In this interview with Marty Gilbert, the founder of a very successful networking group based in Chicago, Northshore Executive Networking Group ( about his What the Hell approach to job hunting. After all, what the hell do you have to lose by doing things other job hunters aren’t.

A Marketing Approach to Job Search |

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My guest today is Gilbert, founder and CEO of the North Shore Executive Networking Group, Chicago's largest and fastest-growing job search, networking, and coaching organization. It has more than 7000 members, with five new people joining the group daily and more than 10 members landing new jobs each week, during COVID; catch that one.

Over the past 10 years is networking, meetings, coaching efforts, webinars, and online workshops have helped 1700 people land new careers and career opportunities. , welcome, great to have you on!

Nice to be here, thanks, Jeff, I appreciate the opportunity.

You're welcome. And folks, we're going to talk about the what the hell approach to job search to finding a job. What the hell? What the hell is, the what the hell approach?

Good question. It is something that's a bit different. It's based on a proactive marketing model. And the concept is, you know, what the hell do you have to lose by doing things that other job seekers are not? Because we know that deep down the key to a good job search is the ability to stand out. It's the ability to define your audience, reach your audience, engage them, and ultimately get them to either help you or to want to talk with you about an opportunity.

And the what the hell approach, is comprised of 13 different moves. We'll talk about a couple of them during this session, but they are rather bold, they are very proactive.

They are rather bold! I'm just one of these guys that fit in.

Therein lies the issue with 95% of all the job seekers that are out there today; because most of them are acting like everybody else, and that is part of the problem. We've seen this with products and services. You know, it's the ones that we remember are the ones that tend to do something that connects with us, or that stands out from the crowd of other products. And today you are that product; you the job seeker are the product. You're providing a service, and you've got to do things to get noticed; and to engage your audience. And it's not going to be standing behind or sitting behind your computer for, you know, eight hours a day answering online ads, that's just not where it's at. And unfortunately, that's where 90% of the job seekers will spend 90% of their time; and this is an opportunity to break out of that.

Amazing! And I'll just simply say folks, 's a marketing guy. And he takes the marketing approach to things, which is smart, because if you want to be like white rice, where every Colonel looks pretty much the same and tastes pretty much the same. Well, firms don't know how to choose between you and another candidate, who also looks like white rice. And I'm not speaking from a racial perspective. I'm speaking from the perspective of exactly the same thing on the plate of the bowl. I am saying pretty much the same thing the exact same way. And your resumes all look like, and what are you going to do to stand out? It's a problem for you unless you start taking a different approach to things.

Right. And actually think about it, you know, put your shoe you know, put yourself in the shoes of a hiring company or hiring manager, okay? We don't want to hire me too people, because they don't contribute as much. They don't bring enough incremental value. We want to get those people that you know, are outstanding, we want a lot of A players. But in order to be considered an A player, you have to do things that are a little bit unorthodox; and that's what the hell approach is all about.

There are probably a few things that we all have to accept with regard to the job search, okay. And the fact is, is that, you know, there are 200 or more people today during COVID-19 who are responding to online ads, whether it's a manager, director, VP or C suite position. There are that many people and more responding to those roles because there are so many people that are out of work, but you can do a lot of things to stand out from the crowd.

And the fact is, is that while everybody else is doing the same kind of stuff, make yourself a lot more noticeable. And so I think what I what would make sense for us, Jeff is talking about a couple of these moves, right?

Absolutely! Move number one.

Alright, number one, I am a big believer, okay, resumes tell, but cover letter sells. And I can't tell you how many people that I've either coached or that I've worked with, that have told me I've applied to 20,30 online ads, and I haven't heard from one of them. Well, that's such a passive approach to your job search. And it just doesn't work because they're saying, "I have put my resume in there. I hit Send and I haven't heard a word from them".

And make the baseball analogy, okay. Is that you know what? This is not a field of dreams. If you build it, they will come absolutely not. You build a great resume. If you build a great LinkedIn profile, that doesn't mean necessarily that you're going to get a lot of attention. It's the outbound marketing, that's going to make the difference. And in this particular example, it's that outbound cover letter. And when I talk about a cover letter, what I really mean is an email.

And that let's just take the example there's an advertising job, it's for whatever. It might be a director of finance, it might be a marketing manager, it could be a VP of operations, or a C level position. But the job description exists, and you've got to have the ability to look through that job description and delineate what are the three or four most important requirements of this job, and you can define those, okay, that's not difficult.

