple updates than LinkedIn. I try to keep my LinkedIn to one a day or even fewer.


  8. Donna

    Good advice on use of Linked In (LI). I am a confirmed LI junkie. In +/- 4 years have grown my connections to >500. I would also recommend joining groups that are of interest to you. See the regular posters in that group. If they are of interest (based on thinking or knowledge etc) then reach out to them and request a connection. You can use the connection of “common members of a group” or whatever the exact line is. I would also use the group to post your thoughts/knowledge on a topic and see who responds, then reach out to them as well.

    Linked In is a powerful and useful tool. Once you start building your profile and connection it will also start to garner attention and the growth will continue that way as well.



  9. Loved your comment … Do you really want to use your time writing a personal invite to someone who has two connections? Probably not … Makes you wonder why they are on LinkedIn?

  10. Donna, Your advice never gets outdated! Remind people to get business cards at networking events, and ask those people to join you on LI. Remind them in the invite where you met. They will be impressed by your quick connection!

    Thank you Karen, for this and all your kindness. Donna

  11. Donna,

    Thank you for sharing, this is great information. I’ve seen the ‘Stay in Touch’ requests coming through and I didn’t know the details behind them. This is immensely helpful and of course, great advice.


    Thank you Naomi. I appreciate you taking the time to be so nice! Donna

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