7 ways managers can improve the hiring process

For you hiring managers, you might have taken notice upon seeing the title of this post. While it’s true that job seekers can benefit from advice on their job-search techniques, there’s something to be said about how you can improve the process.

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You can make the hiring process a better experience for job candidates. This is within your power, as you are usually the one making the hiring decision. Your goals is to hire the best possible candidates; it’s to your company’s benefit.

Read this article by FastCompany.com about some mistakes hiring managers have made.

Are there hiring managers who interview well? Absolutely. They have mastered the process and hire great candidates. But for those who don’t, here are six things to consider.

1. Get trained on how to interview properly. Smart companies send their hiring managers to training on how to interview properly. Hiring managers are taught about which questions to ask and how to conduct an interview that draws the best attributes out of job candidates.

“I’ve been managing people for years, and I was never trained how to interview candidates,” one of my workshop attendees said after I made the bold statement that some hiring managers are not the best interviewers.

The statement from my workshop attendee did not surprise me; training can be expensive and time intensive. The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) provides training for hiring managers. Among the various techniques SHRM teaches is which questions to stay away from, namely illegal ones.

2. Don’t ask illegal questions. One of my clients told me he went to an interview and the second question the hiring manager asked was, “How old are you?” I asked him to repeat his statement. I was so shocked by this blatantly illegal question.

Although it’s hard to prove, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 candidates 40-years and older are protected by age discrimination. But age is not the only topic hiring managers should stay away from. Questions about nationality, marital status, gender identity, race, disability, political preference, and religion are taboo.

3. Don’t discount the value of the mature worker. Related to the previous reason, some hiring managers—young and older alike—discriminate against age. They are subtle about it, or quite obvious. Many of my clients, who average 53-years of age, tell me about times when they could see this on the hiring manager’s face.

This is not only illegal, it’s bad practice. Mature workers add value, through their job experience, maturity, great problem-solving skills, dependability, and more. Am I saying that mature workers don’t lack some skills younger workers do? No. Every age group has strengths and weaknesses.

4. Hiring the best candidate is a priority. Probably the last thing hiring managers want to do is interview someone for—as an example—an office manager, when she has multiple projects to oversee. Here’s the thing, the hiring manager needs someone who can run the office and make her life easier. She needs a problem solver.

Yes, overseeing the projects is important, but finding the right administrative assistant should take priority. Rushing through the process could lead to a wrong hire which doesn’t relieve the problem and can be expensive (approximately 30% of the candidates first annual salary).

5. Be willing to interview strangers. The preferred method of hiring a candidate is through a referral because candidates come with a mark of approval. But sometimes the best candidate is not known someone who works in the company or someone who knows someone who works in the company.

Herein lies the rub: hiring managers need to go through the process of reading résumés from strangers and interviewing them. As unpleasant as it may be, if they want the true problem solver they seek, the right person might not be a referral.

6. Work with your recruiters and HR. A complaint I often hear from recruiters and HR is that they need to play a bigger role in the process. They want to do more than conduct phone interviews to determine a candidate’s salary  and experience.

Recruiters and HR want to be business partners and know hiring managers’ thoughts before approaching potential applicants. They should not go into screening candidates without a full understanding of what hiring managers are looking for in terms of: “the must haves vs. the nice to haves,” the interview layout, etc. Read this article from the Muse.

7. Stop looking for the purple squirrel. This is a common term meaning the candidates must be perfect. Candidates must be able to hit the ground running, a fit for the work environment, and liked by the hiring manager.

A candidate who has the required experience and  is compatible with his colleagues and the hiring manager is essential; but some hiring managers want a clone of themselves and someone they would want to go out for drinks with. What’s most important is that the candidates possesses high EQ.


This last point is why many of my clients are frustrated by the time it takes employers to hire them. Three, four, five rounds of interviews. According to SHRM, the average time it takes employers to hire job seekers is 26 days. This figure seems low to me, as I’ve seen some of my clients wait two or three months for employers to pull the trigger.

Coupled with poor hiring methods and a long process, job seekers are frustrated. Do you blame them? I don’t.

