LinkedIn Help for the Clueless Job Search

A friend of mine recently moved to the Houston area and is trying to find a job as a Revenue Accountant in the Oil and Gas industry. Easy, right? Not necessarily. There are quite a few job seekers with the same skills applying to any openings that come available in that area right now. My friend needs an edge but has never done any real social networking. So I advised him to start with LinkedIn.

He had created a profile once upon a time there but never did anything with it (as is the case with many). He has about 7 connections. "Not to worry" I say. "You can quickly make something useful out of this." I gave him some instructions and sent him a short note with an abbreviated version for reference. It seems like I send a similar note like this quite often to job seekers who are new to networking. So I asked my friend if he would mind if I blogged about his efforts as I thought it might be instructive to others.

He said sure. And since I don't want to totally throw my friend under the bus here, we'll just call him MacGruber.


Great speaking with you again today. Here is a short version of the LinkedIn plan we discussed. First of all get a good profile picture of yourself posted ASAP. No deer rifles or hunting caps. Just a nice close-up of your face. Try to look friendly.

Next post a solid job description for each of your previous positions going back at least 7 years. Use keywords in those descriptions that an employer might use to find a person such as yourself. Be specific as to what you do and give examples of your accomplishments.

Here is a good query you can use in Google to find other LinkedIn users to network with in your field in the Houston area. (accounting OR accountant) houston (oil OR gas) (inurl:pub OR inurl:in) -intitle:directory

You can add terms to the search to narrow the results if you like. Use quotes around multi word terms. Look at the profiles of the people that result from your query.

Make a note of the companies these people work for. Those are your target employers. Look at the industry specific groups that these users have joined. Join the same groups.

Post this discussion in those groups:

"Greetings all. I am trying to expand my network here would love to connect with you. Please send me an invitation to join your network if you feel it is appropriate. My email address is .

I am a 3+ year Oil and Gas accountant who has recently moved to the Houston area and am looking for work here. My salary requirements are flexible and I am just seeking to get started with a good organization. Any assistance is appreciated. I look forward to networking with you. Sincerely, MacGruber"

Post this weekly. Also post interesting news items and articles in these groups. Ask and answer questions. Start to position yourself as knowledgeable person. Always be interesting and friendly. Never be needy, pushy, or creepy.

Invite group members with whom you interact to join your network. You should specifically target managers. Ones who might have a hiring need.

Wash, rinse, repeat. Check in with me in a week and let's see how you are doing. I expect you to make something useful out of the scraps you currently have, so no slacking. You can do it!



Original post at

What other LinkedIn tips do you offer job seekers?

Views: 201

Comment by Craig Fisher on July 31, 2009 at 2:33pm
Sandra, great suggestion! I'll pass it along to MacGruber. Thanks!


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