Thursday, May 22, 2014

LinkedIn Connection Request for Favor--Job Hunt

As a blogger, sometimes a blog article opportunity arrives like a fish that jumps into my boat while I'm fishing, metaphorically speaking.

Someone sent me email through LinkedIn to ask if I knew someone at a particular workplace. Turns out, I do have a first-degree connection there, but I didn't feel I knew the person well enough to ask about positions on my inquirer's behalf. After I wrote back, my emailer took a second look at the original inquiry, with thoughts that maybe initially proofreading before clicking Send might have been reasonable.

Note: As a courtesy to the inquirer, I requested and received permission to quote most of the email.

"Hey [me as email recipient], for the advise about getttig back into looking forwork.soi was wonderingif you kow someboday a [undeterminable name of potential employer]!!"

I replied as factually as I could, and asked confirmation of the company name.

"I'm not sure I can help. What is '[indecipherable company name]'? [industry guess]? I have one first-level connection for [guessed company name], but ... [allusion to barely knowing other connection]".

For others who might not have asked LinkedIn connections about potential employers, the approach is reasonable, but maybe do spellcheck first, and afterwards, re-read for thought before sending the email.

Let's revisit the original text, lightly edited for obscuring some context and ID:
Hey [me as email recipient], for the advise about getttig back into looking forwork.soi was wonderingif you kow someboday a [undeterminable name of potential employer]!!
And now, a suggested inquiry, edited for sendout:
Hi, [me as email recipient]. I'm getting back into the job market. I was wondering if you know someone at [company name] that I should contact. Would it be ok if I mention that you provided me that person's name?
At the time of considering sending such a message, do some LinkedIn research first. If you have a company in mind, do a LinkedIn search for the company name. As you start typing the name, LinkedIn starts suggesting the following categories:
  • Jobs at [company name]
  • People who work at [company name]
  • People who used to work at [company name]
  • [company name] (not shown on pixstrip)
My focus is on the first three links and results when you click each of them.

Jobs at [company name] The Jobs page opens. You want to know that a suitable job description is at the company--such as a mutual fit for skills and experience. You might want to filter the results to more manageable numbers, At the Search area on the left part of the results window, filter by adding criteria, then click the Search button. In this search case, maybe enter your occupation title into the keyword field and also make choices for geographical restrictions (Postal Code, followed by Within distance choice).

People who work at [company name] The People page (current workers) opens. Scan the list for 1st-degree connections of prospective people to write to. Also consider 2nd-degree connections. People who actually work at the workplace of interest can fill you in on their current work environment and co-workers.

People who used to work at [company name] The People page (former workers) opens. Try out this webpage for completeness of research, or if you did not find prospective people to reach out to in the current people webpage. Scan the list for 1st-degree connections of prospective people to write to. Also consider 2nd-degree connections. People who used to work at the workplace of interest can tell you about their work environment and co-workers while they were there.

The people who currently and formerly worked at the workplace of interest can be especially helpful if they can help route a resume to hiring types directly. They can also be helpful if they know people you will be interviewing with. Look into interviewers' profiles ahead of time, and ask your connections questions about the interviewers, whatever the profiles prompted you to wonder. Ask about interactions between your connections and interviewers, if any. Ask about connections' perception of interviewers' demeanor and professional expertise.

You can send LinkedIn email directly to 1st-degree connections. Ask them a few crucial questions. Ask if it's ok to call them. Ask them to call you. Look into their profiles and see if they list a phone number, and call them. Call the company phone number and use the corporate directory to call them, leaving them a message if their voicemail picks up. Be courteous and brief. (I myself prefer to contact by email than phone, maybe because I'm a writer and feel I can better articulate in text. YMMV.)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pretty good info, Wanda. Thanks for the tips.

By the way, no one seeking new employees is going to know what a wafer/reticle sorter is. How about, instead, "precision robotic equipment" in support of advanced semiconductor / IC manufacturing? That way, outside hiring managers can make a more solid connection. Robotics is understandable; but reticle sorters is an absolutely mysterious term to anyone who has not worked in a fab environment before.

YogtheYoung@gmail.com

whilldtkwriter said...

Thanks for your comment. Actually, I'm thinking of revising my headline and removing the reference to wafers and reticles, as I have not written about them in 11 years. I've been doing more tech writing about DRAMs recently, considered to be hardware, but very small-scaled items rather than larger mechanical products. Not sure how to tweak headline, and not in a BIG hurry yet. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hello whilldtkwriter. It is almost comical that somebody seeking a job would not spellcheck. Your blog and post are kind. As to the reply here about wafers.... Most of us in technology understand what wafers are even though we may never have worked in a fab.

whilldtkwriter said...

Thanks for your kind words! Wafers now make me think of cookies. BTW, reticle has a newer and additional meaning for me because of my more recent and newbie interest in astronomy.

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