Photo: Flickr, Kristof Ramon 

 

Why are you on LinkedIn? Three types of LinkedIn members

Congratulations, you are one of more than 500 million LinkedIn members. LinkedIn is touted as the most professional online networking platform. Many job seekers have used it to find jobs, while others have had no success. You don’t want to fall into the latter category.

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The success of using LinkedIn depends on knowing why you’re using the networking platform and how to better use it. LinkedIn can be beneficial to your job search, but first decide if you should be using it.

You Have No Idea

You went through the easy process of securing your LinkedIn membership. Because you’re in the job hunt, a career expert told it would be the answer to your prayers. I curse the people who told you this.

If you really believe LinkedIn alone will land your next job, stop drinking the Cool Aid. LinkedIn is not the magic elixir that people might have told you it is. This is the hard truth. Now let me tell you what you have to do.

Have you seen the television program, “The Biggest Loser.” This is you. You will work harder than you’ve worked before…not to lose weight, of course. If you think I’m exaggerating, ask people who have succeeded using LinkedIn to find a job.

Here’s what you need to do: create a profile; connect with people you don’t know; and engage with said people. This is a tall order, but you can do it. The most promising thing about you is that you’re open to all advice LinkedIn authorities offer you. The question is if you’re hungry enough to do what it takes.

Please read this sequence of posts for a full explanation on how to use LinkedIn

You’re Half-Committed

Maybe you’re a tweeny; you have an inkling of an idea of LinkedIn and are knowledgeable enough to be dangerous. You joined the last time you were out of work but neglected LinkedIn after you landed your previous job; now it’s time to get back on the horse. You have promise, though.

First things first; your profile resembles your résumé. That’s because it is. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I suggest to my clients that they start with their résumé as a foundation, but from there they need to turn it into more of a networking document.

The solution is to do serious work on your Branding Headline, create a Summary that reflects your passion and value, and beef up your Experience section. This is what I mean by making your profile a networking document, while still maintaining your value to potential employers.

Next, slowly reconnect with with people in your network. Slowly because you don’t want to come across as someone who needs something only when you contact someone. My kids do this. Don’t be like my kids.

Finally, you’ll become more visible by sharing updates on a regular basis. I generally suggest sharing updates two times a day, four days a week…at a minimum. For those who are a little more committed, engaging with your connections every day is your goal.

Read about the next LinkedIn member, The Pro.

You’re a Pro

You know exactly why you’re using LinkedIn. You have a solid strategy that will land you a job. You’re a pro. This post may not enlighten you, other than you are curious to see if you are on track. You are.

I know your’e a pro when I ask you how often you use LinkedIn, and what you use LinkedIn for. The answer to my first question is…you guessed it, every day. How you’re using it is to continue your lifelong networking efforts.

You are making efforts to connect with people at companies for which you want to work, which means you have a target company list. You’re making substantial connections, some of whom you have met for coffee, or at the very least talked with on the phone.

Occasionally you use the Jobs feature to apply for jobs online, but you know this isn’t the most productive way to spend time looking for work. You notice the alumni who work/ed at your target companies, so you reach out to them. You’re stoked if your fraternity brothers work at a few of your target companies. Hey, bro!

Here is a partial list of what you have in place:

  1. A profile that effectively brands you. There’s nothing more that can be done with your profile.
  2. Keywords that put you within the first four pages of profile searches.
  3. More than 1,500 connections, many of whom are recruiters. Yes, it’s cool to connect with recruiters.
  4. Engaging with your connections in a number of ways, such as sharing illuminating industry updates, writing posts on LinkedIn that brand you, asking questions that provoke thought, etc.
  5. In industry groups, where recruiters also hang out, and starting and adding to discussions.
  6. Most importantly, introducing your fellow job seekers to people who can be of assistance.

Coupled with your strong LinkedIn campaign and personal networking, you’re not going to be unemployed too long. Your strategy is straightforward; connect with quality LinkedIn members and create a mutually helpful relationship. As they say, you’re killing it.


Far be it from me to suggest no one joins LinkedIn. The most important thing to discover is why you’re on LinkedIn. Once you’ve determined this, you’ll have to put in the appropriate amount of effort.

