My love/hate relationship with LinkedIn endorsments


Perceived value or real?

Ask anyone who knows me how I feel about LinkedIn endorsements and they’ll tell you I love them but also hate them. My ambivalent feelings have something to do with their value, which other LinkedIn members also question. Are they perceived value or real? This is the question.

Awhile back I used to work for a guy who introduced me to the term “perceived value.” He used this term when I questioned him about a new program the company was rolling out, whereby our customers had the fortune to buy unlimited technical service or pay some outrageous cost like $90 an hour per phone call.

Perceived value. I love that term and it has stuck with me. It’s like buying a grapefruit at an expensive grocery store believing it has more value than a grapefruit at a less expensive grocery store.

In the end, the grapefruit from the less expensive store is tastier, juicier, and more delectable. Still the more expensive grapefruit’s perceived value tricks our minds into thinking it tastes better.

LinkedIn endorsements’ perceived value

Someone who has many endorsements is perceived as being strong in those skills. For example, I visited my valued connection’s profile where every bleeping skill had 99+ endorsements. I asked him how he had accumulated so many endorsements. With a smirk on his face he told me it was because he has a lot of friends.

Endorsements were introduced by LinkedIn to increase engagement, plain and simple. With a left click of the mouse you can endorse someone for a skill you’ve never witnessed them perform.

While some argue that what they write on their profile is proof enough, you and I both know that words can be embellished all for the sake of marketing oneself. So this reasoning for me is faulty.

LinkedIn is screwing with people’s minds by suggesting which of your connections’ skills you should endorse. They do this occasionally when you visit someone’s profile (see below) and also offer suggestions on your profile.

I once asked one of my colleagues why he endorsed me for some skills I didn’t want endorsed, and he told me, “Because LinkedIn told me to.” There is LinkedIn screwing with people’s minds.

LinkedIn is turning us into lemmings who are running off the proverbial cliff.

LinkedIn endorsements’ real value

But wait, you’re thinking, if you’re opposed to endorsements, why are you making such a fuss over them? This is a fair question. It’s because endorsements can have real value if they’re awarded the proper ways.

The first of two ways is by seeing your connections actually perform the skills they have listed on their profile. Remember the person who joked that he was endorsed for his skills because he has a lot of friends? Truth be told, I’ve seen him perform a number of those skills and he deserves to be endorsed for them.

The second proper way to endorse someone is by trusting them. Based on how the recipient lists their skills, this is giving you a clue as how to proceed. The skills I have listed on my profile, for instance, have been carefully selected to reflect my value, not perceived value. (Read my post on how to help people endorse you.)

I see many LinkedIn members take special care in arranging their skills to provide guidance to people who’d like to endorse them for their skills.

LinkedIn endorsements will only provide value when they are dealt out accurately. This can be accomplished if visitors have seen recipients demonstrate the skills for which they’re endorsed or, as I’ve said, trust them to arrange their skills to truly represent their strengths.

When this happens, I will have faith in LinkedIn endorsements. But if endorsers continue to follow LinkedIn’s suggestions, or endorse people by the highest number of endorsements, I see them as perceived value.

Photo: Flickr, Mauricio Sarfati

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8 ways to keep the LinkedIn profile process from breaking down

picket fenceAnd how it’s like painting a fence.

This weekend I did something I hate. Painting. I hate painting for a number of reasons, but the major reason is the breakdown of process.

For example, I’m cruising along painting my picket fence, taking my time, no spills, not a drop on my person (I’m proud of this), hitting every spot; and then wham o….

Things start to hit the fan. All of the accomplishments I sustained for half an hour vanish, including not stepping on the top of the paint can and tracking white paint on the sidewalk.

That’s the breakdown of process.

If you ask some people who are starting their LinkedIn profile, they’ll express the same sentiment I have for painting–they just want to get it over with and have a profile that will help people find them. In other words, they don’t give it the attention it requires.

