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Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

You Say You Want Me To Join Your Network On LinkedIn?

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of LinkedIn as a resource for networking and recruiting.  Since I started blogging as “The Jobs Guy“, I receive on average 5-10 requests a week to join the networks of people I don’t know.  When those requests come in, I reach back out to them to let them know that I’d like to have a conversation with them so we can discuss how we can best network with one and other.

Last week I was assigned to a search that I have never worked on and is in an area of technology that I have very little credibility in.  So, how can I get the best of the best in this skill set to respond to me even though 99% of them are out of town and have never heard of me. Certainly not with the following invitation.

Last week I received 6 requests from people I did not know, all 6 invitations read:

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

“Insert Sender’s Name Here”

For example, one of these invitations came from the owner of a small mortgage company 10 states away.  When I receive an invitation of any kind, I ask myself the question, “Would the recipient want to connect to me if I sent them this introduction”?  Let’s take a closer look.

1) With this generic introduction, it’s just that, GENERIC !!! What sets you aside from any of the other 70,000,000 people on LinkedIn.

2) Have you given me a reason to believe we can be mutually beneficial to one and other?

3) On that note, does the sender’s motivation appear to be strictly self serving?

My success with LinkedIn is due in large part to my ability to network my way to the right people thru my groups and connections. It is also because I feel that the more transparent you are, the more people will want to work with you.

Think about how the following message would have been received had you been the recipient. Would you feel more compelled to respond and network with me based on this message versus the generic.

Hoping to network with you and be a resource to you in the future

Good Morning XXXX,

My name is Steve Feinberg from XXXXXXX in Minneapolis. We are a certified EPIC partner and tier one vendor to many of the EPIC clients based in the US.

The reason for my e-mail is to connect and be a resource to you in the future . I know that you are currently on assignment, but I would like to discuss what will be important to you when you begin to look for your next position. At that time, I hope you will consider working with me.

I realize that you must get bombarded with e-mails and calls whether you are available or not. This is why I hope to hear from you when it is convenient to introduce myself.

I see you are connected to XXXX XXXX and he happens to be a former colleague of mine.  Please feel free to contact him for a reference.

In advance, I look forward to hearing from you and the opportunity to network with you in the future.

Respectfully,

Steve Feinberg

So the next time you send an invitation to someone you would like to connect to on LinkedIn, make it personal. You’ll have a better chance of connecting and growing your network with people who have a mutual interest in you and your business.

12 Sure Fire Ways To A Recruiter’s Heart

This past week while working on a variety of openings, I began to think about the simple things candidates could do that would make connecting with them a lot easier.  The more I think about it,the more I realize that these are actually things that candidates can do to be found more easily. These are also things that will make you more appealing through the recruiting process.  Let me know if you have any other ideas I missed because we’re all in this together.

1) If you are on LinkedIn, update your status to read that you are looking for your next (fill the type of job you are looking for) position.

2) If you are on LinkedIn and are looking for work or would like to start seeing what might be out there, make it easy for people who are not connected to you first line to get in touch with you.  You can do this by putting your e-mail address and/or your phone number in your contact information which will appear at the bottom of the page.

3) If you are on Facebook, update your profile to note that you are looking for your next job or something like that.

4) If you are on LinkedIn and/or Facebook, having a current picture on those sites will aid recruiters in a number of ways. Whenever I find someone on LinkedIn who I’m not connected to 1st line and don’t have a way to connect through a group or by paid inmail,  I will search for them on Facebook. I do this because when I find them (and I have), I can send them a message and there is no cost and most likely they will get it quicker because most people check their Facebook more often than LinkedIn.

5) When you speak to a recruiter in regards to a position you are interested in, be prepared to update your resume and prepare a summary to highlight the skills that are most important to the job you are being considered for.

6) Be up front about clients you are already submitted to, been in conversation with, worked at before, or choose not to be presented to. It saves a lot of time and energy for both the recruiter and the candidate.

7) When returning a call or e-mail to a recruiter, let them know the best time and way to reach you.  In today’s market, timing is everything. If a recruiter cannot reach you in a reasonable amount of time, odds are you will be overlooked for a more readily available candidate.

8) Join Twitter, even if you don’t plan to tweet often.  Starting every day with a tweet that says you are looking for (fill in your job title) your next job and your location will be another way to be found.  More and more recruiters and search professionals are using all 3 of the previously mentioned social media sites to recruit as it appears they can find more candidates that way.

9) Always be up front about your availability. There is nothing worse than going through all of the steps to qualify a candidate, to only have them inform you that they are not available for a month.

10) Inform the recruiter what else you have in your pipeline. That should include offers and interviews at least. Once again, timing is everything in our industry and full disclosure isn’t far behind.

11) Have references readily available, and let them know that they should expect a call from said recruiter. Also, inform the recruiter of the best way to communicate with that reference and best time to reach them if possible.  If it takes 3 or 4 days to reach you references, you would hate to be the top candidate and bring the process to a screeching halt because they can’t contact them. Also, more and more reference requirements can be accomplished by way of a recommendation on LinkedIn.