Photo: Flickr, Marco / Zak

6 reasons why you landed your job

Searching for a job was scary and one of the most difficult times in your life. But you made it. You landed the job you wanted. Your job search took longer than you would have liked, but you persevered for six months.

Success

When you think about what led you through your journey and to this new opportunity, you can pinpoint 6 distinct reasons:

1. You demonstrated emotional intelligence (EQ).There were times when you felt like throwing in the towel. You felt like staying in bed dreading the days ahead. Your feelings of despondency were unseen by others, save for loved ones and your closest friends.

When you were networking in your community, attending networking groups three times a week, and taking workshops at the local career center, you showed a confident demeanor. You were positive and demonstrated a willingness to help others. Despite negative thoughts, you did your best to help yourself and others.

Read 12 ways to show emotional intelligence.

2. You developed a target company list. Taking the advice of your career advisor, you made a list of companies for which you wanted to work. She told you to spend time researching your target companies and contacting people for networking meetings before jobs were advertised.

You left each networking meeting with different people to contact. You had the sense that one person, a VP of Marketing and Sales, had an interest in you. He led you to the door saying, “We might be in touch with you real soon.” But you didn’t rely on this one occurrence.

You continued to build your target company list and ask for networking meetings. You were spending less time applying for jobs online and more time meeting with quality connections. You were optimistic. You felt productive.

Read 4 components of job-search networking emails.

3. You networked the proper way. At networking events you were attentive to others, while also willing to ask for help. Many people think only of their situation, not of helping others. Not you. You kept your eyes open for opportunities for your networking companions.

When people ask you for leads at companies of interest, you gave them the names of hiring managers in various departments. You became known as the “Connector.” Weeks later, you were happy to learn of one of your networking companions landing a position at a company, based on one of your leads.

You also networked in your community. Told everyone you knew that you were looking for a job and asked them to keep their ears to the pavement. Who would have known that your neighbor across the street would be the reason you landed your job?

He worked at one of your target companies and knew the VP of marketing and would deliver your résumé to him. Put in a good word. You were asked to come in to have a few discussions.

Read 10 ways to make a better impression while networking

4. You wrote killer résumés. Yes, plural. Because you tailored as many of your résumés as possible to each job, knowing that every employer has different needs. A one-fits-all résumé doesn’t work. In addition, you eliminated fluff from your Performance Profile. It’s better to show, rather than tell.

Most importantly, you packed a punch in your Experience section by listing accomplishment statements with quantified results. Results like, “Increased productivity by 80%” sounds better than simply, “Increased productivity.”

Using your network was key in getting your résumé into the hands of the hiring managers, such as the time your neighbor delivered your value-packed résumé to that hiring manager.

Read 8 reasons why hiring authorities will read your résumé.

5. You nailed the interviews at one of your target companies. There were five interviews for the job your neighbor led you to; two telephone, two group, and a one-on-one. You were prepared for each interview, having researched the company, the position, their competition, even the interviewers.

You used LinkedIn to discover who the interviewers were. One was a youth soccer coach, like you. Another had gone to your alma mater. And another was a veteran, so you were sure to thank her for her service. That went over very well.

After each interview you sent unique follow-up notes to every interviewer, ensuring that you mentioned a specific point of interest made by each one. You even sent a thank-you note to the receptionist. Smart move.

After 6 months, you received an email from the VP of marketing telling you they were offering you the position of marketing manager and were also exceeding your salary requirement.

Read 6 ways to interact with one of the most important people in the interview process 

6. Your work was not complete. You didn’t forget the people who helped you along the way, such as the person who helped you revise your résumé, the people with whom you formally networked, and certainly your neighbor who led you to your new job. They deserved thanks.

In the true spirit of networking, there were people who you could help in a more meaningful way, such as Sydney from your networking group who was looking for an engineering position.

There was a mechanical engineer position opening in your new company. You mentioned the position to Sydney and gave her a good word. Wouldn’t you know; you changed Sydney’s life for the better.

Read 6 topics to include in your thank-you notes.

I’ve heard many stories from my clients who have similar plots to this one. Their job search wasn’t easy. Their landing was well deserved. But they had to display EQ, do their research, help others, and be willing to help themselves. If you are dedicated to do the same, your job search will be shorter.

