Does Your LinkedIn Network Make You Feel Limitless? Mine Does

by Rich DeMatteo on August 19, 2011 · 5 comments

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I love LinkedIn.  But I also love putting work into LinkedIn.

The bold should tell you that the second sentence is far more important.  Unfortunately, far too many job seekers complain that LinkedIn hasn’t worked for them, so they end up failing to put in the proper work/time that building a LinkedIn network requires.

Sure, LinkedIn can be a short term solution to your job search, but it’s far more powerful when you consistently build up your network, and use it as a career tool.  Don’t mistake career tool, for job search tool.   When you have more connections in your network, the possibilities have you feeling more and more like Bradley Cooper in that movie Limitless.  A massive amount of connections gives you the power to connect with almost anyone, from any company, and from any location.  Limitless.  Oh, and a big shout out to Philly native, Bradley Cooper.

Connect.  Connect. Connect. Connect. Connect.
Then connect some more.

If any of this is new to you, I do believe that I covered much of the basics, and then some in my Ultimate Beginners Guide to LinkedIn.  Read it.

I am certainly not bragging by showing you the following screen shot of my network connections, but you’ll see that my LinkedIn statistics do give me the luxury of connecting with a fairly large amount of people.  Over 16 million to be exact.  Still, I do know many folks (mostly recruiters) who have a much larger network than I have.  Take a look at the shot:

Just by having a direct connection to 2,000+ people, I’m able to get in touch with and contact some 16 million people.  Hell yes.

Are you ready to start committing to your LinkedIn network?  

 

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4 comments
Holley
Holley

Rich, I really believe you have a good grasp of what is going on in the market and what works. I am a recruiter and not only do I used Linkedin as one of my main ways to recruit it is also how I got my current position 5 years ago. My resume wasn't on any site. I wasn't actively looking. But, when I got that call I listened. I agree that the more people you are connect to the more opportunities that will come your way. Some you will be interested in some you won't but if you're not connect you will never even hear about them. I don't think you were being self serving pointing out how many connections you have. I think you were showing how many people could reach out to you that wouldn't be able to if it wasn't for this tool and using it to the best of your ability. If people will take what you are saying and not just put the minimal information out there but really use it their perfect next step in their career may only be a couple of degrees away. Keep doing what you are doing and encouraging. I love reading your blog. Holley

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

Being straight honest here after my first thought reading this post. Seemed very vague and more just self-interest. First time I've been here in a long time though.... :) The goal of technology companies that live off of active users and perception of progress and feedback for our users is stoking your ego. It makes the network money but helps you sell your expertise on knowing the product I guess... We stoke egos and make people feel important. It's the secret sauce to why this all works. Progress, feedback loop. If you take all the connections and present them in the right way then we could make everyone smile. It's how we created a 40+ million dollar exit for our last company and it's attractive. I can paint you any picture you want and that's why I'm commenting. Focus on being remembered, not perception of being connected. These numbers will be null in a few years imho. It's not the number, it's who knows you that matters. Connect, connect, connect would be better as add value, add value, add value. Find what you can be helpful with and do that, not just connect. The problem is that I get it and it makes sense. More people made a living selling ebay how-to guides than actually selling on ebay. Same goes for Linkedin, Twitter and anything else social media. Do what sales I guess... P.S. Thanks for all the Zaarly support.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hi Holley - thanks for the comment. No offense to Shane, but some folks out there who aren't directly in recruiting or see it on a daily basis, don't understand everything about the process or how most people get jobs. They know how THEY got their job, and while it's usually amazing, it's not for everyone. Having a high connection number will lead to many open doors. That's just a fact. Sure, you can't just connect and do nothing. Anyone who thinks I meant that, obviously hasn't read anything else I've wrote. The post was obviously not self-serving, but I could see where Shane might think so. Thanks for your comment.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Shane, Thanks for your thoughts here. I'll be honest. I was laying in bed around 3:30AM last night when I read your response, and at first, I wasn't sure how to receive it. As like most of your reply's, it tends to look less like constructive criticism, and more like you're attacking... However, I do know that's not the case. The purpose of this post was to show how powerful numbers can be. Is it a little vague? Sure. But the concept of this post is more so on "WORK ON LINKEDIN", which is easy to grasp by the numbers I show. Is it self-serving? Absolutely not. The only reason I show those numbers is because of the opportunities they've led to. I'm able to connect with 16 million people. That's very powerful. And for a job search, numbers are critical. If you've ever read other LinkedIn pieces I've wrote, you'd read that I believe in connecting with people through engagement on LinkedIn. And yes, that does mean add value. This post was just to show the importance of numbers. It was a quick post to get the point across, that building a high performing network takes time. This doesn't mean that people should connect with any and everyone, but connect with people who you can add value to and bring value to their connections network. Again, we are on the same page, but I understand it's hard for you to read that through this one post. For a job seeker, being able to search their network for a specific employer they'd like to work for is huge. That's obvious. But being able to search for connections that may work at that employer is more important. With 85% of companies (and increasing) using LinkedIn to hire, YES, the numbers are important. Having a high number of connections means a higher chance that someone in their network will work at that company. Success on LinkedIn should be a mixture of quality and quantity. Quality will always win, and that's something I've always preached. So again, yes, I believe we're on the same page with each other. But I'll disagree with you that these numbers won't mean anything in a few years. A large network will always be important. Whether it's used for sales or for getting a job, it will just be important. That's something that I know is true. The numbers don't lie. 85% of recruiters use LinkedIn to hire. If people spend time building connections, it will absolutely help. And obviously, providing value for those connections is what will set them apart even further. Thanks.