And what a lot what a cover letter or email will do is it'll connect the dots between key achievements in your background and the most important requirements of the job. A resume doesn't do that; a LinkedIn profile doesn't do that. Regardless of how well they're written, they are not catered to an individual job, but an email or a cover letter absolutely will be and can be.

And I've had so many people that I've coached, and many people in my group that, you know, they've answered online Ads and d they've been rejected by the applicant tracking system literally within 15 minutes, right? It's an automated system. It's a piece of software, it's looking for keyword matches between things in your resume and the requirements of the job. And if there aren't enough of them, you'll never rank high enough to get an interview; and then lo and behold, you get one of these Dear John letters from the applicant tracking system saying, "I'm sorry, but you know, we don't have, you know, a match here, okay.

But if you write a really strong cover letter and connect the dots between key achievements, okay, and that's the important piece. It's not enough to say that I've got a really strong digital marketing background or I've done a tremendous amount of work and financial planning analysis. Tell me what you did and what it accomplished. That measurability is the proof behind what you say you can do. And so those kinds of examples are lined up against the three or four most important requirements of the job is what's going to enable the reader to very quickly see, hey, he or she has got it. She understands the key things about the job. She's got things in her past that she's done, she's succeeded. And lo and behold, she can hit the ground running here rather quickly because she's been there, she's done it. Right?

And one thing I'll just interject here, runs a networking group that's geared towards more veteran people, more experienced, more senior people. And the lessons we're talking about, apply to those at a staff level as well. It's not just simply, “I know this. I know that I know this, etcetera. It's really about what have you done that make a difference? What's the impact that you've had on an organization? Ideally measured in money, save money, earn percentage improvement, some numerical metric that talks about impact because as I approach people.

You know, there's a difference between working on something that generated $20,000, 2 million, 200 million, 2 billion; and they need to know about the numbers when they're big.

Yeah. And this is, you know, think of it as a typical case study. What was the problem or challenge I faced? What was the action I took? And what was the impact or result of my actions? And that you should be able to describe that in two lines or less. You know, two lines of copy or less, it's one bullet point, but you've got and this is where the messaging is.

I tell people that 90% of the job search is marketing and 90% of the marketing in the job search is messaging. You got to write well, you got to get to the point; you've got to be able to save the greatest number of things in the fewest words possible; because the average reader is very lazy. Okay, I'm one of them. That's why in my mind, God invented the bullet point, because it enables us to very quickly capture the essence of what needs to be said. And so that's where a couple of really provide you with a differential advantage versus other candidates that simply just don't do it.

And when you're applying for something through an applicant tracking system, which I'm not a fan of at all, if people have watched my videos and listen to my podcast for a while, I'll always say, "Never, ever applied for a job through one of these systems. But if you're not going to listen and get apply through LinkedIn, for example, and upload a resume, or you can apply through one of these systems, at least make the cover letter page one because its keyword stacked. In order to demonstrate to the system early; because the systems don't only like the number of keywords, they want to know where it's positioned in the resume as well; in order to make sure that you have the background make it page one of the resume, when you upload this one.

Yeah, and think about this, Jeff, you know, when it comes to a cover letter; because most people are taking the easy way out and they're not writing one. Because they're going I'm going to leave it up to the ATS gods to decide whether or not I'm worthy of an interview, so that when you do it, you do stand out just by virtue of writing it. And that's what we've got to do.

Because there's a stack of 200 resumes sitting here for that, you know, account recruitment department within the company to review. God knows they're not going to review them all. That's why they got the ATS, but don't let this piece of software eliminate you, which kind of leads us on to the second move within the what the hell approach and it's the end. Sometimes I refer to it as the end around or the trickle-down theory, okay.

Trickle down?

Yeah, no, we're not talking economics here.


22:42[Inaudible] absurd stuff. But the fact is that you know, most people will leave it up to the ATS and they wait and they hope for the best, okay, and I don't like to do 100 to one odds. So the fact is, there's nothing wrong with applying to an online ad, okay. And I encourage people to look because, for the most part and most of the time, they are real jobs, and so you can't miss out.

And speed is important in a job search; you've got to be quick to respond because there are so many people responding to these things. And once the HR department reaches 50, 100, 150 resumes, they're not going to look at anymore, and the gate may be closed at 60, okay. And if you're number 61, even though you might be the best candidate, you'll never be seen, and you'll never be considered, so speed is important.