A portion of this post appeared in Recruiter.com

Photo: Flickr Marc Accetta

 

3 reasons why job seekers should blog

My two daughters used to love writing. My oldest preferred expository writing, while my youngest loved dabbling in creative writing, primarily poetry that had taken on an inner angst slant. I loved reading their essays and stories. Proofreading and editing them was a pleasure.

 

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My youngest daughter once asked me if I write. I told her that I do, and she asked if I write for work. This was a tough question to answer because I don’t get paid for blogging, but I see the doors it opens. Blogging is an investment in the future. How do you explain this to a 13-year-old kid?

Now, I tell my clients that blogging can be beneficial to their job search. I’m often met with reactions like, “Be real, Bob.” Here’s what I tell them about blogging for their job search.

Demonstrates your ability to write

If you enjoy writing and are particularly good at it, blogging gives you the perfect platform. Keep in mind that what you write will be read by people who hope to gain some advice from your writing, not your memoir or short stories based on your college years.

Enjoying the act of writing makes it easier to maintain a consistent schedule of posts. Start with one every other week and then increase them to a point where you are blogging once a week.

If you need trusted people to proofread your posts before sending them out, don’t be afraid to ask. Some of my clients have run their posts by me. My comments were usually: “You’re instincts are correct. Run with it.”

It enhances your brand

Blogging is one of many ways you can enhance your online presence. It demonstrates your expertise in your field, especially if what you write is educational and of use to your readers. This means you need to understand the needs of your audience.

I encourage my clients to blog to demonstrate their expertise. “Everyone in this room is an expert at what you do,” I tell them. This is true. From the purchasing agent to the nurse to the software engineer, they all have knowledge to share.

When recruiters, hiring managers, and HR read your posts, they’ll learn more about your expertise and personality than any résumé you write. Use your professional voice. Begin with a story, if you like. Just remember that the purpose of your posts are to educate your audience.

Also, keep your content positive; refrain from bashing former employers. This is one way to severely damage your brand. I’ve seen people submit negative posts on LinkedIn, which remain in the minds of LinkedIn users.

On the plus side, one of my clients went to an interview where the VP of marketing commented that he saw one of my client’s posts shared on LinkedIn. The VP was very impressed with my client’s expertise and offered him the job shortly after the interview.

It’s a great way to network

The third and final reason to blog is to network on social media like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Provide links in your posts to other bloggers’ posts. They will receive a ping telling them you’ve done this.

Other ways to acknowledge bloggers is by sharing their posts with your LinkedIn connections, tweeting and re-tweeting them, commenting on them, sharing them in your groups, etc. These are all effective ways to develop and strengthen your network.

You’ll find that by supporting other bloggers you will receive some love in return. I wrote a post on the qualities of being a curator called To share is golden. This post illustrates how important it is to not only blog, but to share the work of others. I also listed who I consider to be great curators, and I add to the list from time to time.


So, how do you begin? A connection of mine listened to me bemoan about how I wanted to blog, until she told me to simply do it. After a year of putting it off I finally wrote my first blog with my free WordPress account. And now I consistently blog at least one post a week.

Don’t wait like I did to blog. And think of something that really interests you about your occupation. Don’t expect your first post to be a hit—although it may be. Be patient and stick with it.

You don’t have a WordPress account. LinkedIn makes it easy for first-time bloggers. You can “write an article on the platform,” precluding the need to open a free WordPress account (as I did). The mechanics are straightforward. On your LinkedIn homepage you select “Write an article” and take it from there.


I hope my daughters continue writing in their later years because it is rewarding to the soul. They are excellent writers who will someday make significant contributions to this valuable art. Who knows, maybe one of them will be famous for their writing. One can only hope.

Photo, Flickr, domainermike

The 39 most important words in your LinkedIn Summary*

By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that the new LinkedIn profile Summary has been dramatically altered. You’ve noticed that it no longer has a section header and that it is included in the Snapshot area, where only two lines are displayed—or approximately 39 words. If your visitors want to see your whole Summary, they’ll have to click “See more.”

