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LinkedIn: Evaluate your connections

September 5, 2011

After years of using LinkedIn it was time to test the power and quality of my connections. Reentering the job market the list of connections became one of the first assets I turned to in my search for a new opportunity. I created a marketing message about my status using MS Publisher and identified the type of position I was seeking. The self-marketing brochure included buttons to an online resume, LinkedIn, and personal website. The result of this effort brought forth several useful insights.

There are three categories of connections to think about when using LinkedIn: collector, selector, and friend. Each type of connection has differences:

Collector: Connections identified as collector increase the number of contacts in the profile. Generally, these connections are people with limited firsthand background knowledge beyond that provided on their LinkedIn profile. Recruiters have a large volume of connections in this category because of the need for an inventory of resources.

Selectors:  Individuals in the selector category are associated with an event or a common experience. Examples of people in this group are business associates, alumni, special
project participants, or people where the connection is based on a memorable experience. This group remembers you because of a shared experience.

Friends: Individuals in the friend category are connected because of a special relationship, which may include something similar to unconditional love. These connections will go to great lengths to help even if they are not sure what you are looking for because they believe in you.

The self-marketing email was sent to 400 LinkedIn connections. The selector category responded to the email with the highest percentage. Selector category remembered me because of a common experience that connected past work history, personality, or a shared experience. Friends had the second highest response rate because they wanted to help in any way possible. Connections from the collector catagory provided very few responses to my email.

From the 400 notes emailed, I received responses back from 78 individuals, which represents 19.5% response rate. Responses ranged from the simplest statement; “I will keep my eyes and ears open” to unsolicited introductions to specific hiring managers inside companies. Some viral marketing occurred with my original email being forward by connections expanding the initial email reach beyond the 400 original connections.

Lesson learned: 1) Complete an inventory of connections to determine their category based on the three connection types. This information will help to provide a picture of contact list “value” based on the intended use. 2) Whenever you have a good experiences with a colleague invite them to LinkIn with you. They will be part of the selector group and most likely category to remember you in the future. Selectors will be your strongest advocates if you need assistance looking for a new opportunity.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2012 4:48 pm

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like
    yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

    • August 4, 2012 2:33 pm

      WordPress has online help that can guide you through blog setup. There are no fees associated with my blog. I would encourage you go slow to build confidence. Think about how active you want to blog because it takes time. Have fun and apply your creative talents.

  2. May 26, 2013 10:53 pm

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  4. July 15, 2013 12:30 am

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