Job Search – Reaching out to your contacts

Many people are out of work in America today. I’ve heard as many as 1 in 4 are out of work right now. That’s a lot. It’s the highest I remember.

At the same time, I hear that many companies are hiring. So fear not, friends! Hold hope that your next job role is out there!

My assumption is that you’ve been working on your LinkedIn profile. If you haven’t been, that will be the topic of a different post in the future. Or check out the podcast from Manager Tools. Meanwhile, if you have found that perfect role – or something you think you’re at least 25% qualified for – let’s talk about how to find out more information about that role.

Reaching out to contacts about a specific role

Today we’ll talk about reaching out to your network about specific roles that you find. Most people know that getting a referral into a company is usually the best way past the automated resume scanners. So how do you find out more about that role, team, the manager, the company and then get that referral?

Note: This is NOT about asking the person for the job. That’s for AFTER you get the interview. You can only Close when you wrap up an interview.

People Search

Search box in LinkedIn

At the top of every page in LinkedIn is the Search box, as shown above. Click here and search for the company for that job that you’ve found. In this case, I’m going to use Fidelity Investments as the company in my search.

Search results for Fidelity Investments

As you can see in the above screen shot, there are several immediate results returned. In this case, we are going to choose “fidelity investments in People”.

Search results

At this point, I see a resulting page with a LOT of results. Now let’s limit our search down to just our contacts. Choose the Connections drop-down and select 1st from the list. Once the checkbox is selected, click the “Apply” button.

Choose 1st Connections

The resulting list will be people that you are directly connected to.

1st connections search results

I’ve quickly gone from 138,000 connections to 391. That’s still a lot of people. I can then narrow the search down based on the company location based on the job role that was posted and other criteria for your search.

Company Search

Similar to the connection search above, sometimes you may have to look at the company to see who you’re connected with. In this instance, I’m going to see if I can find someone who works at SiriusXM to connect with them about a role.

Company search results

In this case, there is not an option for “…in People” in the immediate search results as we had in the previous example. So we’ll just choose the company site.

Company page for SiriusXM

From here, there are several ways to continue your search. I’m going to use the same method as we did above. To take the next steps, I’m going to click on the link for “See all 5,754 employees on LinkedIn” that I highlighted above. This will take us to a similar page that we saw in the previous People search example.

Company search results screen

Just like in the previous example, we’re going to click on “Connections” and choose “1st” and then click the Apply button.

No results found

In this case, I have no 1st connections at SiriusXM. So I’ll go back to the same button and add “2nd” connections and click “Apply”.

Search results for 1st and 2nd connections

At this point, I’m down to 25 connections. This makes it easier to do a search and find someone I’m looking for. At this point, I would look for someone who is in the region for the job posting that I saw to help narrow down the results even further.

Reaching out

Once I’ve got the list down to a few people, I can then reach out to them about that specific role through either LinkedIn Messages, email, text, or whatever the best communication method is best for your reaching out to that person.

If someone you’re reaching out to is the 2nd connection, then find out who the 1st connection is and reach out to them first. Ask them how well they know the person, if they could introduce you to the person, and if they could help you get more information about the role, team, manager, etc. about the company.

Wrapping up

Be sure to use these tips to reach out to your network. Find out more information about a role, the team, the company, the location, or whatever you’re most interested in about the company.

Best of luck to you in your search. And if I can help connect you to someone, please reach out! I look forward to help you!

#jobsearch #linkedin #linkedinsearch #linkedinconnections

Job Search – Actionable Items To Complete

Someone else tweeted a good article about actionable items to take care of during a job search. It’s always good to set small goals that you can actually achieve.

Even with how busy I’ve been on my job search, I’ve been doing most of these. This blog is one of them. I’ve been working on the infrastructure of the site for a couple weeks. Just this morning, I found a copy of ALL the posts I’ve lost from eons ago when I was posting more regularly. Watch for those to get uploaded this week as soon as I can tackle that small job! I want to back up everything first, then see about syncing the files. We’ll see what happens! I’m excited about getting that lost information back up here. There’s not a lot of massive posts with truly insightful information. However, it’s a lot of how I’ve been thinking over the years. That’s why I’m excited to get it back.

