As a recruiter, I use LinkedIn on a regular basis. With over 200 million users, there is no other social network like it for professionals.

Recently, I also used LinkedIn during my own job search. Not only did I use it to connect directly with the company that I now work for, but I was also able utilize it to get advice from someone I never met, who had experience doing what I wanted to do.

Could you use advice from someone who has experience doing what you want to do? Don’t you think they would have some valuable information to share? How was I able to connect with this person? Let me walk you through how I did it.

1. I used LinkedIn to find someone in my field

I did this by researching a specific company that I wanted to work for. When you type in the name of a company in the search bar on LinkedIn and hit enter, it will bring up not only the people that currently work at there, it will also bring up people who used to work there. The lady that I ended up reaching out to used to work for the company that I was trying to get in to.

2. I sent her an email.

Since she was not a connection, I found her email on her website by looking up her name in a Google search. Here is the email:

Hello (her name),
My name is Drew Tewell. I am contacting you because I would like to get your advice. I have experience as a recruiter and am looking to get back in the field. I found you on LinkedIn and read through some of your recommendations (impressive) and decided to contact you. Would you be open to having a short conversation with me over the phone? Please let me know.
Drew Tewell
By the way, you can also send someone a message on LinkedIn, even if they are not a connection, as long as you are a member of a group that they are in. Or, if you have a premium LinkedIn account that you pay for, you can use InMail to send them a message.

3. I called her up and got her advice

She replied to my email the day after I sent it and gave me some days and times that she would be available, as well a phone number that she could be reached at. I called her the following day and we talked and she had a couple of things to say that got me thinking. This included some information about the company that I wanted to work for that I was not aware of.

4. I sent her a thank you email.

Don’t forget to say thank you. Here is my thank you email:
Hello (her name),
Thank you for taking the time to talk to me and give me advice. In addition to the information about non-competes, the idea of organizational development is something I wasn’t thinking about but sounds like it could be a good opportunity. I am going to start researching it ASAP. And thank you for the invitation to touch base with you down the road as well. I appreciate your help.
Have a good day,
Drew Tewell

5. I sent her a connection on LinkedIn.

This is an important step that you don’t want to forget. Once you have reached out to someone and gotten their advice, make sure to send them a connection on LinkedIn so you can stay connected.
Getting advice from other professionals can be extremely valuable, especially from those in your field or in a field that interests you. Whether you are looking for new opportunities or just wanting to get ahead and move up where you already are, LinkedIn is a great tool to use in your pursuit of this advice. Give it a try today!