Thursday, February 19, 2009

LinkedIn Experiment Part 3: The Art Of Following Up

The LinkedIn Experiment continues this week with "The Art Of Following Up" and how it can effect your job search.

Not to long ago, I came across a job posting on one of my favorite sites ( for a part time legal assistant/secretary. Immediately I contacted the individual via phone to inquire about the position to see if this was a job opportunity that I could share with my Legal Studies and Paralegal students. Although the person I spoke with informed me that the position was no longer available, once this person learned that I worked for Kaplan University they were curious to know if there were any positions available because they themselves were interested in employment opportunities. So I recommended that we keep in touch via after confirming the person had a LinkedIn account. The person agreed and stated they would contact me soon.

This conversation took place over 2 weeks ago....

Lesson Learned: Following Up Is Important

The reason why this event is important to your job search is that you may encounter people in your job search that are willing to help you, but if you don't follow up, you miss out on opportunities.

In the example of the hiring manager that I spoke with, this person was looking for a teaching position within the university. Although open positions are posted on Kaplan University's website, employees do hear of available positions BEFORE they are posted. In this case, if this person had followed up they would be in a position to learn about unpublished or soon to be published opportunities.

Don't wait until you NEED a job, start building your network now. If you promise to follow up - do so. Performing this one simple task will increase your chances of finding a job. It transforms your job search because you place yourself in a position to learn about opportunities and increases the chances of people personally identifying your resume as opposed to your resume being "just another resume" in a pile of resumes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

LinkedIn Experiment Part 2

Welcome to the “LinkedIn Experiment!”

To uncover job opportunities and show how to expand a social network by utilizing LinkedIn (and a bit of Twitter), I will post my findings to this blog once and/or twice per week every week from January 2009 – April 2009. Those that are looking for a job, or looking to expand their professional contacts will find the “LinkedIn Experiment” useful, because I will provide information on my progress that you can use to help you find a job or expand your network of professional contacts.

Step 1: Join A Group!
On LinkedIn I’ve discovered an interesting feature on the left side of the screen called “Groups”. After clicking on this option, I noticed an opportunity to search for groups. Since I’m the Career Specialist for the School of Legal Studies, I decided to look up the word “paralegal” resulting in 43 items in the search results. So, I decided to join a few groups that were familiar to me such as
- Paralegal Gateway
- Paralegal Network
- The Paralegal Group

The instructions for joining a “Group” are easy. Just click “Join this group” option at the bottom, select a few options in the next screen and then hit the button called “Join this group.”

Now the waiting begins…. Group organizers can review your profile and decide if they want to approve your request to join. Some organizers quickly accept you, others leave you waiting.

Fortunately, I’ve been accepted to a few groups that I requested, so now I can look at their discussion boards to see what’s going on.

After scrolling through a few posts, I notice a job opening for a Litigation Paralegal Manager so I contact the person that posted the position….

Step 2: Found a Job Posting
I contacted the person that posted the job via e-mail. After a few e-mails, I asked for her phone number because there’s only so much that can be learned via e-mail and phone calls are more personal. A brief discussion reveals that
- The position is close to being filled, but…
- Another position is available for a HR Generalist

After providing me with the initial job description we agree she will follow up via e-mail with the remaining details. Since Kaplan University has a School of Business and an MBA program, we can still list the position on our school’s on-line job board.

Although the original job opportunity may not be available, it is still helpful to learn of other job opportunities coming up. Who knows? You may be able to help the hiring manager (and someone else at the same time) by referring someone. This increases the chances of you being remembered as a person that works with the hiring manager to help solve their problem instead of "job seeker xyz". Therefore, the next time a position opens up in an area that you are interested in, you are more likely to be considered.

Was this helpful? Let me know!!