This blog will continue to be just short snippets of information that I find. It’s a place for me to collect my thoughts and post information that I want to find later. And to show what my general philosophies are about work and life in general.

Agile Coaching Paths

I’ve thought a lot about agile coaching the past few months. After achieving my CSP, the next step is really to become certified as a coach. I’ve always enjoyed teaching others new things, especially when I’m passionate about it. Agile is one of those things.

In my normal reading today on LinkedIn, I ran across an article from Eliassen about becoming an agile coach. It’s a good summary of what to do. The keys they cover are

  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Teaching
  • Consulting

Coaching to me really covers all of the other three aspects. You can, and should, do each of the others without being a “coach”. If you’re doing each of the others together, maybe you are a coach.

I am interested in the other area of certification that they mention – the IC Agile Coaching tracks. I’ve only recently heard of these and need to investigate them further. More than likely, I can get several of their certifications, too, since I already have my CSP from Scrum Alliance.

Watch this space for more on each of the above topics in the coming weeks as I start to blog more to help document my progress in this area and help others understand what to do and, more importantly, how to do it.


Managing talent

This spring, John Elway did the amazing. Even with a good quarterback, he played and won the Manning sweepstakes. And he did it with class and style. He treated all the players with respect. He conducted one on ones with them. He gave them feedback about their performance. And most importantly, he didn’t go negative on anyone. Expect great things from John in the future!

Being laid off

Read a great article a couple months ago about being laid off. If you’ve prepared properly, this is worth doing.

I was laid off a fair number of years ago. I couldn’t afford lots of down time. However, I did make time to enjoy myself during my search. Since then, I’ve made sure to follow some of this advice even while on the job. You should do the same!

Using a Mac can make you more productive

What I’ve known for years and been practicing at IBM for over two months now: you’re more productive with a Mac.

I converted here at IBM for the same reasons stated in the article. I spent too much time restarting, it looked cheap, and I just didn’t get as much work done. I used to start my XP machine at my desk every day, and then go talk to my cube neighbors while it booted. Now, I can’t do that. I open the Mac, and it’s ready to go. No wait time for the machine to restart.

My favorite quote from the article: “Stand in the way,” Forrester concludes, “and you will eventually get run over.”

Thanks, Steve


Thanks for everything you’ve done for millions of people. And thanks for all you did for me. I used an Apple and an Apple II as a kid. Always thought they were better and made more sense than my TRS-80.

I learned of the Mac in the summer of 1984. A friend’s dad was a dentist and he had one in his office. MacPaint got me hooked quickly.
In high school, I helped my dad’s office get several of them set up for operating their office and some design work. Another friend also had one and we would spend hours on it playing games and doing work on it. I learned hacking at this point, but it was really only what we would call jailbreaking today. ResEdit was awesome.

In college, I would rather use the Macs in the library than the PC lab. I took my hacking skills further here by creating my own partition on the hard drive so I didn’t have to carry disks anymore. Until I got busted, that is. Then I changed majors because of the Mac. I decided I needed to be in computers. They were my true passion. And the Bs and Cs I was getting in Chemistry and Physics weren’t going to get me into Med School.

Those summers I worked for an Apple reseller. It was a lot better than construction and helped me get my legs into the new field of desktop publishing. I still have a LaserWriter II in my basement.

At another college I attended, I ran the Mass Comm lab of Macs. Best job ever. Lots of great people, but I also got to be in charge of about 15-20 Macs on a weekly basis. Here, I learned QuarkXpress and helped publish the college newspaper. I was in charge of the ads so literally did everything you could do with the computer at the time. At a college seminar, I also saw a NExT for the first time. Once again, it was love at first sight.

That job also led to my first real job in college – working the late shift at the local paper making sure that the computers there worked well until the paper went to bed. I learned how the paper was assembled here. I also learned macros via QuicKeys, more digital publishing, and print to film.