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What you might not know is that you must revise your Summary, at least the first 39 words or so. And you should do this quickly. Furthermore, you’ll need to develop a branding statement that grabs the readers’ attention with those 39 words. Failure to do so essentially renders your Summary nonexistent.

This sounds harsh, but the reality is that your Summary is not the one you wrote a year, two years, or three years ago. The folks at LinkedIn are sending a clear message that its new, slimmed down profile has no room for the expanded Summary of old. Too bad.

With the expanded Summary, your value statement/s could be seen at a quick glance, particularly if they where placed within a HIGHLIGHTS section; or if you set them apart with “THE VALUE I DELIVER.” In other words, they couldn’t go missed.

What if busy hiring authorities only read those two revealing lines of 39 words to decide if they’d read the rest of your profile? It’s live or die then. Some hiring authorities have indicated that the profile Summary is something they’ll return to. Why not entice them to click “See more”?

Writing an eye-catching opener

Here are some eye-catching openers from my connections.

Take the direct approach with your call to action. Bobbie Foedisch lets her visitors know how to contact her right off the bat and follows with a branding statement, telling visitors that CCI drives business results.

Bobbie Foedisch
★ (E) bfoedsich@cciconsulting.com
★ (M) 610.457.2561 | (W) 215.527.0237
★ (S) bobbie.foedsich

CCI’s Services Span the Employee Life Cycle, Optimizing Human Capital to drive business results.

There’s no hiding her contact information; she wants to be contacted and is making it easy to do so. Perhaps job seekers should take the same approach.


Talk about your industry. A former client of mine, Gerald Schmidt, begins his Summary with a statement of how new technologies are relevant to product development, and that he’s a player in this arena.

New technologies have the power to transform a business, especially when brought to market in the form of new products and services. That is what I enjoy doing.

Read the rest of his profile to see his major accomplishments. They’ll blow you away.


Show you can help. Sarah Elkins is a storyteller coach who has a strong passion for helping people gain success through telling their stories.

Improve Your Communication Through Storytelling <> Coaching, Workshops, Keynotes <> No Longer Virtual <> I am a consultant, coach, and speaker, and I can help you improve your communication through proven storytelling 

This is  a clear statement about the services Sarah provides for helping people tell their stories.


Say it with confidence. Laura Smith-Proulx is an executive resume writer who makes a very strong opening statement.

Powerful Results for Executives ● http://www.AnExpertResume.com LINKEDIN EXPERT ● FORBES COACHES COUNCIL ●FORMER RECRUITER Become the #1 candidate by partnering with the top TORI-winning executive resume writer. 

Laura’s goes on to tout her achievements. She is one who believes that achievements should be stated up front. I agree.


Use humor. Selling snow to an Eskimo? This is how Donna Serdula explains the difficulty of trying to sell oneself. A little bit of humor can grab a viewer’s attention.

➡ It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, it’s not easy to write about yourself! You can manage complex projects, sell snow to an Eskimo, or lead exceptional teams but sell yourself? That’s HARD! Besides, who can find…

Donna’s statement rings true for many job seekers and salespeople. Her opening makes people want to click “See more.”


Start with your story. Mario M. Martinez is a CEO and founder of Vengreso who had a dream. His dream came true, and he wants to help you succeed.

Almost one year ago, I had a dream. That dream came true on June 20, 2017, when I announced the 7-way merger of the world’s top Digital Selling minds now under one brand. Vengreso is committed to one thing – your sales success! 

I like Mario’s message of meeting a goal and dreaming big.


Start with a quote. Brian Ahearn, Chief Influence Officer, let’s Robert B. Cialdini, PhD speak for him. This is a very effective way of demonstrating his value.

“When Brian Ahearn speaks, people listen. That is so because he knows his material thoroughly, and he knows how to present it superbly. The upshot is that the genuine insights he provides are not just immediately….”

I tell my clients that others’ words can speak louder than theirs. Brian starts with a bang to draw viewers’ attention to his Summary.


Have a strong branding statement like Michael Spence. There’s a lot of strength behind Michael’s 26-word opening statement.

