Find Your "Job Angel" by Networking With the LinkedIn App!
It always surprises me when listening to anyone (career experts included) give job search advice to job seekers. Everyone means well and wants to sincerely help with the job search. The problem is that generic advice doesn't go far if you're going to find a great job; not just any job.
"You have to go network if you want to get a great job," is a common piece of advice most likely found in every career article ever written. What the hell does this mean? For most people, they have a tough time walking into a chamber of commerce meeting and start shaking hands and asking for jobs. (Even though sometimes it is easy as this.) Networking usually goes south because the people you meet cannot directly help you. But you want to convert these people into your personal “job angels”.
A person becomes a job angel the moment you get their business card and you build some rapport with them. If they work at a company that you would love to interview with, they could wrap their angel wings around you and fly you to the hiring authority. They become your angel because they like you and will authentically help you connect to the hiring authorities in their company. Networking for these job angels is how you should approach all events.
Networking is like public speaking; it is intimidating. The good news is the LinkedIn app is here to help. When you have it installed on your phone, it has some "networking settings" that can assist you in connecting to those at a networking event. Here are two features that you need to know!
Personal QR Code and Reader
The QR code reader is included with the LinkedIn app. This feature creates your own personal QR Code. When scanned, it automatically sends a connection request. Anyone you meet, you can now ask to scan their QR code, and you will have their contact information and LinkedIn profile.
To begin, download the LinkedIn app to your phone. Once open in the upper right-hand corner of the search bar, you will see four squares (see picture). Click on these squares, and it will display your QR code and QR code reader. It is as simple as that!
LinkedIn app Find Nearby Feature
Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a networking event and get a list of everyone there with information on what they do, a way to connect to them and their picture? It’s not stalking but welcome to the “Find Nearby” feature on LinkedIn. When turned on (using your phone's Bluetooth), it will identify a LinkedIn member in the room who also has opted-in to use this feature. It also allows you to connect or send messages to these contacts all from your mobile device.
The feature will work on an Android or Apple phone. From the app, make sure your Bluetooth is turned on. Go to the app, select the network icon (bottom left), and you will see this screen. Turn on the “find nearby” feature, and you are live. Once live, you can see who is in the room and add them as a contact or scan their QR code. Really good stuff.
Go ahead and turn these features on, and you will officially be using technology and live human interaction at the same time. For those who dread networking, teaching others at an event about the LinkedIn app is a great ice breaker as well. Most events I go to I would estimate about thirty percent of the attendees are using the app, and it makes it so easy to approach them, introduce yourself and ask them something relevant about their background since you know their entire background. The best news is you can reference the app first since anyone who has it turned on wants to meet people. I love the fact that this app gives you the opportunity to truly work the room and talk to people who are relevant to what you are trying to accomplish. If you are in the middle of a job search and can meet people at companies that you want to work for, you will have an effortless time meeting your next job angel.