Aug. 6, 2020

LinkedIn 101 Part 2 - Connect with people who you've worked with in the past

Invest in professional relationships and keep in contact via LinkedIn

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Welcome to part 2 of the LinkedIn 101 series!

In this series of post, I'll be writing about actions you can take on LinkedIn to increase your chances of finding a job. If you haven't done so already, read Part 1 - Show and Tell who you are.

Surround yourself with people who you actually enjoyed working with

When you work in the building and construction industry, you are bound to meet many people from different companies. If you're a project manager, you would have most likely have worked with different builders, architects, engineers and clients.

Naturally, you would have enjoyed working with some of these people whilst others, not so much.

The building and construction industry is one of those sectors where people stay within their field for most of their career. I have no credible source but most of the people I work with have only worked in this industry.

If this is the case, why not surround yourself, digitally on LinkedIn, with people whom you've enjoyed working with in the past?

Invest in Relationships

Any type of relationship (romantic, social, or professional) should not be based on the question "what can you do for me?" It needs to be mutual. It needs to be nourishing.

Don't invest in a professional relationship with the aim of getting something out of them. Invest because both of you mutually want to. Create a network of people whom you trust. Celebrate each other's success. Help when you can. Ask for help when you need.

Search people on LinkedIn

With this in mind, let's look at how you can connect with people you've worked with in the past.

Let's be honest. We probably don't want to admit our stalking skills when it comes to Facebook or Instagram. But I'm assuming we know how to look for someone on social media. When it comes to LinkedIn, you can just as easily find people too. You can search by their name or their company. Use the search box.

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Customise your invite

When you're requesting to connect, don't just send it without any message. Make it special and write a short personalised message. I do this for most of the people I connect with.

For example:

  • Hello ____
  • It was great working with you on ____ project
  • Let's keep in contact!

Taking 15 seconds to write a personalised message can make such an impact on the person who's receiving them.

Keep in contact

When you move on from your company, you may think that the relationship you have built with your colleagues and the people you've worked with, is over. But it doesn't have to be! Once in a blue moon, if you have been thinking of a particular person, pop them a message on LinkedIn. Ask them how they are doing.

Most of my activities on LinkedIn is not public. I spend most of the time connecting with people privately.

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Some occasions when I send messages:

  • Congratulating them on their new job or position
  • Asking questions if I have any
  • Catching up on the latest goss at my previous workplace
  • Checking up with clients on how the end product is being used, out of curiosity

Ask for help

You've surrounded yourself on LinkedIn with people whom you enjoyed working with. You're keeping in contact with them. You help out if you can when someone needs help. And now, you need help.

If you've invested in the relationship, don't be afraid of asking for help. This includes potential new opportunities.

For example, At the end of last year, I decided that I wanted to move from Sydney to Melbourne. I was looking for a job but it was proving difficult because I didn't know anyone there and I wasn't physically there. However, I was able to get a job through a dear colleague of mine who recommended me to her ex-boss. I didn't invest in this relationship because I was hoping to get a job out of it. We developed a good relationship because we enjoyed working together, learnt from each other and helped each other when needed. We still keep in contact.

It's a lot easier to not keep in contact with people. It's easy not to be invested in relationships. And it is harder to make the effort. But it's well worth it.

Summary

Invest in relationships by connecting with people whom you've enjoyed working with in the past. If you trust them, ask for their help and see if they know of any potential opportunities.


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