Using Linkedin to help during a job search

Q: I’ve had a good first interview at a company. I found that I share a connection on Linkedin with the hiring manager. Would it be appropriate for that connection to call the hiring manager now before the second interview decision is made? My connection is a relative to an immediate family member (i.e, by marriage) and I know him very well socially. He is a respected business person and the job is a high level business job.

A: Congratulations on a strong first interview! You must have been well-prepared and organized.
You are smart to use Linkedin during your interview process. Some job seekers forget that Linkedin is a tool that can be very valuable during a job search. You can research current and former employees, company information and most importantly… if you know someone! Or sometimes you can uncover contacts who are connected to the hiring manager like you have.
I think your instincts are good. If your relative is a well-regarded and respected professional, he might be a helpful contact. First, I would ask him if he is comfortable contacting this connection. Some people have hundreds, even thousands of connections and know some much better than others. If there is a professional and/or personal relationship between your relative and the hiring manager, your relative may be able to convey some of your positive attributes. Think about what was discussed during the initial interview. Did they mention a strong work ethic was important? Did they mention punctuality and reliability as being critical requirements? Was creativity discussed? If your relative can comment on some of these traits, that might be persuasive. I would suggest discussing, in advance, what you would like your relative to mention during this call or email. You would want him to focus on relevant traits which he has observed. If the role is an accountant, perhaps he could mention that you did well when you studied accounting at ABC University. Or if the role is an events planner, he could mention some of the social events that he has attended that you may have organized.

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