I loved attending MacWorld near the end of college. That experience still shapes my life every day. The people I met and friends I met up with were awesome. Wish you had been there. Then again, I got to see the announcement of eWorld and the Newton – predecessor to my iPad. Too bad I couldn’t get a job from all the resumes I handed out. 😉

Being the Macintosh Vice President of the Charlotte Apple Computer Club in the heyday of those clubs was also a great learning experience. And led to at least two different jobs out of college through my network.

Because of you, I got a great job that year. Macnifisense was a great consulting company. That team taught me about the real world – customer service, billing, and the Internet. I learned how to run a LocalTalk network and install speedboosts on the processors of the Quadra 650. And then I learned how to surface solder when they broke off. 😉

My second big job out of college was also because of you. Virtus Corporation’s software was both Mac and Windows. I was one of the only interviewees that had been using both platforms for years. It was there that I met my wonderful wife. Yep, I met my wife because of you.

After that experience, I went blue for many years and am still working there. While working at IBM, I still had a Mac as a personal computer. The past six weeks have proved that we can effectively use a Mac as a primary computer within IBM, even in the land of PCs.
I’ve owned a Mac Classic, the Quadra pizza box, three MacBook Pros, and a Mac Mini. I’ve owned 3 different iPods, 2 iPhones, a time capsule, and both versions of the iPad. Every one of those devices changed my life in ways I didn’t know they could when I first purchased them. Cuz that’s how you roll.

The Macs each changed how I did my work and the games that I played. Listening to music was completely changed by the iPod. iPhones took music, contacts from a Palm Pilot, and flip phones and merged them into one device. No more hacking things together like on the Treo. It just worked.

I guess that’s always been the theme of Apple products. They just work. I don’t spend hours reinstalling and rebooting. Crashes are rare. Apple Store employees are actually helpful and nice. They know about good customer service.

So again, I say thanks. Thanks for having such a positive influence on my life and the lives of millions of others around the world. My condolences to your family, close friends, and business associates. We have all lost a great friend tonight.


Scott McLellan

Loyal fan

Is your life “stacked”?

I read an article today about Business Architecture. After reading it, I realized they were talking more about small businesses and the concepts they need to keep in mind for their business to succeed.

Then I remembered that we are all independent contractors of a sort. We just hire our skills out to various companies and get paid for that work. We generally call that a job.

If we are independent contractors to ourselves, we have our own personal small business. Why shouldn’t we have these concepts for ourselves? What is your mission? Values statement? 
I’m not 100% sure of mine. I have some ideas, but have never written them down. I think I’ll do that this week. Watch this space for more info!

Temp vs Perm workers

I’ve found this to be very true over the last 15 years, not just since the latest downturn in the economy. I’ve also been on both sides of that fence. Thankfully, my current employment was converted to full time status, which made sense to everyone at the time. I relish my health coverage and my “free” retirement additions by my company.

At the same time, I’m one of two full time employees out of about 15-20 on my current and extended team. And there are almost 50 contract workers working in our larger team from that same company. And I only see the pattern increasing, not decreasing. Everyone we add to our team is a contractor, not a full time employee.

There are some jobs that have to be done by FTEs so those will always be “protected”. In my opinion, anytime someone sees that the job can be centralized and off shored, the company is going to do it. It only makes good business sense. It allows them to keep costs lower so they don’t have to pass those costs on to the consumer.

As a stockholder, I want that from my company. As an employee, it makes me fear my job will be outsourced on a daily basis. I know many others who are in that same boat. Most people I know and work with also work with people in Brazil, China, and India. It’s a given in this day and age. You have to accept that and realize that it only makes sense for the companies to move in that direction.

At the same time, as an employee, you need to make sure that you’re ready for that shift. Unless your job is *truly* exempt from moving overseas, I expect many more jobs to continue to move to other countries where labor is less expensive than in the US. If that’s you, make sure to protect yourself. I highly recommend Manager Tools as a great place to learn about being a professional and how to keep yourself always ready for whatever might happen to your employment status.

Good luck to you in the future!!!

My Musings, Quotes, and other information