The process breaks down.

Do you relate to this sentiment? Here’s what you ought to do to prevent the breakdown of process.

1. Take your time. When I set out to paint my fence I said to myself, “Bob, you’re going to take your time and do this right. It’s only a fence.” LinkedIn is not a fence that needs painting, but there is ample opportunity for the process to break down. Following are some areas to pay attention to.

2. Get your photo done professionally. I had mine done by someone who sells one photo for $40.00. I’ve heard they come much more expensively than that. But JC Penny and Sears charge approximately $20.00 per photo. Having your photo done professionally is far better than having a relative take it with her Iphone.

I’m not saying you have to wear a three-piece suit to your photo shoot. Just make sure your photo is of quality. And no iPhone photos with you and your family on the beach or at a campground. Remember that a profile with a photo is 14x more like to be opened.

3. Think of a headline that brands you. Many people will settle for something like Marketing Professional which doesn’t do them  justice. Instead, Marketing Director | National Speaker | Author | Revenue Generator | Business Development will do a better job of branding you. Don’t rush and throw any ole Headline up there.

Ask others what they think of your Headline. Does it sell you, show your value to potential employers? This is what you need to consider. Your Headline is the second element of your profile that brands you; your photo is the first.

4. Write a Summary worth reading. What I’ve seen hundreds of times are LinkedIn Summaries that are a rehash of a person’s résumé Summary. Will this impress anyone? Certainly not.

Instead, take your time and write a Summary that tells a compelling story—your philosophy, areas of strength, accomplishments, future plans. This section of your profile is one of the most important ones. Without an impactful Summary, there’s a breakdown of process.

5. Your Experience section must lower the boom. Have you ever read a résumé that said, “So what? Who cares? Big deal”? Does your LinkedIn profile’s Experience section say the same? Is it a list full of duties and lacking accomplishments?

I suggest an Employment section that states accomplishments only, or strong duty statements and accomplishments. If you’re just starting your LinkedIn profile, copy and paste your résumés Experience section to your profile, but build it from there to be more personal.

6. Show off your writing. For more than a year LinkedIn has offered the Publish a post feature which allows you to publish a post on LinkedIn. If you enjoy writing and feel you’re a good writer, show off your expertise and writing style.

One of the posts I’m particularly proud of is 8 major job-search changes for older workers. I have published over 80 posts on LinkedIn. Obviously I enjoy writing. You can also be featured in Pulse, providing you receive enough “Likes” and views of your posts.

7. Have fun with Media. Make use of the Media feature—found in Summary, Experience, and Education—to show off PowerPoint presentations, links to your website or blog, example of your greatest photos of urban blight, or YouTube videos.

LinkedIn is making it easy to showcase your talent to make visitors want to stay on your profile. Take advantage of this. (Watch this video from one of my connections which he places in his Projects section.)

8. List your skills and amass endorsements. Like them or not, endorsements are here for a while; so you might as well list as many skills/expertise for people to click on. My feelings about endorsements are not all favorable. I believe they are more perceived value and a way for people to engage with each other. (Read why I think recommendations are getting a bum wrap.)

Your skills won’t endorse themselves, as my wife said about the unpainted fence, “It won’t pain itself, Bob”; but if you endorse your connections’ skills, you’ll get endorsements in return. (Read how to endorse skills properly.)

white paint

This is just the beginning. I hate to sound corny, but the line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” Is hogwash. You can build the Taj Mahal of all profiles, but if you’re not active, no one will notice.

Being active on LinkedIn includes: connecting with people; and engaging with your connectionsincluding updating on a regular basis, joining groups, writing recommendations for others, endorsing your connections.

I’m happy to say my white picket fence is finished and looking great. The process of painting broke down, much to my chagrin, but I learned valuable lessons: take it slow and focus on quality. The words, “It won’t paint itself” is a good lesson for writing one’s profile and putting it into action. You are responsible for your LinkedIn process; you alone.

