My career in technology

Archive for the ‘LinkedIn’ Category

Inappropriate Congratulations – The New LinkedIn Feature

LinkedIn has started to push interactivity to its users beyond just checking in weekly on the new connections that your connections have added.

LinkedIn is now encouraging you to say “Congratulations” within 24 hours of when your connections make a change to their current job or job title.  But congratulations are not always in order.

Sometimes, your connection has just gotten around to updating their profile – they have had the job for two years and are prepping their profile to make the jump to a less miserable environment.  (Hmmm, maybe that is a reason for congratulations, anyway!)

Other times, their change in status is prompted by a job loss, and their new role as “Consultant” is what they are doing to scrape by until they find their next “real job”.

LinkedIn also encourages you to congratulate your connections on their work anniversaries.  One of my connections hasn’t updated his profile in a while, so his “work anniversary” was for an employer he hadn’t been at for years.

I think there is great value in interacting with your network over job changes, and to a lesser extent over work anniversaries.  Every contact, however small, reinforces the connections you have made, making your network just a little stronger, a little more valuable (to yourself and the rest of your network, too!).  It shows you are paying attention, and gives an indication that you care.  For those of my connections who have put their birthday on their profiles, I have taken the step of sending them a short note saying “Happy birthday”,  wishing them well on a day that means more to them than a work anniversary.

However, in order for these kinds of interactions to provide value, in order to prevent yourself from looking stupid, rubbing salt in a fresh wound, or otherwise committing a social faux pas, you have to PAY ATTENTION.  You need to be aware of where the people in your network are, and check to see whether the change is something to congratulate them on, or to ask them how you can help.

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Center of the Universe

Not surprisingly, I tend to write about what I happen to be focused on.  Recently, my focus has been more on career management, so naturally I’m posting more about that subject at the moment.

I got my new job as a direct result of the long-term investments I have made in my career.  Specifically, the networking aspect played a big role in making this happen.

Last week, Ted, someone I knew through my networking, referred a recruiter to me.  The recruiter was looking to fill a specific position, and Ted told him to contact me because I was someone who knows people.  I helped the recruiter identify a couple of people who might be good candidates.   Hopefully we’ll find a good match, making the skills holder, the recruiter, and the client company all happy – a win, win, win, win, win scenario.  The fourth and fifth wins?  That’s me!  I get that great feeling from having helped someone (several someones!), and I have people who are grateful to me for helping them and are willing to help back.

Maybe that will pay off directly, maybe it won’t, but that doesn’t really matter.  because these people will come away from our interaction with the knowledge that I am someone to go to when they need help locating a candidate or finding a job.  And maybe that future interaction will lead to a contact that directly leads to a personal benefit, or maybe it will just help the world to be a better, happier place.

And just to demonstrate that you see what you are looking for, last week also saw a posting to the LinkedIn group for Launch Pad Job Club pointing to a little feature from LinkedIn Labs that maps your connections and their interconnectedness.  Here is my map:

My Network - Click for larger image

Mapping your connections probably won’t directly benefit you at all.  Even its indirect utility is not obvious, even to me.

Even so, I found the perspective it gave me interesting.  Looking at the map, I can’t help but see it in terms of where I am in all of this.  Obviously, since the map is about me, there I am in the center of the universe, the height of hubris.  And yet, the muddled mass on the right represents Austinites who network, and the other groups are connected to that region by… me.  I am the connector, at the center of that universe.  Or, at the very least, there is an opportunity to make myself the center.

I choose to put myself at the center by utilizing my network to help others, making it about them instead of me.  I recommend that you reach out to your network and see what help you can offer.

What do you see when you visualize your network?  Do you get value from the visualization besides perspective?

How can I help you reach your goals?

Quick Fix: Add a LinkedIn Sharing Button to Your WordPress Blog

Following my work on Hacking the URL, I wanted to simplify the process of posting my blog entries to LinkedIn. But there isn’t a defined LinkedIn Sharing Service on the Sharing page of the WP Dashboard.

http://YOURBLOGNAME.wordpress.com/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=sharing

But it is easy to get one… (more…)

Secrets of the Successful Jobseeker – Part 2

Continuing my daily series revealing the “secrets” to a successful job hunt.

Last time I revealed what I know about resumes. Today’s subject is “Every Breath You Take”, in which I trash a widely held belief about the job hunt…

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Social Media and the Attention Hog (Me! Me, me, ME!!!!)

Gee, marketing myself by saying something provocative like “Come see my most controversial post ever” really delivered the eyeballs!  Who knew?

Well, actually I kinda had that figured before I went and did it…

Saying something provocative is only one of many kinds of social marketing stunts.  Of course, you can pull those stunts only so often (and I certainly can’t pull the same stunt again anytime soon).

But more importantly, when you pull a marketing stunt, you had better deliver the goods.

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What are you doing? Let them know on LinkedIn!

Last week, Terri Bishop passed along a tip from Hire Austin about how to attach your resume to your LinkedIn profile, and the week before a tip about making sure your LinkedIn contact settings are correct.  (Thanks Terri!)

Here’s another LinkedIn tip for you.

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