And the fact is, is that one of the things I talk with people about cover letters is that speed and customization typically don't intersect. You can't get one without the other. Okay? And the fact is, is that I've developed a cover letter approach that enables you to write customized cover letters that are specific to individual jobs in 30 minutes or less. And that is really probably a difficult task for a lot of people to envision because they've probably gone through, you know, the trials and tribulations of writing a customized cover letter and just going this is, you know what, it's not worth it. It's taken me four hours to get to this point, and I'll never get anything else done for the rest of the day. So anyway, so that's enough on the cover letters, but this end-around approach.

The fact is, is that when you find a job, you can identify who the key players are in that job. And I can tell you, the ATS doesn't need to get a vote. They are not a player here. And unless you're going after an HR position, I would tend to say the same thing about that HR department. People in tell recruitment and talent acquisition are there to be screeners. They are there to do the phone screen, but they aren't necessarily doing a lot of the screening to determine who gets that phone stream. And that's why you want to go around the system to the key decision-makers, the influencers. It's the people that have the money, the people that have the decision making power and the people that have the influence to make decisions; and typically that's not going to sit within HR, again, if you're not going after an HR position.

So this is where LinkedIn can be so beneficial, because you can identify any hiring manager or someone who you think, or several people you might think are the hiring manager. And what I encourage the folks that I work with to do is, you find the job, you identified what the description is, you're interested, you think you're highly qualified. Okay, great, put together that strong cover letter; and now find 5, 6, 7 people inside that company that you think you want to make it visible to.

Now, who are those people? Let's just take a quick example. Let's say you're going after a Director of Marketing role. Well, who do you want to get your message into? I want to get it to, of course, the VP of marketing or the chief marketing officer, because that may very well be the person you're going to work for. Okay? I want to get it to the VP of sales; because sales and marketing very much tied at the hip although oftentimes they are at odds with one another.

You know that person who runs the sales organization will be a part of the interview process more than likely. I want to get it to potentially the head of marketing's boss, which might be the CEO or the COO. I want to get it to the CFO as well, somebody senior and finance, maybe a VP of ops if that exists, but someone who heads up operations. And we and of course, the VP of HR, the VP of talent acquisition, so I've now got five, six, maybe more people.

The idea here is to get that email with my resume with a very strong consistency message that connects the dots between my background and that job into the hands of several people; because I only need to get one of them to do the right thing. And the right things to get one of them to take an interest in what I've said, and they forward over to the hiring manager, or to the talent acquisition person who's handling that search.

I am going to pausing for a second. And the talent acquisition person is a no disrespect 24 to 31 years old, they're in a role with a thing they're most fearful of is being criticized. And the criticism comes from, "Why did they send this resume to me? This person is an idiot". And I'm simplifying the messaging that they get back, but the thing that they don't want is criticism. All they want to do is screen. And if you kind of imagine screening has been like the panhandle in the Wild West in California looking for gold, sitting by the river, and they've got that pan, and that screen on top of it, and they put it in the water; and the one thing that they don't know is what gold really looks like.


They're just hoping that the right thing stays on top; and that the silt goes through and they're left with gold, but most of them don't really know. And the problem for you comes down to dealing with someone making a decision after the system; and they don't really know what they're looking for, except for a couple of keywords.

Right, exactly. And, you know, Jeff, you've played perfectly into this, because what I've said now I said like, we're sending this email out to 5,6,7 people, it may eventually; one person may do the right thing either send to the hiring manager, which is the goal. But they many might send it over to the talent acquisition person who's handling the search. And guess what? When they get that email from somebody in the C suite; or somebody who's a vice president, and I agree with you, that person who's going to do the screening is going to be a rather junior person. They aren't going to sit on that on that forwarded email that they've now received, okay. And the note there might be no note with it, it might just be an FYI. But that person doesn't want to find themselves next week, potentially, face to face with the VP of operations, or the VP of Marketing and says, "Hey, tell me about that person, I forwarded that email to”. They don't want to be faced with the situation: Well, I did nothing with it. No, you know what, this is what we're playing on the subconscious of that individual on the receiving end, and guess what, they're not going to sit on it. You're going to get an interview. They're going to email you because they don't want to be caught empty handed next week, if and when they're asked, Well tell me about that person I forwarded that resume for"?

