Job searching is not what it used to be.
If it has been a few years since you have needed to actively look for a job, you might not be aware of all the possibilities and options available.
Job boards and newspaper classifieds may still have a few benefits and resources, but they no longer play as significant of a role.
Although LinkedIn is growing daily in popularity, very rarely is it used to its full potential. Most people use it as just another job board, which defeats it’s purpose entirely.
When used properly, LinkedIn has the ability to place your resume on top of any employer’s stack of applicants.
The main benefits of LinkedIn are:
- Easier networking and contact management.
- Having access to people in employer companies directly (i.e. being able to bypass recruiters and job boards).
- Making use of ‘weak ties’ which are a very effective for job search purposes.
Let’s look into the usefulness of weak ties for your job search.
Connections with colleagues, close friends, and family members are great. You should certainly use these ‘strong ties’ in order to get your next job.
However, according to a study completed by sociologist Mark Granovetter, you are 58% more likely to land a job through the people in your life who you are not that close to.
Such people, who Professor Adam Grant (Wharton School) calls weak or dormant ties, are “people with whom you’ve lost touch for a few years: a childhood neighbor, a college roommate, or a colleague from your first job.”
LinkedIn makes it very easy to find, connect with and cultivate these people during your job search.
Through the years of drifting apart, they have established different connections and developed new friendships with people you probably do not know. They provide an expanded set of opportunities that are not available through your close friends and family members, who have the same general social circles you do.
So the next time you get a LinkedIn request from someone from a distant past, or someone who you don’t know too well, think twice before ignoring it. The power of LinkedIn is in it’s network. You have access to your connections, as well as people in their network, and their network’s network.
For best practices to use LinkedIn during your job search with strong and weak ties, take a look at some of our articles and also the Networking/LinkedIn section of our job search guide.