Photo, Flickr, David Alston

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9 signs you’re running the LinkedIn marathon

running marathon

Lately one of my connections told me she needs a break from LinkedIn. Without naming names, I’ll tell you she’s a prominent figure on LinkedIn. I’ve seen her daily on my homepage feed for as long as I can remember.

Because she told me she needs a reprieve, it makes me question my insane commitment to LinkedIn, which I call the LinkedIn marathon.

Said person told me she has other things in her life that need tending to, so she plans to take a…hiatus. At first I couldn’t believe she would want to leave LinkedIn and possibly lose her momentum. I asked this person to reconsider.

On second thought, I can see her reasoning; actually think it makes sense.

How the LinkedIn marathon began for me. I became fully immersed in LinkedIn when I got hooked on one of LinkedIn’s most loved features…you guessed it, Answers. For hours upon hours I would answer questions posed under Job Search, until I eventually held the title of Best Answers. Then poof, without warning LinkedIn took away this feature.

I saw LinkedIn, and still do, as a great way to disseminate and gather information. Shamelessly I started sharing my posts three times a week. And then two times a week. After I write posts and share them on LinkedIn and Twitter, I share them in groups. Many of the information for my posts came from talking to recruiters, hiring managers, and career pundits.

Along came LinkedIn’s Publish a Post feature, and we all know the result of that. Over one million people have written long posts which have been great; average; and, well, terrible. I caught the fever and am still infected. I publish a post once a week on Monday. This feature has been very enjoyable for me.

Running the LinkedIn marathon

If you’re like me and engage in the following LinkedIn activities, you’re running the LinkedIn marathon.

1. My LinkedIn schedule has me on the platform almost every day of the year, including holidays. I’ve missed a couple of days here and there. Surely this amount of activity is enough for people to think, “Is Bob crazy.” Or “Does Bob have a life?” Or simply “Why?” Perhaps all three are accurate questions.

2. Having the LinkedIn app has only increased my activity. I find the LinkedIn app to be kind of clunky, yet it’s the last thing I look at before I go to bed. That’s after I shut down my computer hours earlier after being on…you guessed it, LinkedIn. Another sign I’m running the LinkedIn marathon.

3. I did a rough estimation of the number of updates I write a week by going to Who’s Viewed Your Profile. I was surprised to see that I only average four plus updates a day. The suggested number of updates is one a day, lest you annoy your connections.

One week I wrote 43 updates, or more than six updates a day. What the hell was wrong with me that day?

4. Another sign of running the LinkedIn marathon. One of my infrequently seen friends told me she’s seen me a lot. By that she meant on LinkedIn. I couldn’t tell if that is a good or a bad thing. I felt like asking her if she is even on LinkedIn, as I haven’t seen her in ages. But I didn’t want to come off as a wise ass. (Read Don’t disappear my valued LinkedIn connections.)

5. I’ve noticed that as of late, negativity has been rampant on LinkedIn, and it’s getting to be a bit much. Most of the negativity is about LinkedIn Pulse where featured posts land. It makes them look more like poor losers and little babies. I won’t mention names, though. The mere fact I care about this shows I’m running the LinkedIn marathon.

6. Often I’m asked if I make money from being on LinkedIn. My answer is, “Enough.” I have a day job as a workshop facilitator at an urban career center, as well as a LinkedIn side business. All requests for help are from people who contact me because they’ve seen my profile or posts on LinkedIn.

This is another reason why I need to continue running the marathon; to maintain business. People appreciate consistency.

7. I often wonder if there is such thing as being addicted to LinkedIn. So I Googled “LinkedIn Addiction.” I found some articles on LinkedIn addiction. The first one is from and according to this article, I am addicted based on the first three. After that, the author is just talking trash.

Here are the tree signs of addiction that apply to me:

1. You check LinkedIn:

  • during every lunch break.
  • more than five times per day. Or per hour.
  • at every red light.
  • while playing with your kids.

