It’s no secret — I’m a huge raving rabid fan of LinkedIn.com — and maintain that this resource has become an indispensable tool for modern job seekers as well as for business professionals, in general.  And yet, as much as I emphasize the importance of LinkedIn to each new client who begins working with me, it’s now become clear that I don’t always get the message across to people as effectively as I should.  I say this due to several recent comments I’ve received from clients who didn’t start using LinkedIn for several months after kicking off their job search, but who, once they eventually got around to exploring the system, wrote to me to share their LinkedIn networking triumphs  — and their regret that I hadn’t forced them to take advantage of the tool much, much sooner!

So for those of you out there who may still not have gotten around to using the LinkedIn system, I thought it might be helpful to share one of the actual messages I received, below, with only a few minor edits to protect the confidentiality of the person and the situation:

“Matt, when you introduce people to Linkedin.com, make sure they completely understand how powerful this tool actually can be.  As I now realize (and as you already know) the site involves much more than just putting up your name and accomplishments, linking in with friends once in a while, and checking whether you know someone who happens to work at a company you are interested in.  For example, I am currently interviewing with a manager over at a local technology company and would never, in my wildest dreams, have expected to find this person listed right there within my network of connections if the Director of HR at the company had not asked me whether I had checked him out there! (And, as I found out later, I am connected to her, too…)  So here’s my main point.  The next time you show someone LinkedIn, sit him/her down and go through an actual example: e.g. ‘Suppose you are going in for an interview with Tom Smith at XYZ Company. Chances are, you already know someone who knows him!  Don’t believe me?  Here, type in the name Tom Jones in the people field and voila, tada, here he is — and you are connected to him via Susie Smith who knows Linda Brown who is Tom’s former partner at ABC Company!’  It’s just amazing…”

So there you have it — the power of LinkedIn expressed in a client’s words, not mine — and I can assure this individual that her plea has not fallen on deaf ears.  Going forward, I will definitely be investing more time introducing people to the full power of the LinkedIn system up front, when they start services, since it appears that a “show” versus “tell” modality will have far better results!