So how can you make this work for you and your career?
Whether or not you're looking for a job right now, connecting with people who share your interests - and future job title - is very important. And worth the semi-creepy research.
This guest post was written by Michelle Tran, a junior art director who's okay with being overly nosy.
The Creepy Things I Do on LinkedIn:
The We Went To The Same School So We're Cool, Right:
2. I went through every member in the group, and made a list of everyone that had a job I wanted.
3. I visited each individual's page to check their resume, experiences and skills, and picked out people I might want to connect with by age and location. (People in the NYC area, that had graduated no more than 6 years roughly so that the age gap wouldn't be as big, and so that we may have more in common to chat about.)
4. Then I connected with them, including a note that I am also an alumni of their alma mater and their program and just wanted to ask some questions.
5. If they accepted, I sent a more detailed message asking if they were willing to chat with me about their experiences, how they got their job, and/or take a look at my portfolio.
The Public Private Investigator:
1. I use the suggested people tool that LinkedIn has. If I know a name of one recruiter, I see who else they suggest and make a list of recruiters.
2.Then I google them and find out their work email template (some are MTran@agency or Michelle.Tran@agency-usa) and then reach out to them directly via email, instead of on LinkedIn.
When I'm feeling especially bold, I'll do this with Creative Director emails as well.
The Background Checker:
1. To gauge the type of people that are working at an agency I admire or want to work at, I took at the LinkedIn profiles of employees who work there. I check out their experiences, resumes and portfolio links to see what other people are doing.
2. I take note of what we have in common and what I need to be doing.
The I See You Over There Looking At Me:
2. Sometimes I connect with them. Especially if it's a recruiter or another AD. (One time I requested to LinkedIn with a person who looked at my page and asked if they could give me their professional opinion on why they looked at it and how I could represent myself better. That person decided to forward my resume/book to HR.)
3. Sometimes I see who we are both connected with and ask that person to introduce me.
Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn , Twitter and Tumblr.
You never know what may happen.