Hi! My name is teragram, and have I got a deal for you!
October 25, 2012 4:01 AM   Subscribe

How can I use LinkedIn to get a job in a new city?

Teradude and I may move after I finish my masters degree. I am very well connected in my current city, with basically no contacts in my field (healthcare, nonclinical) elsewhere. My strategy to find a job includes contacting alumni, asking my network if they know anyone in our targeted cities, and applying to jobs I see online (though it is early for the last one).

Additionally, I feel like I should be using this LinkedIn thing. Should I cold-message recruiters at my target organizations? Is that a thing? And if so, should I do that before seeking other contacts at these organizations, or in parallel? Any other suggestions?
posted by teragram to Work & Money (7 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
The best way to use LinkedIn for networking is to participate in groups related to your field or geographic location.

The best way to network in a foreign city is to do some research and pick up the phone, phoning people between 730 and 830 in the morning to request a short coffee or Skype meeting, or in the late afternoon between 4 and 530.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:07 AM on October 25, 2012 [4 favorites]

Have you joined alumni groups on LinkedIn? My college alone has three or four groups for alumnae (and alumnae in our consortium, the Seven Sisters, etc.) and jobs are one of the more frequently talked-about questions. I'm also a member in probably fifteen field-of-interest groups, which have been great ways of finding out more information about other programs, educational materials, and opportunities around the country. Your university may also have a way of pulling a list of local alumni in a particular field. Can you talk with your contacts in your current city and see if anyone has any suggestions about your new location?
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:58 AM on October 25, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers thus far. I agree that I already plan to use my existing network and search my alumni database.

My question should perhaps be, has anyone also contacted recruiters via LinkedIn at targeted organizations in addition to the methods above? Are there downsides to doing this that I should consider?
posted by teragram at 5:16 AM on October 25, 2012

If you mean connecting with HR, unless you do something that is in very high demand, I don't think that is the best route - it's better to find a hiring manager. Hiring managers are the internal clients of HR in the first place, so HR is under considerable pressure to deliver qualified candidates - they are not in the business of networking with job seekers, generally speaking.

However, if you have skills that are in demand, contacting HR is the way to go.

The same thing goes for actual recruiters. They get more money depending on how high your starting salary is. I did contact a recruiter on LinkedIn last week to ask about jobs at a large company in Vancouver where my skills are in demand. It can't hurt, but there are better ways to broaden your network.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:33 AM on October 25, 2012

Should I cold-message recruiters at my target organizations?

Normally, I would say not to bother, but I see you list your occupation as "healthcare data nerd". Given the intense labor shortage for good healthcare data nerds, though, I think you might actually have a decent hit rate.

Another thought would be - do you have any healthcare consultants in your local network that you have a good relationship with? Consultants have professional networks all over the country, and usually we love it when we can refer somebody we know is strong to one of our clients who has an opening, since it means there are at least two people who will owe us a favor.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 6:37 AM on October 25, 2012

Use LinkedIn Jobs. Use the advanced search feature and type in the zip code of your desired location(s). Then apply directly for jobs.

Another thing to do is to ask around for the names of recruiters in your field. Then contact them to assist with your job search. Husbunny works with a few recruites and they call him for jobs all the time in the weirdest places.

Update your LinkedIn profile and put your entire resume in the Experience section. Also activate the new Skills and Expertise section with as many Key Words as you can.

I get a butt-load of searches on my profile and I'm regularly contacted by people to see if I'm interested in a job change.

In your summary be sure to say that you're finishing up your degree and you're now looking for an XXX position in XXX locations.

Have a picture professionally made, I spent $200 for a Headshot that was photoshopped and it has been the best money I've ever spent as I now have an attractive and professional internet image.

Google yourself to insure that nothing embarrassing shows up.

Actively submitting resumes is an excellent way to apply for positions. Networking is good, but actually applying for actual jobs will net you more in the end. IMHO
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:03 AM on October 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

This may be slightly controversial, but if you can get past it, it will give you a relatively good hit rate:

- always aim for the highest positioned individual in the target Org (Director, VP, EVP, MD, Ceo). Do not contact associate, assistant Vp, manager all a waste of time - They have no power, but act as though they do. Use LinkedIn to find these people. The one with budgetary control is the one that gets the ball rolling for hiring someone. HR do their bidding. HR on its own is a soft underbelly of the Org, and they won't help you much. You want to go the other way: top down.

- When you find the proper titles and names, check their history of executive experience. Narrow down to the ones who have the most. More often, you will need to avoid ambiguous titles, women, recent hires, as unfortunately they tend to be risk-averse about "going to bat for you" and will send over to HR, which can be the kiss of death. This is not a judgment across the board, but since it's a numbers game combined with strategy, you should stick with male execs with common titles.

- you make your best written pitch to these targeted execs, clearly saying: you want to work for them, this is what you offer, this how their Org will benefit. keep this email brief - very brief. Don't attach a resume.

If they agree with you, they will forward to the right person, with a mandate that HR, recruiters bring you in or call you for an interview.

Do not abuse LinkedIn access. Do not spam the individuals. You will lose big time.

The rest will follow as you normally would interview.
posted by Kruger5 at 7:39 AM on October 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

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