LinkedIn is an amazing platform to contact and connect with industry leaders. You can utilize the platform to expand your cybersecurity professional network and help with your job search. It can be challenging though. Cybersecurity professionals are notoriously busy. Crafting a targeted message that sparks engagement can be tough.
It really comes down to your questions to them. We know that questions like, “Do you have any job openings?” aren’t likely to go well. So what question is likely to inspire a reply?
What book would you recommend to a new cybersecurity professional?
Let’s break down what makes this an effective question.
First, the answer requests a limited time commitment. Cybersecurity leaders are busy, but it takes just a minute to reply with a book title. Asking a question that requires a low effort response increases the likelihood that you get a response.
Second, cybersecurity leaders have read a decent amount about the industry. They are lifelong learners, who have done a good amount of professional reading. That means this is a question to which they likely have interesting answers.
Third, lifelong learners likely have a number of technology and cybersecurity books to recommend. However, most people’s friends and family have little interest in hearing about their cybersecurity reading list unless those individuals also work in cybersecurity (or an adjacent industry). Thus your question provides the recipient an opportunity to share reading they’ve found interesting.
The question is more likely to illicit a response than more mundane questions. For example, answering how one got into cybersecurity can require the recipient to type a lot and gets tiresome. You’ll get more benefit from asking for book recommendations as well. Your question may spark a dialogue which leads to further conversation and connection.
Even if the answer doesn’t spark further dialogue, you still walk away with a professional reading recommendation from an industry leader. That is incremental knowledge, which benefits you. Reading the recommended book provides you with an opportunity to follow up.
You can thank her or him for the recommendation and let them know what you thought of the book. That’s another opportunity to spark dialogue.
People ask a lot of questions during professional networking. They get little benefit from many of the answers. Book recommendations always provide insight; either insight into the cybersecurity industry or insight into the cybersecurity leader you’re corresponding with. Both are valuable.