by Stephen Van Vreede

As you probably know from reading my posts, I’ve been looking at ways to make LinkedIn more effective for my technical connections and client members other than just as a big, modern-day Rolodex. Through the career advisory work I do with TechRepublic, I had a chance to meet Ahmed, who became a client member of mine and who very much wanted to get off of the LinkedIn Rolodex wheel he was on.

When I first met Ahmed, he was just venturing out into the job market after a 9-year tenure at at Fortune 100 tech company. He was on LinkedIn, connected with most of his current colleagues, and a follower (not a participant) in a few groups. He kept hearing that LI was really important in today’s job search, but he didn’t really see how other than maybe a recruiter might find him and contact him about an opportunity or perhaps he would hear about a job opening and apply for it just like any other job board out there.

After a few weeks conducting a passive job search, Ahmed was frustrated. He really wasn’t hearing from the recruiters and the job postings on LinkedIn weren’t going anywhere. Now he really didn’t get all the hype about LinkedIn and the job search. As far as he could see, it was just a big Rolodex that fed him some job openings (openings he probably could have found elsewhere anyway) and a mismatched recruiter now and then.

Thankfully for both of us, Ahmed and I met on LI. I reached out to him through a group we shared, and we started discussing many of the issues that are highlighted in my Making More of LinkedIn report.

It didn’t take him long to grasp how LinkedIn could be more relevant to his job search, and he was able to start implementing it right away. Combined with some better branding and positioning help from me and my team, he began to make more strategic connections, turn his networking into informational discussions that led to potential opportunities, and give him a starting point for the next phase of his career after this move was completed.

Ahmed’s success wasn’t unique. The key was that he took action.

I’d love to hear more about how you are using LinkedIn, what’s working and what isn’t. Sharing experiences is what helps us all grow. So please feel free to comment with your story.

I look forward to hearing from you!