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Posts Tagged ‘networking’

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.

It’s Your Last Semester, So When and Where Should You Start Looking ?

Earlier this week I received a question from a soon to be college graduate. She stated that she was going to be graduating in the coming month and was wondering if it was the right time to begin her job search?

I almost fell out of my chair.  If I knew where she was attending school, I’d seek out her advisor and give them a piece of my mind.

If you are graduating soon and you have yet to begin your job search, you need to giddy-up and start laying the groundwork. The following list will give you some helpful to do’s to get you on the right path (I recommend you begin this process at latest during your Junior year).

  1. Meet with your advisor, career counselor, or someone in the career development department if they have one.
  2. Work with them to build a resume and online LinkedIn profile (make sure you mention all of your associations, awards, interests, etc.).
  3. Reach out to your instructors, TA’s, and Alumni Association to begin networking.
  4. Join networking groups to include LinkedIn groups, Yahoo groups, groups specific to your desired industry , etc.

Back in 1984 at The University of Arizona.  I was fortunate enough to have an amazing advisor by the name of Jim Patterson.  He gave me some of the best advice I ever received. He told me to intern because it was the best way to get experience  and to network my way into the areas I wanted to start my career.

Being a Sports Broadcast Major, I was fortunate enough to intern at CBS in Tucson, Arizona for a year and the Minnesota North Stars Hockey Team.  These internships started during my junior year and continued through my college graduation.  I took the initiative to get these internships because of my college advisor.  These experiences were invaluable, as they showed me what these careers would truly be like.  I ultimately wound up in film production – (a whole other blog.)  Having an internship can ultimately lead to your first job.   What better way is there for an employer to truly interview you than to see your work ethic and talent first hand?

In the 1980’s we didn’t have the internet and social media to help with networking.  We had to do it the old fashioned way through mail and phone calls.

Now that there are more options for networking and the opportunity to educate ourselves on potential employers, the possibilities are endless as long as you make your job search a top priority.  The earlier you start, the wider you can cast your net.

Networking Should Be a You Thing, Not a Me Thing

April 26, 2010 5 comments

I had another blog all set for this week until Friday when I had a string of events happen that made this blog much more important.

Whether we think about it consciously or subconsciously, networking will always be a key to succeeding whether personally or professionally. Professionally you may be trying to meet people who may buy from you, sell to you,  hire you, or be hired by you.  Personally you might meet someone who refers a builder, babysitter, lawyer, etc.

I realized a strange thing recently about networking.  It’s not always about how it furthers my momentum and interests, but rather how it supports the networking of others.  I can give you a number of valid examples that occurred this past Friday.

Friday morning I met my friend and fellow recruiter Joe Brown prior to attending Social Media Breakfast.  On the ride there he asked about candidates I might know for a project he is working to staff.

We arrived at Social Media Breakfast (An extremely popular Social Media networking group) and prior to the start of the event we ran into Cathy Paper (A great communicator who embodies the networking approach outlined in this blog).  Cathy, in turn, invited me to a networking event at her client Morsekode, where I ran into Brian Fisher one of their client managers.  Oddly enough I’ve played hockey with him weekly for the past year and never knew what he did for a living or where he worked .  As it turns out, they have a need for strong web development talent at which point I mentioned another guy we play hockey with as a possibility (I can’t mention his name as he is currently working full-time for another company).  They will be connecting this week.

Of course, when we network, we all look for “what’s in it for me”.  However, being helpful to others will often result in long term gain for the giver as well as the recipient.

When all is said and done, everyone needs the give and take that networking provides.  In my experience, if you are a giver, you will receive. If you are a taker, you may receive initially until people figure you out and then your well will run dry.

With a High Level of Unemployment, Are The Employed Reaching Out To Help The Jobless???

The US Department of Labor released its latest statistics to show a current unemployment rate of 10.4% (The percent of the labor force that is unemployed).

Just for a moment, close your eyes and think about how your life would be affected without your current job.

As we all know, companies began to feel the pain of our economic downturn in 2008.  As a result, the massive  layoffs began and continued throughout 2009 and it put many members of our workforce in the unemployment line.  I have met a number of individuals who have been unemployed since late 2008/early 2009 who are incredibly talented professionals.   Many of them are in need of help from those who are employed. I’m not talking about money,  I’m talking about time, expertise, and networking.

My areas of expertise are in recruiting, networking and the effective use of Social Networking.  I have been able to meet with a number of very talented unemployed professionals recently to help them understand ways to network that they were unaware of.

Recently, one of those people I met with was a Marketing professional who has been unemployed for a little under 18 months.  In the span of 45 minutes we discussed his goals and expanded his knowledge of LinkedIn by showing him ways to utilize the tools he was unaware of.  This made him aware of how to get in contact with people at some of his target companies.  It was very gratifying to see  how excited he was about the new ways  he could network.   I can’t wait to hear from him when he lands his next job.

For those of you who have been fortunate  enough to have a job throughout this recent economic downturn,  take a moment to think about those less fortunate than you and help them.  Like I said, not through money, rather through time, expertise, and networking.  I have heard every excuse as to why people don’t lend their resources to help out the displaced workforce.  Most of us are very busy with work, family, and other commitments but that doesn’t mean we can’t spare an hour or two here and there.  Trust me, there is no better feeling than to help someone in need, especially in an area of expertise that comes second nature to us.

So the next time you have an opportunity to help someone in need, Just Do It,  you’ll be glad you did.

The Single Most Important Thing About Recruiting…and Your Job Search

In my 10 plus years in recruiting, I have had the good fortune to meet some of the greatest candidates who I’ve yet to put to work. That may seem a bit strange given the purpose of a recruiter. Take a great job, find a great candidate, place them in that job and move on to the next job (and get paid for the placement in some way.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve put to work many phenomenal talented people over the years. Many of which I’ve worked with on more than one occasion and some with multiple companies over multiple years.

However it begs the question, how long and how often do you keep in touch with great people who you have little chance to put to work today, tomorrow, or ever?

This points directly to my reasons for being a super user of LinkedIn. It gives me the ability to stay in touch with and perform the give and take that networking is all about.

Many of these great resources see the benefit in networking with a recruiter that is only a message away.

Renowned Minneapolis based author Harvey Mackay says it best in the title of his book “Dig Your Well Before Your Thirsty“.

Networking is something that should be a daily activity whether you are looking for a job, a great candidate, or just staying on the mind of those in your network.

Remember another important thing about networking, it’s not just for business. It can be utilized for so much more !!!

Now the next step is up to you, so start networking, it’s a great way to explore your future opportunities.