According to Wikipedia, a cornerstone is the first stone set in the construction of a masonryfoundation. But what does Wikipedia know?  

We have a better definition. A cornerstone is an influential member of your network that could be especially helpful in a job search.  

Everyone reading this post has a network of connections on LinkedIn but, when was the last time you actually paid attention to your connections or put them to good use?  

After all, a properly placed connection can no doubt introduce you to a potential client or perhaps, more importantly, help in a job search. However, if you expect your LinkedIn connections to help you find a job at some point in the future, you must transform a select few from connections to cornerstones 

For this reason, I recommend people reach out to their connections at least two or three times a year and post often from their LinkedIn accounts. Posting and sharing content helps people get to know you and what you stand for.  

Posting will also help you attract new connections with the same interests. Some will congratulate you on a promotion or consistently comment on your posts. I call these folks “Engaged Connections.”  

But there is another level of connection we call Cornerstones. Cornerstones are engaged connections that carry weight. Perhaps they are the CEO of a company or others from the C-level.  

Cornerstones are the influential people in your network. They are top layers of management, experts in their fields, board members, talent acquisition people, editors of industry publications, but most of all, they have a fondness for YOU.  

These relationships may have originated from traditional friendships that have migrated to LinkedIn, but many of your engaged connections on LinkedIn have been watching your posts and feel a certain level of interest in what you have to say. They seem to care about your happiness and success.  

If you have thousands of connections on LinkedIn and put up a post, ever notice that the same people seem to comment or “like?” Add to this their high level of accomplishment in business and voila, you have a cornerstone.  

A properly nurtured cornerstone can be exceptionally helpful in a job search. 

Take it a step further. Why not let your cornerstones know how much you appreciate the support they give you on LinkedIn. Write them a lovely note of appreciation and keep them on your holiday list. Keep in close touch with them.  

When the time comes to change jobs, along with all the traditional methods, your cornerstones will have both the power to help you and the motivation to help you.  

Think about it for a minute. Of all the thousands of connections you have made, who are your top 10 cornerstones?  

Don’t know? Better get started.