I'm going to advance it to the actual first call that you get from the screener. What do they really care about? You hit the checkboxes, that's all they care about. So you're at the right price point, you've done the major things, you speak well enough. And for leadership roles well enough as a high bar associated with it, and they believe in some way shape or form you project authority.


Because you're stepping into leadershi roles, they want to feel as though they can have confidence in you and moving you forward. And if you come across as fearful, indifference, hesitant, all those behavioral characteristics that we don't like, don't trust, and don't respect, the trapdoor opens up and you're out anyway.

But At least I had the date, at least you got asked out. And this idea of doing what I refer to as cutting the line and getting to the real decision-makers, to have one of them hopefully, basically say, Susan could you get in touch with this person? They kind of look good, they're not going to avoid that call. It's going to be their priority action.

Yeah, yeah, and you're absolutely right. I mean, you know, folks that are doing phone screens are sitting there with a checklist. And you've got to have, I don't know, 13 of the 15 boxes checked in order to be moved on to the hiring manager. But guess what, if they've already received an email from somebody senior in the company as just, if it's nothing more than an FYI, it's not even maybe suggesting you interview them. They're going to translate that to mean, I guess I should interview this person.

And by the way, almost regardless, unless you've completely crater the interview, the chances of you moving on to the next step to the hiring manager are going to be very high, certainly much higher than if you hadn't taken this step. And this is one of those bolder moves. But again, the answer is what the hell do you have to lose? There's the only upside here; because the worst that could happen, is that you're no worse off than if you hadn't made this move. And to me, my feeling is, well, geez, then, why wouldn't I try it? Why wouldn't I try it?

31:24 [Inaudible] going to be, they're going to be mad at me because I went around them, and they're not going to like me. And that's really the behavior that I used to hear time and again, I become so odd everyone bored. As soon as you do join, it wasn't their decision, and now they've got to cater to you. And if they reject you, it's not because of their decision, it is because you didn't deliver with the real decision-makers.

Absolutely; and this is about, don't assume they have the power and don't empower them. Take control of the things that you can control; and his is one of those things that you can, and take advantage of it. And by the way, LinkedIn gives you a plethora of information to find the right people, and so send it to them.

And by the way, okay, because then a lot of people will say, "Well, how do I email them? I don't know their email address". Well, guess what? 98% of the people in this country have one of two email addresses. It's either Jay Smith, at ABC com or john dot And I often told people to send it to both; one will bounce the other one will get through. And if both bounce, okay, and that may happen because people sometimes in the C suite, intentionally mix up and deviate from the nomenclature and format of the email format. That's okay, go to (HUNTER.IO), and you can plug in any company name, it will give you examples of people's email addresses. And if that doesn't work, then you probably fall into reception at the main number of that company. And you give them a line of how you've met the individual, but you've, you know, you've been trying to reach them, and this email just isn't working nine times out of ten they will correct you and give you the right one.

And the two other options are first name, last name, and fill in the blank or last name, first name, and fill in the blank.


Those are the models for most email addresses.

Absolutely! And so you know, so taking the move is going to get you visibility, and getting you the visibility is what potentially gets you the interview. Okay? Because we got to get in the door. You want to get in the door, you want to get that audience the opportunity to communicate your value, but if you aren't going to get noticed, you're never going to get to that stuff.

You're just going to look like a sheep.

We don't hire sheep

Excuse me?

We don't hire sheep.

C suite, senior management, senior leadership, they want leaders, not rule-followers necessarily. Some rules you got to follow this government regulation, we got that part. But what they're looking for is leadership out of someone, and someone who has the justifiable arrogance is my favorite term to describe it.

That's good.

The justifiable arrogance to be able to cut the line and get to the front of it by not complying with what the system's tell them they're supposed to do, makes you stand out in a good way for the people who really matter.

Yeah. And to address the comment you made earlier, Jeff, about hurting the feelings of the HR department, okay. I can tell you from personal experience when I was in various job searches, and I've been in multiple searches, okay. And I've always been very effective in getting that next job rather quickly. But I did on many, many occasions, walk into an interview where I'm now one of maybe there are five candidates that they're considering. And on many occasions, I had the very first person I was interviewing which was oftentimes the HR department, they would turn to me and they say, “I got to tell you, I've had three people in this company tell me that I absolutely have to interview you. Do you know so and so and so and so and so and so"? And I go, "No". They go, "Well, they all sent me a personal email suggesting I interview you". I said, "Oh, it's because I sent them an email introducing myself for this role". And well, being a marketing person it worked, it worked.

