#LinkedInSUccess: Think Quality, Not Quantity

Nichole May '12
Nichole May, Our Ability

We asked alumni about their LinkedIn success stories through a Google + Hangout a few weeks ago. We got so many amazing stories we wanted to share a few!

Kicking off the #LinkedInSUccess series is Nichole May, a 2012 Whitman grad who used LinkedIn during a career change.

Ever since I was a teenager, my dad always used to tell me that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”  I never understood the true meaning of this phrase until I began my first career transition.

Flashback to December of 2012:  I knew I wanted to make a career change, but how?  Being so new to the workforce, it was tough to figure out what were the first steps to a successful career change.  Syracuse University has an amazing set of resources: its faculty, staff and alumni.  After reaching out to a few of the university’s MVPs of social media and job searching, I had a set plan.

1. Network
2. Network
3. Proofread resume and cover letter
4. Network

With this plan in full swing, I began to reach out to alumni in the Albany, NY area in the marketing/communications industry using the advanced search option on LinkedIn.  When I began to make connections and apply for jobs, I realized that it is not the quantity of people that you reach out to, but the quality.  In other words, it is more important to have five solid new connections that know your personality and what you are interested in rather than 15 connections that you spoke to one time and will not remember you in two months.

In January 2013, I reached out to Class of 1990 Newhouse graduate John Robinson (CEO of Our Ability) on LinkedIn.  From when I reached out to John until mid-April 2013, we spoke on the phone and met in person roughly four or five times.  John was not originally looking for someone to join his team, but through persistence and a genuine interest in him and his company, I was able to show him what a valuable team player I could be.  As I look back on my job search some of the key factors that have allowed me to land that perfect job were: a positive forward-thinking attitude, networking and social media.  Social media, as you all know, has become such an integral part of our everyday lives and it has become even more essential in the job search world.  What hiring managers find out about you online can make or break your chances of being hired.  LinkedIn is a great place to outline your professional and academic accomplishments.

I know I am biased, but Syracuse has some of the most friendly and helpful alumni.  As long as you are genuine in your message and you aren’t just looking for “a job,” but rather advice or guidance, alumni are always willing to lend a helping hand.  Thank you for reading and as always Go Orange!!

If you would like to connect with me, please follow me on Twitter, @nichole_may, or add me on LinkedIn.

Thanks to Nichole for sharing her story! If you would like to share your LinkedIn story, let us know via @CareerSU. Stay tuned for more #LinkedInSUccess stories!