Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why I'm not likely to accept your LinkedIn invite

Or alternate title: Why are your invites boring me to death?
We've all gotten these invites on LinkedIn right?  You know what I'm talking about-the form that LinkedIn populates into the template for sending invitations to connect:
I would like to add you to my professional netZZZZZZZ. 
Oops-sorry.  Drifted off on that one because IT'S A FORM PEOPLE!
I will be the first to admit that I do use the form from time to time.  Typically I only use it when I have already given someone the heads up that I will be sending an invite or when it's someone I know already.  But what stymies me is when I receive the form from people that I do not know, that I cannot understand the value in networking with and that I see no commonality between the two of us.  In that case, while I might be an open networker, it still has to be a value add for me to include you in my network.
So, please remember that while it's a size restricted form (that is-you won't have the room to write a 5 page letter), you still need to get bang for your buck with ideas like:
One I sent recently to a total stranger that was not only accepted, but she took the time to respond:
Dear name,
I just tripped across an old posting from you on Answers and it led me to further activity of yours here on the site. Long story short-I'm impressed! If I can do anything to help you, please don't hesitate to ask. In the interim, I'd love to add you to my network.

Or when perhaps there is a common group:
Dear name,
I see that you and I are both in the Blah Blah group.  I'm looking to further my networking in the group by connecting individually.  I would love to chat with you to learn more about what you do.  If you have a couple of minutes to connect, I'd appreciate it.  In the interim, can I add you to my network?
Another option when there is a connection in common:
Dear name,
You and I are both connected to Clark Kent here on LinkedIn.  When I asked him about you, he had nothing but praise for your work and professionalism.  I am seeking to expand my networking efforts with people that are also interested in finding ways to do more with LinkedIn.  Think we might connect?
Bottom line is this.  There is no perfect way to send an invitation to connect but you have to remember that if you are using a basic form, you are going to be imminently forgettable.  Speak genuinely and from the heart without pretense or falsehood.  And of course, remember that you only have one chance to make a first impression!  Good luck and happy hunting!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why buy the cow?

If you have been directed to this page, it's because I believe you might be thinking about employing the services of a professional job search/recruitment consultant.  Kudos to you!  Taking control of your search by getting some professional help can be a real boon for any job seeker or employer.

A little about me:

Recruiting, job search, career planning…it all boils down to the match, right?

As a consultant who specializes in these areas, my role is to help individuals and companies navigate making that match in a positive way whether it’s helping an organization find potential talent or supporting the individual job seeker as he/ she moves through the stages of job search.

My primary focus areas for Companies include: Name Generation/Sourcing, Candidate Research, Cold Calling, Training (both in person and via web), Recruiting, Negotiation, College Recruiting, Succession Planning and Performance Coaching.

My primary focus areas for Individuals include: Career Planning, Resume Development/Revisions, Job Search Strategy Creation, Networking (both online and offline), Research, Interview Preparation, Negotiation/Offers and Change Management.  Some job seekers will ask if I can work with them as a recruiter who will "sell" them to various companies.  While I know that some recruiters work this way in a candidate fee based arrangement, I do not, nor do I recommend recruiters who are candidate fee based.  If you want to work with a recruiter to be placed, your investment is your skill.  Find a recruiter who is client (aka hiring company) fee based.  However, that being said, also remember that most recruiters find people for jobs, not jobs for people..they may not be open to working with you if you don't fit what they normally place.  Don't take it personally!

So, how do I know how to do what I do? After almost 20 years in traditional roles such as AVP, District Manager, Senior Area HR Manager, HR Manager, Recruiter, Account Manager, Sales Manager and Operations Manager, I have learned a thing or two. Having experience recruiting, selling and providing HR support in markets like Dallas, Houston, Austin, Denver, Seattle, Phoenix, Portland, etc underscores the need for professionals who understand that today’s market is truly a global one. I’ve worked for small companies to multi-billion, multi-national companies gaining experiences like creating college recruiting programs, introducing and supporting generational based coaching, developing and facilitating training around the social web for job seekers and recruiters alike, creating and enhancing training programs and materials, co-authoring career progression programs and more!

When I work with individuals in job search, I typically suggest that they start with no more than a 3 hour package that involves resume work, social networking presence and if time allows, job search strategy creation.  My rate is far below the market average simply because I don't think people typically have thousands of dollars to spend on a job search. 

But perhaps you aren't interested in securing my services as a paid job search coach or a recruiter.  That's ok too!  Getting a professional involved in your talent match isn't always right for all individuals or companies.  I always try to be very candid in telling people that I do not offer my services pro bono to individuals or companies because I already have my own outreach efforts like this blog, local job search groups that I work with and more. 

If you are looking for a job and need some help, you can also visit sites like or even's Job Search Guide, Alison Doyle.  These are all just places to start to find free, timely and incredibly helpful information. 

If you are a business and looking for some gratis help on recruiting, then I recommend that you visit SHRM or ERE for some advice.  If you are a company looking for a professional opinion, feedback, promotion or help with your product or service, I'm happy to consult on that as well.  I do offer both hourly consulting as well as advertising/sponsorship opportunities on this and my other blogs.  If interested, please contact me directly for hourly or monthly rates.

And if you just happened upon my blog because you were looking up weird cow art, then welcome too.  I can't help you, but I can share the results of my quick Bing search on the old "why buy the cow..." saying, I came up with a weird compendium of results.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Inspiration from Dr King

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr day, I wanted to share an exerpt from one of his less (but not by much) famous speeches.  I thought this portion was applicable whether you are fighting a large social injustice or just when the slings and arrows of a regular day of job searching gets you down.  I don't know about you, but I'm going to take a moment to be inspired by the courage, strength and wisdom of Dr. King:

"When will the radiant star of hope be plunged against the nocturnal bosom of this lonely night, plucked from weary souls with chains of fear and the manacles of death? How long will justice be crucified, and truth bear it?" I come to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because "truth crushed to earth will rise again." 

How long? Not long, because "no lie can live forever." 

How long? Not long, because "you shall reap what you sow." "

How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

 -Dr King, March 1965