12) Share with them what attracts you to working with their organization whether it be in a full-time or consulting capacity. If a recruiter knows what excites you, they can do a better job of representing you.

In most cases, the recruiter holds the key to the door of your next opportunity.  If you treat them well, it has the potential to be a meaningful business relationship long into the future.

Interviews Are Precious…Are You Preparing Enough To Get The Job?

A couple of weeks ago I received a tweet from an excited jobseeker who wrote that she finally got her first 2 interviews after a 6 month drought.  We had been corresponding about her struggles to appeal to the hiring managers in her field within her city.

After a few tweets and e-mails and some simple advice on how to enhance her presence, she began working on this tirelessly. As a result, she got the interviews.

Two days later she followed up to let me know that she did not get either job.

I asked her where she felt things went awry?  She said she felt like the interviews went well but wasn’t sure where she fell short.

The next day I attended a networking program where the speaker was Sam Richter, internet search guru and author of “Take The Cold Out Of Cold Calling“.  I took a number of his suggestions geared toward client and company sales calls and tailored them to hiring managers and interviews.

After all, in every interview you are tasked with selling yourself to the hiring manager as a way of landing the job.  The best way to do so is to prepare, prepare, prepare.

I walked her through the following interview prep exercise and asked how many of these things she did prior to the interview, her answer…ONE !!!  Walk yourself through this list and see how many you do before interviewing with a company.

1) Did you go to the website of the company and familiarize yourself with their business, products, mission, values, locations, etc.

2) Did you Google the company for recent news, press releases, and any other applicable news about them.

3) Did you get the name of the person/people you were going to interview with?

4) Did you find them on LinkedIn and see if you have any connections in common?  If so, did you contact them to learn more about the interviewer and possibly have them call to give you a recommendation?

5) Did you Google the interviewer(s) to see if there has been anything significant written by them or about them?

6) Did you study the job requirement to make sure you were prepared to explain your experience and how it related to the each required and desired skill?

7) Did you go to their company LinkedIn page and study their stats, demographics, etc.

8) Did you study your resume (I know this one sounds crazy, but when nervous you should leave nothing to chance).

9) Did you prepare questions to ask them?  Many interviewers use your questions as a way of understanding your fact finding skills first hand.

10) Did you ask if their would be time for Q & A at the end of the interview or would they prefer that you ask questions as you think of them?

12) Did you bring a note pad to write down the questions or thoughts during the interview?

11) Most of all, did you try to close them for a decision.  Did you ask for the job?

These are just some of the ways to better prepare for your next interview.  The point is, those who do not prepare for interviews are likely to lose out to those who do.

If Your Job Search Lacks Creativity And Drive, You Are Fighting A Losing Battle

This past Tuesday I had the good fortune to attend a networking event where the guest speaker was 5 time New York Times best selling author Harvey Mackay. His latest book, entitled “Use Your Head To Get Your Foot In The Door” centers around the little things one can do to overcome the challenges of the current depressed job market. In all of his books he has always been consistent in his belief that your next sale, job, or relationship stem from an all encompassing commitment to networking.

In an article published on About.com, CJ Hayden states that “surveys consistently show that 80-85% of job-seekers find work as the result of a referral from a friend or colleague, and only 2-4% land jobs from Internet job boards”.

I can’t agree more with her findings. But as a recruiter, I look at it from a slightly different perspective. In my case, her numbers hold true with the placements I’ve made over the past 3 years. On average 85% of my placements come from referrals and recommendations from personal friends, current and former colleagues and clients, and contacts from social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.

This is why I find it frustrating when people tell me that they are frustrated by the lack of results they get from only using job boards.

The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

If you are one of the millions that are out of work presently, try doing something different to jump start the next phase of your job search.

1) If you haven’t done so already, get a LinkedIn account to get in touch with and network with former colleagues and friends.
2) Check out the 1000’s of networking groups on LinkedIn. I guarantee you can find many that will be a great networking vehicle.
3) If you are on Facebook, seek out friends and family to see who they know that you might be able to network with.
4) Every city has many great networking groups to fit a variety of areas from social to professionally focused that can help you in your job search.
5) Go where the people are, (Harvey Mackay notes in his book that volunteering is a great way to meet people and it’s a great way to stand out from the crowd).
6) Reach out to your educational institutions for ways to network through their resources
7) Get involved at your place of worship, mine has in excess of 1500 families and has people from many industries and career categories.
8) Find content on line that you can relate to and sign up for their newsletter or follow their blog. For instance, Harvey Mackay, Landon Long, and The Jobs Guy.

I agree that we are in a tough job market, however their are many ways to crush your competition if you just invest the time and effort and step outside your comfort zone.

Good Luck and happy networking.

Do The April Reports of An Increase In Jobs Mean We’re Out of The Woods ?

This past Friday, Labor Secretary Linda Solis delivered an address that gave some hope regarding job creation in the United States.  However, she cautioned that we are not out of the woods just yet.

I decided to do some research on the subject because there is always something more to the story.