2. Checking LinkedIn is the first thing you do when you wake up.

3. And the last thing you do before going to sleep.

All of this fits me to a T. I log more hours on LinkedIn than a truck driver on a cross-country run.

Read the article for a couple of laughs.

8. I teach two LinkedIn workshops and estimate that I’ve taught thousands of them over the years. This doesn’t include workshops I’ve led for outside organizations, so the number is pretty high. I’m saying this justifies why I need to be well versed on LinkedIn.

Who am I kidding? I use LinkedIn mostly for personal reasons.

9. The question I need to ask myself is do I have the stamina to maintain this insane LinkedIn activity? Will I have to pare back? Will I burn out and totally drop of the face of the earth. I wrote a blog post about people who simply disappear from LinkedIn, just go away. That would be a sad thing.


So, given all of what I’ve said, I guess the smart thing to do would be to modify my activity on LinkedIn, so I…don’t burn out. Perhaps sharing three updates a day, being on LinkedIn multiple times a day (this includes the phone), and sharing posts in groups is leading me toward burnout, like my friend. Maybe I’ll need to pace myself better. But for now, I’m having too much fun.

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6 steps to penetrate the Hidden Job Market

snow bankWhen I think about the time my wife and I were shoveling our walkway last winter, I see that time as analogous to the Hidden Job Market (HJM). The problem I had that day was trying to locate another shovel whose location was only known by my wife.

It’s under the snow pile, she told me.

Where exactly? I replied.

Under that huge pile, she pointed to a mountainous heap.

Similar to a jobseeker who needs to know where the jobs are, I needed to know where the shovel was. My wife represented a knowledgeable contact who knew generally where the shovel was.

Fortunately I knew there was a shovel and simply had to ask where it was. In many cases the hunt for a job is not that easy for the typical jobseeker. They’re competing in a stiff job market which favors the employer (a buyer’s market), who prefers to hire people they know and trust.

HJMIt’s estimated that 75%-80% of the good jobs are hidden. This means that 25%-20% are advertised. One advertised job is often sought after by hundreds of jobseekers, creating intense competition and very little chance for success.

What is the solution to getting known and trusted by the employer? Take the following steps:

1. Develop a list of companies for which you’d like to work. This can be done by Googling your occupation, industry, and desired location. On LinkedIn, go to the Companies page, select a company, and scroll down to the right side of the page where similar companies are listed.

Instead of spending a great deal of time applying for jobs through the job boards, use more time researching your target companies. This is part of your labor market research. You can also talk to people who work at these companies, people who would know more about them.

2. Make contact with the appropriate people at these companies and send them an approach letter or put in a call, asking for an informational meeting. The result of this meeting should impress your new contact so much that he/she is willing to recommend you to a hiring manager.

Another result from informational meetings is developing your network with quality connections. Ask for contact information for other quality connections before leaving your informational meeting.

3. Attend networking events, where people who are currently working can provide valuable information as to where jobs may exist, maybe at their own company. Google for business networking events in your area, as well as industry specific affiliations.

Also attend jobseeker networking events, where you’ll give and receive information and advice from people who are also looking for work. Don’t expect immediate gratification; rather go with the intention of building relationships.

4. Schedule appointments with selected connections. For example, get together for coffee with former colleagues who have been keeping their ear to the pavement for you. Some believe this approach is most effective. In other words, less is better.

It’s important to keep these valuable connections in the loop by sending emails letting them know your progress in the job search. Don’t make it all about the job search, though. Send an occasional email inquiring about your connections’ personal life.

5. Connect with people in the community. Sometimes this can be the most effective way to locate opportunities. Ask your neighbor who works at one of your desired companies if he/she would be willing to deliver your résumé to a hiring manager.

