6 Reasons Why LinkedIn Is So Critical In A Job Search

A candidate recently asked me, “How do I find a hiring manager in a large company like Microsoft?” There are a lot of ways to do this but one of the easiest and best is using LinkedIn. When I recommended this to the candidate he completely agreed, however, the problem was he only had about 60 connections. Too few to be effective.

So often I speak with candidates that just don’t understand the value of LinkedIn as a job search tool. We constantly are sent invitations to join someone’s network only to find after months of searching they are just now starting build a LinkedIn network. You should consider building your LinkedIn networking all the time. NOT JUST WHEN IN A JOB SEARCH.

Some benefits to a large LinkedIn database of contacts:

  1. People can find you. The more people at the second and third degrees of separation the more times you will show up in a search. For example, I have around 500 contacts. However, I am linked to over 5 million people on LinkedIn. When I search for a candidate that is a huge database.
  2. LinkedIn will eliminate the need for resume databases on Ladders, Monster, Careerbuilder and other job boards. This is because it costs on average between 5,000 and 10,000 dollars to have access to these resume databases. LinkedIn is free. Why would a recruiter or any company pay that when we can use LinkedIn for free.
  3. Resumes databases by the job boards are not pick up by Google or any search engine. These are the ones you want to make sure you show up on. LinkedIn is and you can even improve your search results for as little as $25 a month. (See prior blog article SEO Your Search On Google)
  4. It helps you find the people you want an introduction to. This is very powerful. I have helped numerous people with introductions as a result of LinkedIn. On a weekly basis I receive requests indicating they found a person in my connections and would I make an introduction. I always agree.
  5. Even when working this is a great tool for resources, customer contacts and introductions, references, service providers and even potential hires for you or your company.
  6. On a personal basis it is a great way to stay in-touch with friends, colleagues, prior employees and networking contacts. When you update your profile they will get a notice and likewise when they update theirs.

Work hard at building your connections. Make every effort to reach that magic 500+. If you use Outlook download the LinkedIn tool bar. It makes inviting people very easy.

There are many more positives to building your LinkedIn network than there are negatives. Many have resisted. I believe this recession has proven to be good thing for everyone’s network.

If you have other ideas share them by adding a comment. Lets help everyone build a strong network.

A good way to start is building a network is making sure your profile is complete. If it isn’t start there and then begin expanding your contacts. Don’t miss the opportunity to get a high ranking on Google.

You can download for free our “8 Matrix LinkedIn Profile Assessment” tool.

Our complete job search home study course the, “Career Success Factor Methodology” is a comprehensive resource that covers all 5 steps in an effective job search. You can review the complete system for just $14.95. We will even pay the shipping and to ensure your success include in a copy of our job search workbook. To review the Career Success Factor Methodology CLICK HERE.


About the Author

Brad Remillard is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Brad is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.


  • By sardar, September 10, 2009 @ 9:28 pm

    Brad, I agree with you. What a nice way you have represented Linkedin and what it can do to a person’s image as far as finding jobs and businessnes are concerned.
    keep up the good work.

  • By Eleni Pallas, September 11, 2009 @ 2:55 am

    You make some excellent points, Brad, thank you for documenting them for us.

    As you noted, most people wait until they need to find a job before they start searching or connecting with people, when in fact, we should all maintain our marketability all the time, so that we see opportunities when they arise, plus feel like we have choices. Staying in a job because we feel trapped, frustrated or unsure as to how to find a new one is the worst situation for both the employee and company.

    I encourage everyone to maintain their marketability and choose to stay with their organization, or not.

    Eleni Pallas.

  • By mark parrish, September 11, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

    FYI-Linkedin is not free for recruiters. Also I get a lot of spam from recruiters and people that are just trying to be connected to me to build their stats. Linkedin is losing its luster since most of the contacts are bloviating and selling services instead of providing information.

    What good is 2 million connections at the end of the day. Did you really network and make a connection or were you satisfying your ego.

  • By Ian Somerville, September 11, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

    Hi Barry,
    I am new to linkedin but in one week I have made major steps in establishing my primary contacts and some 2nd and 3rd tier contacts.
    I have also been working on recommendations as well.They are coming in slow;y but surely.
    Your point about the 2nd and 3rd tier networking is very interesting.Linkein provide strong advise not to connect with someone you don’t know or where there is no trust established.What would you recommend as the best way to expand my network taking these factors into consideration ?

    Thanks for a great article.

    Ian Somerville

  • By Barry Deutsch, September 12, 2009 @ 11:33 am


    First look at your first level contacts and who is in their networks. If you see someone who you would like to contact in your first level contact’s network, ask for a referral or introduction. Your success rate will probably be in the 90% range. When you “cold-call” by contacting individuals who are 3 levels removed from you, the return rate is probably less than 25% no matter how well you write your inmail or note.

  • By Barry Deutsch, September 12, 2009 @ 11:42 am


    Couple of thoughts on your comments. As you can tell in my blog post, I’m not a big proponent of building a large network for stats purposes. I am not sure what end goal that really serves. I’m not impressed by individuals that have thousands of contacts – so what? It’s very difficult to nuture and sustain relationships with thousands of contacts.

    I agree that there is a certain amount of “spam” on LinkedIn – however it’s no different than the calls/emails you get outside of LinkedIn. I have noticed that there is an overly cautious approach on individuals who are in a job search mode on LinkedIn. Who cares if a recruiter has your contact information and sends you a note or perhaps wants to connect with you – you’re looking for a job! I can understand the conservative approach if you’re not looking for a job – but I’m baffled by it for job seekers. If I was looking for a job, I would make it easy for every recruiter, hiring manager, human resource professional to contact me and link to me. I would be going out of my way to pass referrals and contacts to them. I would work those individuals who linked to me for their contacts, relationships, job leads and referrals. The leverage and power LinkedIn provides for job seekers is extraordinary. Why do so many job seekers hide themselves under the privacy settings and limit their ability to be “found”.

  • By Susan Granick, September 29, 2009 @ 9:56 am

    I do get contacted regularly by headhunters for jobs that aren’t for me, but I welcome the “intrusion” – however, it is unfortunate that some LinkedIn users do spam strangers with their sales pitch (much like in the real world). But I never mind inquiries from Recruiters…even when I am not looking for a job (which, sadly, is rare!). I always try to think of who in my network I can pass along a job to. That person thanks me and, in the future, may be able to return the favor in kind. Even if I weren’t looking for work today, it’s a good idea to be in touch with Recruiters in general and just keep abreast of the job market – I also may be looking to hire someone at any point, so the connection goes both ways. As your current network evolves and moves to new employers around the country, your network continues expanding. It’s really interesting.

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