Build Relationships ‚Äì Don’t just ‚Äúcollect connections‚Äù on LinkedIn

One of the biggest issues I see, and hear, and read about everyday, is “network building”, or building “connections” on LinkedIn, or getting more “Friends” on Facebook, or more ‚Äúfollowers‚Äù on Twitter.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking to build your personal brand, look for a job, or sell or market your products or services…

Relationships are the currency of the theory that states people buy from people they “Know, Like, and Trust”.

“Connections” and “Friends” and “Followers” are not Relationships.

Just because your house is wired for electricity it doesn’t mean the lights will turn on. You have to send electricity through the wires before the lights actually turn on.

Your connections or friends or followers are simply the wiring. Your expertise, knowledge, and sharing with others is the electricity.

When you start building your online brand or network, you need to install the wiring first. You need to build connections.

Then, and only then, can you start sharing your expertise and watch the network light up.

The tipping point for social recruiting… Adecco slashes spending on paid job boards.

If you are currently looking for a job or considering a career change, please consider the news below…

On September 24th, 2010, Addecco, the U.S. arm of staffing giant Adecco SA, announced that it slashed it’s spending on online job boards by from $6 Milllion to $2 Million between 2007-2009.

Addecco is the first major company, in my knowledge, who has publicly stated they have been slashing their spends on large job boards. While most major employers have been doing this, Addecco seems to be the first company to publicize this fact.

To anyone in the recruiting industry, this probably isn’t much news, to anyone else, this is probably the “Tipping Point” in regards to managing an effective job search.

“In my 15 years of Internet recruiting experience, we have never seen a technology disruption like this in the past,” says Jonathan Duarte, founder of, a Career and Reputation Management firm.

For almost 2 decades, now, the process of finding a job has come down to surfing major job boards, and then “clicking n’ applying” to jobs. Over the last 2 years, both employers and job seekers have learned that this haphazard approach simply isn’t very effective.

Recruiters are now finding more qualified candidates from professional networking sites like LinkedIn and search engines!

Addecco announced that they slashed spending on paid job boards like and and instead drives applicants to its site from free job search engines and social media sites like LinkedIn, an executive said on Friday.

Follow the money!

LinkedIn is becoming a primary recruiting channel for employers who want access to employed professionals. By contrast, candidates that come via paid job boards are often unqualified, raising costs for recruiters who have to wade through irrelevant resumes,” Adecco said.

This is important to job seekers because it shows how employer a employers are now hiring. While they are continuing to use the big job boards, they are finding more qualified candidates on LinkedIn.

The bottom line: Employers are using professional networking sites like LinkedIn.

If you’re looking for a job, or are considering a job or career change, you might want to consider learning how to use LinkedIn effectively for your job search, professional profile, or personal branding.

Here is a video that describes how to optimize your LinkedIn Profile:

Click here: LinkedIn Profile Optimization Video!

For more updates and news regarding Job Search Personal Branding, subscribe to our Free Social Job Search Newsletter, with free tips and tricks on how to use online networking sites during your job search.

How to fill in Employment Gaps on your resume!

I get a lot of questions from job seekers asking “How do I fill in employment gaps on my resume?”

Here is a strategy that I encourage you to adopt, no matter if you are trying to describe what you have been doing while you were out of work, or if you are trying to network into a new industry.
Being considered a Subject Matter Expert or Market Leader will give you a big upper hand in the job search.
There are a couple of ways to do this that will also “fill in the gaps” on your employment history.

  1. Volunteering for local trade organizations, non-profits, chamber of commerce groups, etc.
  2. Join and take a leadership role in an offline industry trade group. This not only brings with it connections, but builds credibility.
  3. Do both, but online… Join Online industry Trade groups and Local Business Networking groups online. Volunteer to manage their group discussions. Not only do you get the recognition, and a link to your profile on all posts and discussions, but also you learn about about the industry, the companies, and the people.

If you can’t find a local group or industry group, make your own. Add these positions to your LinkedIn Profile.

Obviously LinkedIn Groups is a great place to start. You can also check out groups on as well.

No only will these steps fill the employment gaps, but you’ll add-value to the community while building credibility, authority, and visibility.

If you want to get started, simply search linkedin groups for local or trade groups.

Then, contact the owner and volunteer.

I have a couple of LinkedIn Groups that I could use some help with as well. They are job search and career related. I need help maintaining the groups, starting discussions, inviting members to join, etc. If you have experience with Facebook and LinkedIn Group Administration, I would greatly appreciate the help. I’ll even help you find a job!

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How to change industries during a job search?

In a recent Tim’s Strategy Group, on LinkedIn, a job seeker asked one of the most common questions during a job search: “How do you deal with changing industries during a job search?”

There are loads of related themes, but the biggest one is something along the lines of “you have many years of experience in one industry, got laid off, or the business went under, or in today’s market the industry collapsed (residential construction), and you need to find a new industry”.