And to me, that was very flattering because it gave me an instant leg up. It wasn't that there were hard feelings. It was that you know what I'm interviewing here for a marketing role. This is a demonstration of my ability to market but it will work for any job because it shows initiative and proactivity and, who doesn't want people that have those two skills?

Firms that want to hire sheep. And there are those firms, of course, but that's a different conversation. So we've recovered to seeing so far, number three.

Number three; let's talk a little bit about the hidden job market. Okay; and I think some people may define it one way or another. The ways I define the hidden job market are the jobs that are not advertised. Now, there are jobs out there that aren't advertised, but sometimes it's because they're sitting right up here. They're in the thinking stage; they haven't yet reached the marketplace to be considered an advertised job.

And so one of the things I tell people is that you've got to develop a target company list. Without a target company list, you have no direction to your search. What are you chasing after? Are you just chasing after a bunch of job titles, and not necessarily companies by industry?

And I really create a hierarchy, okay. Everything starts at the industry level. And you define what are the 2, 3, and 4, maybe five or more industries that you're in? And what are the companies under each one of those industries and then who are the five or six key people inside every one of those companies that you want to be doing your marketing campaign to? Okay; and so now you've got a database that you've created of what might be 30 target companies, okay, inside maybe three or four industries. And within those 30 target companies, you've now got five people within each one. Now you've got a campaign going out to 150 people.

So the fact is, is that most of them may not have jobs. They may not have advertised jobs right now, and that's okay, that should never stop you. Because these are companies that you've said you're interested in because you bring that industry expertise. And there are only you know, there are certain jobs where you can be industry agnostic, right? People in HR can be industry agnostic, people in it, oftentimes, the same thing, and people in finance, sometimes the same thing. But anybody in sales and marketing, or operations, or anybody who's touching customers, you're going to have a leg up if you come from their industry, from their neighborhood because you're less risky to hire.

But the key thing here is to create that list of target companies. And let's just assume most of them don't have advertised jobs, and that's okay because you should still email them in the same way as if you were emailing somebody who had an advertised job.

Now, depending upon what this company is about, you may emphasize the three or four bullet points; they might be a little bit different because of what this company is about. Okay? But again, it's just a quick intro; it's a highlight of a few things that you've achieved, and just to express your interest in wanting to have an exploratory conversation. People don't do this, but my feeling is it's almost 50% of the job market, the unadvertised job market. Because when you send this kind of an email out to a company that doesn't have a job, but you're advocating for yourself to get an audience, they go, "Wow, this person really wants to work here. And by the way, there are a couple of things that he or she mentioned in her cover letter and that I see in her resume that are very interesting skills that we don't have. And by the way, I think we need, let's bring him or her in here for a brief conversation, or let's have a zoom call and find out a little bit more about their background".

You're now creating a job that's going to be written around your spec, around your background. Many of us have worked in industries, where we talk about RFP, requests for proposals. And the people that tend to win those are the vendors that have written the proposals in concert with the customer, and that's what you're doing here. You're writing the spec based on your background, you've now instituted, you know, some thoughts on what they might need. You're getting them you know, their curiosity perked. And oftentimes, you could be potentially creating an opportunity that's written entirely around your background, or you might hit them at a time when they've been thinking about bringing on a Director of Finance or a VP of HR that they've been left vacant for some time. And just getting this email from you get some think you know what time to move forward, you know, let's bring him or her in here and have an exploratory conversation

During bad times, do you find that that works with regularity? Obviously, nothing works all the time.


This given facts, do you find this strategy works during bad times too?

You know, there are probably two different thoughts here. Okay. One is I think a lot of people will think, well, maybe it's not such a great time right now because so many companies have let so many people go. But what I do say is that a lot of companies have let low performers go. Now, I'm not saying that companies have not let big numbers go, they have. I've seen it. I mean, I've had so many people from some of these large fortune 1000 firms come in droves into this organization for help. But the fact is that it has provided some companies with a way to weed out some of the low performers and replace them with better talent. So they're walking people out the front door that they have been hard for them to let go of; because maybe they've been with the company for 15, 20,30 years, but they're replacing them by bringing better talent in the back door. So there is an opportunity here absolutely to plant seeds for either existing jobs or jobs that they have never had before.