One of my customers approached me about how he landed a job, bragging that he didn’t have to network. He told me he handed his résumé to his neighbor who then delivered it to the hiring manager in the department. My customer got an interview and landed his job. I didn’t want to bust his bubble, but he networked to get the job.

6. A more passive way to penetrate the HJM is to let recruiters do the seeking. Make your LinkedIn campaign as fruitful as possible by developing a kick-ass profile, connecting with people in your industry, and engaging with your connections. The idea here is to prompt employers to contact you after they’ve read your profile.

There are two major benefits derived by the smart employer who is looking for awesome talent via LinkedIn.

  • They save the cost of a traditional hiring process which can run into the thousands, including advertising on the job boards, potentially hiring a search agency to locate and filter candidates, the people power it takes to review résumés and then interviewing candidates.
  • The second benefit is precluding the need to interview complete strangers. Instead an employer can initiate contact via phone or e-mail and engage a discussion with jobseekers. Jobseekers essentially become a known commodity before the employer decides to invite them in for an interview.

My wife, mostly I, finished shoveling the walkway because she knew where the second shovel was. Had she not known, I would have had to shovel the walkway on my own. I suppose I could have found the shovel if I dug through a ton of snow, but I probably would have given up the search.

Flickr: Grant McDonald

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10 reasons why your LinkedIn profile photo is important to me

Adrienne TomI published this post less than a year ago, but the need for a photo on your LinkedIn profile can’t be emphasized enough. 

One day a customer of mine came up to me appearing quite irritated and told me he had sent me an invite on LinkedIn. But I didn’t accept his invite, according to him. I asked him if he wrote a personalized message with his invite. Yes he did. I then asked him if he had a photo. No he didn’t. “Ah,” I said. “That’s why I ignored you.” This is one of my principles, as harsh as it sounds.

While many of my colleagues won’t connect with their customers/clients, I see no reason not to connect as long as my customers embrace the necessity of having a LinkedIn photo. If they don’t embrace it, they’re in for a disappointing LinkedIn campaign. One of my favorite things to say when I’m critiquing a customer’s profile that lacks a photo is, “What’s wrong with this picture?” I know, not very funny.

Jeff SheehanPerhaps I’m getting old and stodgy, but here are 10 reasons why your LinkedIn profile is important to me.

I recognize you. If you only have the default light grey ugly box in the photo area, I have no idea who you are. I’m terrible with names, so a face helps me. I feel closer to you, even if we live 3,000 miles away from each other.

Your photo tells me something about your personality. My photo tells people that I’m caring, sincere, and friendly. All of this is true. I’m assuming your photo would say what kind of person you are, creative, authoritative, welcoming, etc.

AntonYou’ve gone though the effort to have a professional photo taken of you. One of my jobseekers told me he had his photo taken for $50. This told me that, despite not having the resources, he felt that having a photo is important.

You know that having a photo will increase your chances of your profile being opened. I’m conservative when I tell my LinkedIn workshop attendees that their chances of getting their profile opened and read increases by 7 times. Some estimates are as high as 14.

You understand the importance of branding. It was commonly believed that a LinkedIn photo was either highly professional or business casual. Now people are breaking boundaries by posting photos that reflect what they do. Take a look at one of my connections (above left) who understands this concept.

Stevie PuckettOn the other hand…your photo is not inappropriate. Some that come to mind are those you’d post on Facebook where you’re captured partying, or you’re with family on the beach, or you’re using LinkedIn as a dating site.

You realize LinkedIn is a networking application, not your resume which doesn’t include a photo. LinkedIn members feel more comfortable networking with people we can see.

You’ve gotten over yourself. I’ll be the last to say that age discrimination doesn’t exist but it’s less prevalent than you think and employers are more suspicious when they don’t see your photo. Besides, who would want to work for someone who judges you on your age.

Hank BoyerYou’ve taken that step toward online networking. Scary, huh? For some of you it was enough to simply get online, but now you’re being told–by not only me–you need to disclose your identity. I salute those of you who are making that step, albeit a reluctant one.

