So you’re looking for a job. People tell you to use LinkedIn as it’s the professional network and full ‘o recruiters and vacancies. But if you have a limited network and you have exhausted it, what do you?

I got a LinkedIn message last night from a connection who is looking for a a new job. Shiraz Bashir is actively looking for a new role in the Cloud and to get his message to reach out on LinkedIn, he cleverly asks people to click ‘like’ on his current status update. When I click ‘like’ on his update, my entire network will be notified about Shiraz’ job search through me. If he gets 10 people clicking ‘like’ you’re looking at a potential reach of about 2,000 LinkedIn users (as most LinkedIn users have around 200 connections).

Is this what they mean by ‘going viral’? Well, this is how viral starts. If clicks carry on you get the snowball effect of free advertising.

I asked Shiraz what the response has been like and he says the response he gets is reflective of who is in his network. Traditionally when his network was just of existing and former work colleagues the stream of updates and content was pretty poor, mainly because most were busy with their 9-5 jobs. He has now added more recruiters and managers to his network and his homefeed of data is a lot more useful.

As for results – lately it’s managed to about 50 ‘likes’ which I think is a good start. The odd thing is that as Shiraz puts it: “I find people far more willing to ‘like’ to those other crazy threads like …. My boss will give me $1 for every click I get so I will get myself an iPad etc”. I think we have all seen those updates although I never click on them.

The most interesting finding I think is that Shiraz says new connections are far more willing to help him than his legacy contacts. I think this has to do with the fact that people we tend to connect with on LinkedIn are active on social media and want to help, ‘old’ contacts have grown organically over the years and they have possibly not seen the benefit of social yet.

I clicked the ‘like’ button as it’s a very simple way of helping someone in your network, if any of my contacts are looking for someone then I’m actually helping them as well.

Thinking beyond job search, anyone can go a bit viral on LinkedIn if they get enough clicks and comments on their status update. The typical updates that get reactions will be humor, controversy, useful information and asking questions. If you do try this yourself, let me know and I’ll be there to click your ‘like’ button!

Another useful LinkedIn tool for job seekers is the LinkedIn Resume Builder.