The LinkedIn Conundrum

Ok, I’m looking for a job and LinkedIn has been a huge help. It’s known for people being connected to people they have worked with so we all can network with each other and help ourselves grow as professionals.

Also, it has job postings which, frankly, I had no idea. That makes this a real one-stop-shop for looking for jobs, applying and seeing if I can get a recommendation through my network of colleagues and their networks and hopefully get an interview.

And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. And in doing so, I’ve sent a lot of messages like:
“Hi Phil, I know we haven’t spoken in five years but I’m out of a job, can you hook a brother up and send my resume to…?”

And for the most part, people are more than willing to help me out.

HOWEVER, infrequently people respond saying “I really don’t know that person, sorry I can’t help.”

I heard that today from my ex-colleague “Steve.”

Ok, my first reaction was:

Ok, GRex, breathe… just breathe.

I have to admit, as I’ve been on LinkedIn everyday I’ve noticed some people in my own network and thought “who are THEY?”

I’ve had many coworkers and clients over the years,  we link into each other. I suppose not all are memorable. And some can be pretty peripheral. And some are recruiters. And some may have been contacts of my contacts networking and linking.

I do understand his point of view. Figuring out how he knows this person is hassle #1. Hassle #2 actually contacting someone he barely knows. That’s uncomfortable.

My point is, it’s funny (“peculiar funny”, not “ha ha funny”) that in these cases, we cannot network on a site that’s made for professional networking.

My former colleague Steve knew someone else at that company, a consultant. Steve forwarded my resume and reco to him. 

And I just heard back from Steve that his guy just forwarded my info to the CEO.

Happy ending.


  1. I have always wondered at the value of linking with someone that you don’t really know. Keeping that in mind, I have only linked with people that I know professionally and interacted with on more than just a passing level. My networked number is smaller but I believe to be a stronger pool when/if the time comes and I need to network for a new career.

    BTW – best of luck in your continued job search!


  2. It is strange – I oftentimes get LinkedIn requests from people who I worked with at a company but I don’t know them. Not even peripherally. They might know people I know. It’s anybody’s guess. Good luck by the way.!


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