Your photo is about you, not your company. Talk about not trusting someone. That’s how I feel when someone presents themselves as their company logo. The profile is about you and not your company–that’s why there are LinkedIn company pages.

When it comes to the LinkedIn photo, I want to know what people look like. I guess it’s as simple as that. That ugly light grey box is disconcerting to say the least; it says to me, “I’ve got something to hide.” If I’ve got nothing to hide, why should you?

Top left, Adrienne Tom

Second to right, Jeff Sheehan

Third to left, Anton Brookes

Fourth to right, Stevie Puckett

Fifth to Left, Hank Boyer

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Introverts: 8 ways to get those creative juices flowing

Writer's BlockMany introverts are creative writers because writing is what they love to do. As an introvert I prefer to write, as opposed to talking, to communicate my thoughts. Talking is what I do for a living, but writing is my strength. But it doesn’t always easy.

There are times when I hit a wall as I’m trying to write. It’s better known as writer’s block, and it’s frustrating. It’s Sunday morning, and I want to post an article on Monday; but for the life of me, I can’t think of something to write about.

So how can introverts get those creative juices flowing? Here are seven suggestions.

1. Read others’ writing

The idea for this post came from one I read by Sophia Dembling, When an Introvert’s Brain Stops Producing. I’m sure she’d be totally stoked to know I was inspired by her article in Psychology Today. She’d also appreciate the fact that I stole her idea, or maybe not.

In Three Secrets to Writing BetterErik Deckers, shares bits of advice on how to become a better writer. They are: write everyday, read the newspaper, and my favorite steal from other writers’ styles. (I think what he really means is to learn from the best.)

2. Take a walk

Some of my best ideas come from taking my morning walks, where I traverse the neighborhood listening to music or local radio on my phone. For some it may be hiking hills or going to the gym. Scientifically it’s been proven that what’s good for the body is good for the mind. It provides clarity and a time to reflect, which introverts thrives on.

3. Observe

I love to include my family, friends, customers, and events in my life in my writing. They provide the basis for my posts. In one post I wrote, I equate my basement to LinkedIn recommendations. You may be wondering what my grungy basement has to do with LinkedIn recommendations. Now think about where recommendations are located on your LinkedIn profile. You see what I mean?

4. Write, just write

I have a bazillion rough drafts/started posts that need to be completed. When an idea hits me, I write the beginning of a “brilliant” blog which may or may not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Others I’ll return to and finish the thoughts I had way back then.

You can write stream of consciousness, which is simply writing without stopping, just writing and then later correct any errors. For some it’s too messy. But others like the freedom it offers. What you may have at the end may not be worth keeping.

5. Give yourself a break; not everything has to be original

I hate to admit it, but not all of my posts are original. Most bloggers will tell you the same thing; we re-purpose what we’ve already written. When I was in marketing, we called it leveraging material.

So I go into my archives and I pull out something from long ago, something people won’t remember. I write a new intro and change the wording around in the lists or body of the post. Voila. Take a break. You can’t expect to write creative verbiage every time you post.

6. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket

I have labored over blog posts for days and even weeks. Don’t do this. If what you’re writing isn’t ready for Prime Time, save it for another day. You may have to think about it for a few days, or even a week, before it feels right for you.

In fact, this post is a couple of weeks in the makings. I will go back and forth between multiple posts if necessary. Other times I will write a post on my smart phone, when the right moment hits me.

7. Change your setting

Some of my best ideas come to me when I’m somewhere other than my house. There are distractions, such as multiple media going on at the same time, e.g., television, radio, my daughter’s Netflix show blaring from her computer. A place like Starbucks provides a great place for me to get away and get the creative juices going.

The only problem you may face is being disrupted by someone who wants to talk with you while you’re trying to write. Read this article about how I was interrupted by someone while I was trying to reflect. 