The bad news is that The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent last month.  The silver lining is that this was a result of more out-of-work Americans jumping back into the job hunt.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was up from 9.7 percent in March, where the nation’s jobless rate has held since the beginning of the year. The U.S. Department of Labor said the hiring of 66,000 temporary employees for the 2010 Census helped boost the payroll count, but the gains were also widespread among the private sector, with increases of at least 40,000 jobs in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services.

Since the downturn in the economy, I have kept in close contact with a number of former colleagues in the staffing business.  Up until last month, they all seemed to have similar concerns about the lack of business with their clients in 2010.  The underlying theme was that companies were holding out as long as possible in order to hire less and do more with their current resources.

Based on feedback from their clients and the projects already booked for the coming months.  We are seeing an uptick in industry here in the Twin Cities. This is in conjunction with the previously reported increased number of jobs in various industries.

A colleague that works with me on some web/social media projects recently informed me that he was interviewing for 2 full time openings in the web development field and was planning to leave his current job.  He also informed me that 4 people have left his current group to pursue other opportunities. This will result in the backfilling of those vacated jobs.  As a result of the previous example, this means there will be 7 new jobs being filled in the web development field in the coming weeks.

I am receiving regular calls from LinkedIn connections, HR and recruiting professionals, and former colleagues asking if I can refer the type of resource they are seeking for their openings.

Based on my research and my ongoing networking, it appears that the market is picking up.  Don’t misunderstand me, we’re not out of the woods yet, but a slight uptick is better than a flat line or downturn any day.

Job Boards vs Social Media for Recruiting…Is The Quality and Result Worth The Cost???

Every day I talk to more and more of my counterparts in the recruiting business who are looking for more effective ways to recruit top talent without logging in to a job board like Monster, Career Builder, or Dice.com. When I have discussions with individuals in charge of the Job Board licenses for companies I always ask them the following questions.

1) Do you feel like you are getting the same high quality candidates from the job boards that you have in the past?

2) Do you feel like the thousands of dollars you spend each year on those job boards are worth the investment?

3) Are you using social media tools to recruit, and if so, are you finding as many quality candidates than you have with the job boards?

As we all know, job board licenses are very expensive, with a cost in the thousands of dollars per year.  On the other hand, social media tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are being used to creatively to find candidates and the cost is virtually nil (LinkedIn does have professional licenses that start at $24.95 per month).

The recruiters goal is to the find ideal candidate for each of their openings. In today’s economically challenging times, our clients are utilizing more and more vendors as a way to find the best candidates as well as promoting rate competition among these vendors.  This puts an even bigger emphasis on recruiting costs as well as speed to market.  In addition,  many successful and well networked candidates never post a resume on a job board.

However,  in my experience over the past 2 years, none of the candidates I’ve dealt with are without a profile on one or multiple social media sites.

Gautam Ghosh one of India’s leading bloggers and commentators on Career, Work, HR and business issues wrote an interesting blog recently about recruiting and social media.

The job boards definitely serve a purpose today and have been extremely beneficial to my success throughout my career.  However, times are changing and social media recruiting accents what our industry has always known;  relationships are the key to successful job placement.

Check out our poll: What is your best resource for recruiting candidates?

Are The Most Connected on LinkedIn More Concerned With Quantity or Quality Connections ?

April 5, 2010 6 comments

For the past year I have been evaulating how some of my fellow recruiters utilize LinkedIn.  Some users believe that being an Open Networker on LinkedIn that extends and accepts all invitations is the right way to build a massive network.  Others only connect to and accept invitations that involve individuals they have some connection with.

Yesterday I read an interview in the Delta Sky Magazine with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner where he was asked about his network.  One of the questions  he was asked was, “Do you accept any requests from users on the site?”  He says,  “I have just north of 800 connections. I only accept invitations based on whether I’ve met the person, and have a trusted relationship, which I would recommend to all of our members-to make sure they are accepting invitations from members that will increase the value of their network.”

I have received countless requests from people who I’ve never met in areas of the world and/or industries that I will never be involved with.  So the question is, what value is gained by reaching out to or accepting requests from those who don’t know me or have an interest in my skills or networking with me?

About 4 months ago I was doing an in depth SAP search for one of my clients.  I have 2 people in my network who reached out to me in the last 3 years whom I did not know.  They both were working at a company I had recruited for extensively in years past, specifically for SAP requirements.  I accepted their invitations thinking that these relationships could be mutually beneficial.  Since then I have attempted to contact them on no less than 6 occasions in the 3 years we’ve been connected, with no response.  These 2 individuals are Open Networkers with at least 3000 people in their 1st line network.

So the question is, are these people really interested in networking or just gathering connections?  One example of someone who seems to be genuinely invested in networking  was mentioned in the article ” Top 25 Most Connected Recruiters on Linked” by Glen Cathey.  If you look at #24 on the list, you will see Joseph Brown.  He has 14,000 connections and has always been open to connecting me with people in his network.  Although I must tell you, in my experience he is a rarity.

If you have 1000’s of connections and don’t know most of them, why give them the impression you are interested in networking with them if you have no intention to do so.

So, before you accept or a LinkedIn request, remember the advice of LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.  Accept invitations that will increase the value of your network.