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Author: Lavie Margolin, Career Coach

Signed up for LinkedIn? Connected to everyone you know? Great- here is a way to maximize it: Once you see a job listing at a company for which you would like to apply, search for your contacts at the company on LinkedIn under the “find people” section. Most likely if you have added a fair amount of contacts, you will find someone that knows someone that works there. Ask your contact to help connect you. Anyone that works for the company that can submit your resume is more likely to yield a positive response for you than submitting your resume cold. It can be intimidating to ask someone for help. Why should someone at the company want to help you?

1) Referral bonus
2) If they bring someone good into the company, it makes them look good
3) Circle of reciprocity- if I help you now, maybe you will help me later
4) In-house politics- if I bring you into the company, you are likely to be on ‘my side’ if I ever need to call upon your help
I am often surprised at how rarely my contacts ask me to help connect them. Take advantage of this resource for greater success.

Just joining the LinkedIn and not investing anytime is likely to yield minimal results. Here are some hints to increase your LinkedIn success:

1) Build up your profile including a summary of qualifications, education and work experience
2) Proactively search for former colleagues and business associates to join your network
3) Join groups related to your profession
4) Find someone in a field that would be helpful to you. Ask your contacts that know the person to help connect you. Many people add contacts but never ask anyone to help connect them to others. If you are not using your network to network, what are you using it for?

About the Author: Lavie Margolin is a New York-based Career Coach and the author of Lion Cub Job Search: Practical Job Search Assistance for Practical Job Seekers. To learn more, go to Lavie’s website, Lion Cub Job Search:www.Lioncubjobsearch.com