I help executives accelerate growth by improving employee experience and increasing productivity through technology, training, and outsourcing partnerships. I’m motivated by creating win:win relationships and putting…

I read the rest of his Summary and was impressed with the statement: “My teaching roots proved to be a great tool, equipping me to train and boost the intellectual capital, skill development, and performance of others. ” 


The situation is more dire on your smart phone

The bigger challenge is writing a Summary opener for LinkedIn’s app. First of all, visitors only see approximately 10 words. And secondly, they have to know to tap on these words to open your Summary.

So now LinkedIn users have to ask themselves, is the Summary on their computer adequate for their smart phone app? Give it a spin to find out.


*How I came up with the number 39 words

39

My Summary opener contains 39 words. I’m sure the ones I included above contain more or less than 39 words, but mine fails to reach 40.

I empower job seekers to land rewarding careers by delivering today’s job-search and LinkedIn strategies, as well as blogging on these topics. If you’re unemployed, you don’t need to be told how difficult being out of work can be….

When I wrote my 39-word opener, as soon as LinkedIn truncated the Summary, I thought about my contribution to what I do. Although I couldn’t quantify my results with job placement numbers, I tried to think of the most powerful verb I could, “empower.”

 

Photo: Flickr, Coletivo Mambembe

Photo: Flickr, BullyRook

A compilation of 11 LinkedIn posts to help you with your job search

If you’re a beginner on LinkedIn, or even well versed on the platform, these are posts that can help you use LinkedIn more effectively. As LinkedIn makes changes to its platform, I will update these posts to provide you with relevant advice.

LinkedIn Flag

How to brand yourself with your LinkedIn profile

Part 1 of this series. Creating a profile that brands you is the first step in your LinkedIn campaign. It must include a photo, value added Summary, accomplishment-based Experience section, and other sections that can add to your brand.

How to brand yourself by connecting with others

Part 2 of this series. When hiring authorities look at your profile and see that you only have 30 connections, they’re going to move on to another candidate. Why? Because you’re not in the game. You’re not initiating and nurturing relationships.

6 ways to brand yourself by being active on LinkedIn

Part 3 of this series. To stay top of mind, you must engage with your connections. There are a number of ways to do this. You can share articles you find relevant, share industry advice, ask questions, contribute to discussion on your homepage and/or in groups, and more.

There are 5 LinkedIn contributors; which are you?

Have you ever wondered if you are contributing on LinkedIn enough or too much? Discover which type of LinkedIn user you are.

To share is Golden: 8 reasons to share others’ posts

Sharing what others write is a benefit to not only that person, but a benefit to you as well. You come across as someone who cares about your LinkedIn community. This post includes names of people who are great curators.

9 facts about LinkedIn lite profile vs. the LinkedIn profile we knew

This is one of the more popular posts I’ve written. It addresses the way LinkedIn’s profiles have changed. Even as I’m writing this, I’m sure LinkedIn is making more changes.

Three reasons why the LinkedIn Summary is key for career changers

If you’re changing your career, you’ll want to utilize every character in the Summary and explain your career goal.

The 39 most important words in your LinkedIn Summary*

In this popular post, I address the first 39 (approximately) first words of your Summary. Find out why they are important. This post is a good one to read after the previous one.

Great news; LinkedIn expands the extended Experience section

With the changes  that have taken place to LinkedIn, the company makes right on one change it’s made. Now they might want to return the ability to move the sections on the profile around. Read the next post as well.

5 ways LinkedIn Lite’s anchored sections are hurting its members

You can’t move the Experience section on your resume, nor the Education, nor Skills and Endorsements. What effect does this have on you?

Six steps to take when using LinkedIn networking for a job

You’re on LinkedIn. You’ve been told it’s a great way to network for a job. This post explains how to use LinkedIn to find a job by using LinkedIn.

2 important rules for connecting on LinkedIn the right way

First, never send default invites

I estimate that I ignore 90% of invites from LinkedIn members, simply because they don’t include a personalized note. In fact, if I accepted all invites I’d probably have 10,000 connections in my LinkedIn network. This is not to brag; I’m just saying.

li-logoWhy am I so adamant about people taking the time to personalize their invites? Short and simple, default invites suck.