Because now's an opportunity for a lot of these companies to rethink their business plans and their business models. You know, because now we've just let go, hundreds of people, in some cases, thousands. Let's rethink the way you know, we're going to restart as COVID starts to disappear over time, so that we're better positioned. And maybe that means reorganization, and maybe some different skills that we've never had before. So I do think it is an opportunity to even go after that hidden job market, be it with companies that do not have jobs, no question.

When I still did search, one of the things I would do in calling new clients, doing business development with firms is after they would tell me no, because that was the instinctive reaction. Even though I had an introduction, they want to say no, I would say, "I have got a question for you. Are you happy with all your people on staff, like you've got A people and if you're like most people, you've got a couple of B minuses Cs and worse"? Have you ever considered replacing some of the and worse? And that stops them in their tracks because they hadn't really thought about it because habit is what it is. And breaking down that barrier by giving them the opportunity to replace someone is something that you can do by calling attention to how you can help them solve problems they have institutionally from your previous experience demonstrating it, and then, of course, delivering the goods when you meet them.

Yeah, and I'm glad you said problem solver; because that is a lot of what the job search and particularly the job interview is about. You have to turn yourself into a problem solver. And you know, one of my other moves is, is asking the most important question at the beginning of the interview. And that question is, and most people don't ask a question before the interview starts, because they think, well, I'm going to be the recipient of all the questions, but there's nothing wrong with turning it around. And I oftentimes would say, when I was interviews, I would say, "Before we get started, would you mind if I just asked a quick question"? And most people would say, "Sure, go ahead". I would say, "You know, what, for the person moving into this role, what do you think are the three biggest challenges that this person is going to face"? And nine times out of 10 they will answer that question. And guess what, you just got the answers to the test.

You got the answer that says these are the three most important things that I'm looking for that the candidate that we're going to choose has got to be able to deliver. And so now I'm going to pivot the conversation periodically throughout the one hour that we've got together to demonstrate that I'm extremely strong in those three areas. I'm not going to avoid the others, but I better drive home a very strong message and proof points, that I'm the person who can deliver the goods relative to those three big challenges that you just told me have got to get solved by the person coming into this position.

I have one prefacing question to that one; by coach because one thing I know is most people believe job descriptions are accurate, and of course, they aren't. And every hiring manager I know, when I point this out to them, I say, "80% of the job descriptions accurate. We just don't know what the other 20% is" and how it fits in". So I'll say, "Before we start, or thanks for making time to meet with me today". Now I recall the position description or whatever the name is of the third party recruiter, or the talent acquisition person is, "Tell about the role but I want to get your take on it. Could you tell me about the job is To see it and what I can do to help". And then from there go into the challenges question; and you've got a beautiful sandwich there. And like you said, it's what the test is, and beginning with the answer to tell me about yourself, I teach people how to connect the dots right there.

And not make the other person work so hard; because the more they have to work to get answers to their questions, the more they don't think you have the experience that they're really looking for.

Exactly! And that is, that's a great point because one of the key things of a job search is to engage your network. And so many people don't leverage their network effectively or as effectively as they could. But for God's sake, make it easy for them to help them, but I'm sorry, make it easy for them to help you, so that it's a no brainer. It's not going to take up a lot of their time, but be very clear in what you're asking for, and that's an important piece of anybody using a search.

So we've covered three so far. And I know you're going to fourth. And folks, there's more behind this, but we're only doing four today, okay. So what's the fourth one we're going to talk about?

Well, I think, you know, it's about turning your network into your sales team, okay. And for those folks that have worked in sales or in marketing, you know, most products are thrown or sold either through a direct sales organization, or an indirect sales organization. It could be a dealer network, a distributor, it could be retailers. These are people that are reselling products that are made that they themselves don't make, okay? Again, remember, you're the product in this case, okay. And so we now have to find ways to get your network; and there are many people out there that have thousands of LinkedIn connections, but they're really not leveraging them to the extent that they could.

And the fact is, is that you've got to be very clear in what you're asking them for. Okay? And I'm a big advocate of you know, let them people know, okay, exactly. These are my target industries, these are my target companies, but more importantly, if you know what industries you want to be in, and the kind of people you want to connect to, you know, be very clear in that request.