8. Write about losing your mojo

My last suggestion is to write about losing your creative juices…temporarily. It’s something you’re experiencing, something close to you; so why not write about it. I personally think this makes people more depressed about not being able to write.

My Creative Writing college professor said writing about writing is cliché, so we were forbidden to do it. Instead he wanted us to write about sex (he wanted us to write about what we knew).

It will pass, this temporary loss of creative juices. Introverts rely on themselves to conjure up their creativity; they don’t enjoy brainstorming with others. So there may be spells of creativity loss that can be frustrating, to say the least.

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Dear hiring manager, 15 reasons why you lost the best candidate ever

Hiring Manager

This post is a follow-up to Dear recruiter, 15 reasons why you lost the best candidates ever. Following are complaints I’ve heard from my career center customers.

As a career strategist, sometimes I hear grumblings from my workshop attendees about how their interviews with hiring managers are less than pleasant. And what follows the interview can be just as unpleasant. For those of us who are gainfully employed, it may be difficult to understand candidates’ frustration and, at worst, despair.

Hiring managers, don’t take it personally. You’re busy with projects that need to be completed and feel you have better things to do than hire the next person. But think about the logic of your disdain for interviewing candidates; your next employee is the person who can make your life easier. Help you complete important projects.

Not all hiring managers are at fault in the hiring process, but for the few that are, below are some reasons why—shall we say—you’ve blown the selection process. What follows are paraphrased thoughts of my customers (clients) over the years.

  1. In search of the purple squirrel? Good luck with that. I may not have 100% of the qualifications you’re looking for, but I’m ambitious, a quick learner, and want to succeed.
  2. I got laid off from my last company because it reduced its workforce by half. I survived five layoffs. And still you think being out of work for three months is a sign of my ineptitude. (Maybe its a sign of a jobseeker’s poor job-search methods.)
  3. That photo of me in Cancun drinking a Margarita, I somehow got tagged on Facebook. But you weren’t as focused on my stellar LinkedIn profile as finding something wrong with me on Facebook.
  4. Really, you couldn’t reschedule our interview which would have taken place during my son’s graduation ceremony? No, I don’t think it’s worth missing this milestone. Hope you understand.
  5. I guess you heard I’m 50 years old. End of story.
  6. I was 15 minutes early for the interview. You were 45 minutes late for it. Hmm.
  7. Your handshake was limp. You didn’t maintain eye contact. Your face looked like it was made of stone. Did you learn anything about first impressions?
  8. “When did I graduate from high school?” Really? Can’t you be more creative than that?  (Many of my customers get asked this revealing question.)
  9. The job posting didn’t call for someone who is proficient in Flash. If it had, I wouldn’t have applied for this position. I don’t suppose telling you I can learn it quickly….I didn’t think so.
  10. I might have taken your job if you had returned my inquiry. I have accepted a different offer. Oh well.
  11. You told me I’d hear about your decision within a week. Two weeks later I’m still waiting. Yes or no, I’d like to know what you’ve decided.
  12. I’m not the “right fit?” How about: “You don’t have the expertise we’re looking for,” “You came across as dispassionate,” “I’ve decided to fill the position internally.” All of these would be fine. I can handle the criticism.
  13. You want me to write a five-page explanation on how I’d solve your supply chain issue? I can do that with my eyes closed. But are you offering me the job, or do you just want free advice?
  14. So let me get this straight, you want to pay me half the amount of money I was making at my last job and do twice as much work?
  15. This is our 11th interview. How many more will there be? (A customer of mine landed a job after 12 interviews, including two on the west coast…at two different flights.)

These are among other complaints I’ve heard from my customers. They don’t expect to land every job for which they apply; they just want to be treated fairly and with respect. Hiring managers, perhaps you could consider what you’re doing that makes the job search harder/unpleasant for your candidates, and make some minor corrections.

Photo: Flickr, Kristof Ramon

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