The 500 List and LinkedIn

About 25 years ago, my father was working on his Master’s Degree. What is interesting is that my Dad never got a Bachelor’s degree. He was accepted to a Master’s program based on his business accomplishments. As part of this program, they had guest speakers come in. One of these speakers began his lecture by asking if anyone in the room had ever looked for a job. Of course, everyone in the room raised their hands. He then said, I can guarantee you a job offer in 2 weeks if you do what I am about to tell you. At this point, everyone is on the edge of their seats. He said: the first thing you do is make a list of 500 people that you know. LinkedInNow most people can easily come up with 20 names, maybe even 30 names. But, this list is more than your good friends and family. It is anyone that with a sentence or 2 would sort of know who you are. For example: “We took that class together” or “Our kids go to school together” or “We go to the same Church”. The man said, once you have this list, call each of them and let them know specifically what you are looking for (see our post on the perfect job description under “Job Hunting Tips”). Of these 500 people, 10 will know of an opening that fits you. Another 10 won’t know of one while you are on the phone, but will think of one and call you back within a week. That’s 20 potential jobs that you get to choose from.

Now, LinkedIn has come into the business world to do all of this for you, and a whole lot more. If you have not already done it, create your free LinkedIn profile ( Your goal is for 100% completeness. After adding your resume with at least 3 jobs, you achieve 100% by also adding the following:

  1. At least 50 connections
  2. Profile photo
  3. Executive Summary
  4. Education
  5. At least 3 skills
  6. Industry and postal code
  7. Get at least 3 recommendations (these can replace references on your resume)
  8. Give at least 3 recommendations

You need to use as many “key” words as possible so that your profile comes up in “key” word searches.

After your LinkedIn profile is complete, and you have received several recommendations of your work, put the web address of your profile on your resume. Put it at the top, right after your name, address, phone and e-mail. I also recommend you adding it to your e-mail signature.