But one of the greatest features in LinkedIn is a feature called connections of. You can get to it by doing a people search. You know, you've got that search bar up in the top, and when you pull in the drop-down menu, you click on people, and then you can click on all filters. And once you do that, you are going to be doing a criteria-based search, which gives you all kinds of variables that you can, you know, find people on. But plug in the name of somebody that you know, for example, that has a lot of connections. Somebody who has several thousand, for example, and plug their name into connections; and you can do this on anybody that you're a first-degree connection of.

And now, you're not going to go looking through 3, 4, 10 thousand of their LinkedIn connections, but you can say which ones you want. I want people to have only a VP title that lives in New York City, and Los Angeles and Dallas that are working in these industries or with these companies. And lo and behold, it's going to be sitting there with a listing of all those people. And you can see all the people that they're connected to. Because now, if you find some folks that are working in companies or in industries that are of interest to you, you know, who is your go-to person? And you can ask them; do you know them well enough to make an introduction? Because I actually saw a role for a Director of Sales with this firm, and I see you're connected. And you know, and by the way, it's probably not the only person that's connected into this person that you want to get to.

But it's such an easy way to turn your network into something really useful to you. I got into LinkedIn real early back in 2004. I've got over 16,000 LinkedIn connections, so I can see a lot more than the average person when I do people searches, but even people that have you know, 500 still have the capability to see a lot of through the people in their network. And we don't connect with people on LinkedIn necessarily because of who they are, it's because of who they might be connected to. And that's why I put so much emphasis on second-degree connections.

Interesting, and why don't you place that emphasis on a second degree? You know, I know most people only think of their own first. And I know the other person is a first-degree connection of yours, but you can you're trying to go past them, right?


Beautiful, and I'll just simply say 2004, you're a latecomer. I was number 7653.

Oh, my God! Well, you are early.

I was really early. , this is fabulous. And I really mean that this has been a fabulous conversation. And folks, there's a lot more than he has. How can people find out more about you, the group, all that you're involved with?

Well, they should take a look at our website. The name of the company is the North Shore Executive Networking Group, but easier is the website it's: N-S-E-N-G-I-N-C dot com that's They can email me at MartyGilbert1@Gmail. com.

You should also join our LinkedIn group. It's a very active group. There's a lot of banter. There's a lot of folks either posting jobs or talking about, you know, "Hey, I tried this, has anybody else done this, you know, so you have an opportunity in a very safe environment, to share information, to get leads; and of course, you should join the group. Okay, joining the group is free, okay. I don't believe in charging for people to become members. But the moment you become a member, there's going to be two great recordings sitting in your inbox waiting for you, you know, within the website, to recordings I've done, and then you can join any of our webinars or workshops, the coaching services that I provide. I've got it you know, a great workshop actually coming up this evening, but by the time this gets out there, though, I'm going to be doing another the hell approach to job search. It's a three-hour workshop that I do. It's all online; it's going to be on Thursday, September 10, from six to nine o'clock central time. And please just if you'll see everything on the website, all the events coming up, and there's new stuff, I'm already built out the calendar through the month of October at this point.

And folks, one of the good reasons to join groups are that you're able to message people who belong to the same group as you, not for the group, but you can message them directly with LinkedIn trying to say, we want money from you. We want money to be able to do you want to do things. You want many things that are free as possible.

And I'm going to have the URL to 's group, not the LinkedIn group but the networking group they mentioned in the notes for this show. Super, and folks will be back soon with more on Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'll just simply say I've got a lot of great material on my website, the big game Go to the blog, and go exploring. There's a lot there to help you.

In addition, if you're interested in one on one coaching from me, you can schedule a time for a free discovery call or schedule time for coaching. And if you only have a question for me, I have two ways that you can get them answered. First of all, if you want to get a video response for me like a three to five-minute answer, the big game forward slash video answer. Or if you want to have a 15 to 20-minute conversation with me, the big game forward slash live. I'd love to get your questions answered. I'd love to help you.

And lastly, I'll just say connect with me on LinkedIn at Mention that you saw in the video I'd. like to be able to help you. And once we're connected, message me, I'd love to be of service to you. I do hope you have a great day. Just conclude like I love to say, be great. Take care.

You may also like, “25 Salary Negotiation Mistakes Job Hunters Make That Prove Costly”


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1100 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Connect with me on LinkedIn. Then message me to schedule an initial complimentary session.

If you have questions for me, call me through the Magnifi app for iOS (video) or (phone) offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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