Here are some tips to get you moving:

  1. Don’t do the “Click N’ Apply… and wait!” job search. You need to get involved in the new industries you are targeting.
  2. Choose 1 or 2 industries to focus on.
  3. Find the companies in those industries that you are interested in working for. Start following those companies on LinkedIn and with Google Alerts.
  4. Join and get active in the LinkedIn Groups in those industries.
  5. Build relationships with employees in the companies.
  6. Start engaging in “informational meetings” with employees and thought leaders in the industry. Use these meetings to figure out what of your skills are transferable, and how you market them. NEVER ask for a job or talk about openings when asking for “informational meetings”. That’s not what they are for. They are for learning about the industry and companies, so you can bridge the gap in your experience, through trusted connections and relevant authority.
  7. Ask for employee referrals.

** You never want to seem like an “industry outsider” or “job seeker”.
** The most effective way to get hired is through an employee referral.

Become a knowledgeable industry insider by spending 2 hours per day learning the companies, the products, the issues, the customers, the divisions, the players, the industry thought leaders, and of course all the employees in your chose industries and companies.

You can use micro blogs, like Twitter and update services like “share” and “updates” on LinkedIn, to share links to company and industry news etc. If you continue doing this for 2 hours per day, you are not only going to learn a lot, but you will be publishing a lot.

When you get interviewed, and the recruiting teams starts a “social background” check on you, they are going to find out that you are indeed a Subject Matter Expert.

If you are spending 2 hours per day, or 10 hours per week learning about the industries and companies, I guarantee that within 5 weeks you have put more time into researching and learning about the industry, and keeping up with the latest trends, than most everyone else else that is applying for a position.

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Jonathan Duarte

Is Is Facebook affecting your job search? You’d better believe it!

I recently polled my Free Job Tips Newsletter members to understand how job seekers were using social and professional networking tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

I also wanted to understand what job seekers were doing with social networking sites; including, what was working during their job search, and what wasn’t.

The results of the poll, suggest that job seekers don’t understand the impact of their social networking activities on their job search.

The results of the poll were as follows:

When asked if they were using social networking tools in their job search, the results were as follows:

  • 75% of respondents said they have a Facebook account, yet only 9% are using it for their job search.
  • 57% of respondents said they have a LinkedIn account, and 36% are using it for their job search.
  • 24% of respondents said they have a Twitter account, but only 6% are using it for their job search.

The survey clearly shows that job seekers understand the benefits of using social networking sites like Facebook to keep up to date with friends and family members. It also shows that a majority of job seekers have a LinkedIn profile, and a majority of those users are using LinkedIn during their job search, in some form or another. The twitter results are what I would have expected. Twitter isn’t specifically a ‚Äújob search‚Äù or ‚Äúnetworking‚Äù tool, and as a result, is still on the fringe.

The fact that 75% of the respondents have a Facebook account, and yet only 9% of the respondents ‚Äúthink‚Äù they are using Facebook during their job search suggests that job seekers don’t understand how employers are using social networking sites.

Job seekers ‚Äúthink‚Äù that they aren’t using Facebook in their job search, yet they aren’t locking down their Facebook profiles from outside users like employers. For instance, the default security setting for updates on Facebook is ‚ÄúEveryone‚Äù. And ‚ÄúEveryone‚Äù doesn’t just mean your ‚Äúfriends‚Äù or ‚Äúfriends of friends‚Äù, it means the entire Internet, including employers. So, unless you have modified your security settings, each of those little updates might already be publicly visible. Facebook security settings are convoluted, difficult to understand, and constantly changing. As a result, most Facebook users aren’t updating their security settings. (In another post, I’ll spend more time explaining each of the Facebook privacy options.)

In a 2009 study from, 45% of employers stated they were using “social networking sites to confirm or deny a candidate a job offers”. An additional study from CareerXRoads in 2010, suggests that even more employers are expecting to use social networking sites during the recruiting process in the 2010.

At this point, I think it’s safe to say that if you’re applying for a job that requires managing people, relationships, sales, or technical expertise, you can bet that employers are doing a thorough social background check on you during the application process.

The survey results also seem to show that while 57% of the respondents stated they had a LinkedIn profile, only 36% of the respondents, stated they were using LinkedIn during their job search. It seems like job seekers don’t understand that LinkedIn is the new FREE Resume database for employers. If you want to be found by employers, you need a LinkedIn profile. Employers have tighter budgets and therefore are not spending the $9,000 per user license to access the resume databases of major job boards, like they did a couple years ago. More and more recruiters are using sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter where they can search profiles of members for . They have more and better candidates, and basic accounts are free!

My interactions with job seekers confirm what I think these results are showing… job seekers are assuming that their social profiles are just that, social, and they aren’t being viewed by employers. Unfortunately, that’s a really dangerous assumption.

While there have been numerous highly publicized cases where employees were fired, or new hires were called out because of their social networking posts (ie. CiscoFatty), the mass majority of job seekers don’t understand the importance of their social profiles.

Employers are watching and don’t seem to know or don’t know what to do about it.

If you’re a job seeker and are still wondering how LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter are affecting your job search, or are a little confused about how it all works, subscribe to my free job tips newsletter. I regularly post articles about recent job search strategies.