Dear Linkedin Connection,
Thank you for recently connecting with me. It is always nice to make a local connection in our industry. As someone once told me, it is a large industry, but a small world. Within in 24 hours of connecting, you did something I found tacky. You asked me if I know someone who was hiring in our field. So, I offered you a few resources that might be helpful given your background and our industry. From our brief, exchange here are a few things, I thought were at best tacky (unprofessional at worst), you:
- Used the “generic LinkedIn” invite.
- Did not respond or say “Thank you.”
- Did not proof read your long reply to me asking about job opportunities.
- Wrote an unclear email to me (I got the impression, you were asking me to conduct your job search or look for a suitable position for you).
- Connected with me only to ask me if I knew of any positions for you.
Our exchange could have been so much better, you could:
- Have asked me about the company I work for, my community, a connection we may both know, or even one of our shared groups
- Responded to my email with at least “thanks,” “ty,” or etc. Easy to do and appreciated
- As for finding a suitable position for you, only you can do that. If you can find LinkedIn, you can find the job boards and company websites.
In any event, good luck with your job search.
Favorite Article of the Week. Okay, maybe not the best article I have read, but poorly constructed emails definitely “grind my gears.” A good start is the article by Getting Things Done. Also see Amy Gallo’s “Stop Email Overload” found in HBR blogs.
To the list, I would add:
- The out-of-context forward. This occurs when emails arrive in your in box with little or no context as to what the sender wants you to do with it.
- Not sending a “receipt” when there is a submission of important documents. For regular submission of documents, especially large files, it might be easier to set-up a drop-box, than to have these submissions enter the regular flow of emails.
- An easier way to format lists, when composing an email.
- Hitting send without proof reading.
…remember to hit the return key once in a while!
Like many weeks, there are always opportunities for multiple FAWs. So, I will do a part II this week.
Shockingly the article “The Power of Your Network is the ‘Ask’” comes from the Harvard Business Review (HBR) blog section.
Reading the article, I was reminded of:
- If you don’t ask, the answer is always “no”.
- Asking exposes one to the possibility that the answer will be “no”
- My time working in retail office and computer sales, ahh those sometimes awkward sale closing attempts.
- The importance of providing value to people in my real, online (online only connection) and blended network (real and online or online across multiple social media platforms).
- It is okay and normal to ask. It does not make one a beggar, lazy, or incapable. If no one ever asked then where would the world be?
In no particular order here there are:
- Listen with your heart, as well as with your brain.
- There is no substitute for good communication. Always proof read emails. Less is more. Be friendly, but direct and to the point. Follow-up = important.
- Be in the moment; give everything the attention it deserves. When you write an email, write an email, when you call a customer/client, call a customer/client, when you spend time with family, spend time with family. Be here now.
- Everyone, everything is a teacher. Lessons are everywhere; we need to only be receptive to them.
- No one wants to hear complaining and whining all of the time. There is a time and place for it. Complainers and whiners need an outlet, may have good points and no way to get them to decision makers.
- Own your mistakes.
Now for 2013.
Finding this article online reminds me how much I miss the content at Businessweek. The article, Job Applicants’ Cultural Fit Can Trump Qualifications, which focuses on cultural fit and the selection process.
Before you get excited about that CFO position armed with only an Accounting certificate, consider the following caveats:
- Initial screening may not include any cultural variables
- Culture changes
- Codified cultural criteria might be wrong
Many other possibilities.
It is worth remembering that often we associate with those like us and those we like.
If you never ask the question, the answer is always “no”. If you never shoot the ball, you never hit a wining shot or make a basket. If you never write the story, the book never gets published. If you never apply for that you job, you never get the interview If you never take a chance, you never fail.
Of course you may not be successful either.
The Favorite Article of the Week (FAW) For the last few days of 2012 and the first 2013 came across my Twitter feed. Although dated, I think it is still highly relevant. The article is from April 30, 2012 and found at the Wall Street Journal. The article 10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won’t Tell You can easily have a few more items added to the list:
11. You will have to translate your education into skills. For example, what was learned or experienced in your international diplomacy course that would be useful for a management trainee position? If still you can’t translate your education into skills, you may want to see item #12 on the list.
12. Enroll at your local community college and get a some skills. Skills=good, marketable skills in-demand=great.
13. There is a good chance your first job (or few jobs) out of college will be below your education level and far below your desired pay. Leverage your opportunities. This is a chance to network, make friends, acquire and practice new skills, build your professional foundation, and develop your “brand.”
14. Be in the moment for all that you do.
15. Learn to say “thank you”…often.
Of course there are many more possibilities to add to such a list.