The default invite on LinkedIn is: I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. While it clearly states a hopeful networker’s intent, I need more. Something that tells me why we should connect.

Sending the default invite is akin to going up to someone at a networking event and saying, “Hi. What can you do for me?” It’s insincere and sends the message, “I’m inviting you to be in my network, but I could care less if you join.” Is this the type of message you want to send to a potential networker?

I believe there are three reasons why LinkedIn members don’t personalize their invites.

One, they just don’t get it. Or they haven’t been educated. I can only spread the word to the people who attend my LinkedIn workshops or read my posts. Even then some don’t get it.

Two, they’re using their phone to connect with others on LinkedIn. Although there is a way to send a personalized invite from your phone, most people don’t know how to do it. The process is very simple, so there’s no excuse.

To send an invite from your phone, go to the person’s profile, click the three vertical dots for androids or horizontal dots for iPhones, choose “Personalize invite,” write one, and hit send.

Three, they’re plain lazy. I think this is really the heart of the matter, and I hesitate to say it, especially out loud; but in essence this is what it comes down to. To me, a default invitation is a statement of want without a sign of reciprocation. And this defies the true definition of networking.

lazyI and others, I’m sure, are more likely to accept an invite if a thoughtful note is attached to it. So what should you write if you want someone to join your network?

1. You might have something in common with whom you’re trying to connect. “Hi Susan, I’ve been following your updates and feel that we have a great deal in common. Would you accept an invitation to be in my LinkedIn network?”

2. Maybe you’re the bold type. “Hey, Bob. You and I are in career development. Ain’t that cool? Let’s link up!” I like this confidence, despite the slang.

3. You might want to take the calculated approach. “After reviewing your profile, I’m impressed with its quality and your diverse interests.” A little flattery never hurts.

4. Inviting someone to be part of your LinkedIn network is a perfect way to follow up with that person after a face-to-face meeting. “Sam, it was great meeting with you at the Friends of Kevin networking event. I looked you up on LinkedIn and thought we could stay in touch.”

5. Boost the person’s ego. “Bob, I read one of your posts and thought it was spot on. I’d like to connect with you.” Or “Jason, I saw you speak at the Tsongas Arena and what you said really resonated with me. I’d like to follow up with you.”

These are some suggestions that would entice someone like myself to accept an invite. When I’m sent an invite, I only request a personalized note—it’s not that hard, really. So rather than just hitting the Send Invitation button, take a few seconds to compose something from the heart.


Second, thank people for inviting you to their network

Is there anything worse than sending a “cold,” “lazy,” “uninviting” default message to a potential connection? Yes, it’s not thanking people who invite you to their network. Come on, this goes against what your parents taught you when you were a child.

636072212661198938-231321585_3D-Thank-You-HD-Wallpapers

It just makes common sense. If you receive an invitation to be part of someone’s network, reply to the sender by thanking them for being considered. It’s an honor the sender has chosen you, so show your gratitude.

In effect, this is similar to walking away from a conversation at a social gathering. Would you simply walk away from a conversation without saying, “Thank you for the conversation?” Simply do an about face and make for the door? I would hope not.

What to Write. Your note can begin with, “Thank you for the invite. And thank you for the personalized message.” And if you want to carry on the conversation, you might add, “It would be great to talk about our common interests, as we’re both in (the occupation). I’d be happy to call you at your convenience.”

Also thank your new connection for joining your network. All too often LinkedIn members invite someone to their network and then kill the momentum by not showing their gratitude.

To make professional online networking effective, you must keep the ball in play, keep the lines of communication open. Extend civility and appreciation for someone joining your network.

“Thank you for being part of my network” would suffice. Or you may add, “I invited you to be in my network because we’re both (occupation) or (interested in) and think we can be of assistance to each other.”


Personalizing your invites and saying “Thanks” are two very basic, yet important components of developing a solid relationship with your LinkedIn network.  LinkedIn gives you the option to do neither. Don’t let LinkedIn let you get lazy.

It takes but a few minutes to connect with someone on LinkedIn the right way.

Photo: Flickr, ruijiaoli

Photo: Flickr, Retroeric