Its not often you get a chance to be viewed a million times, liked five thousand times and commented about four hundred times. And for me it was a first.
A small piece of anecdote I wrote on a LinkedIn Post seemed to connect with a lot of people worldwide. To give you a sense on some common traits, here are some observations:
- Total invitations to connect : 400
- Invitations to connect for jobs : 385
- Invitations to connect for no reason : 10
- Invitation to connect for a meaningful exchange : 5
Lets expand on this a bit more :
This is for all job seekers , here is a reality check :
Most people who sent an invite to connect, seek a job, had the following things in common :
- They wanted me to do the job search for them.
- They directly sent resume without asking.
- They never responded back , once I said I might not be able to help.
- Some even got offended when asked , what prompted them to connect with me?
Here is a humble request :
- Please do some homework before asking for a role.
- Look up the company website, identify a job by reading description in detail.
- Look for a job code, and then proceed with a specific request.
- If someone is refusing to help, its perhaps because be they can’t.Please take some time to view the persons profile , and check if he or she is still in the same job or role.
- If someone refuses your invite, please do not let it hurt your ego. Don’t mix the role and the identity. Let not every rejection hurt your ego or warrant an angry reaction! Build resilience.No matter how many rejections you may go through, never let negativity creep in.
- If someone turns your job request down, don’t think they are being rude or sarcastic. There is no easy way to refuse a person in need. But you’ve got do what you’ve got to do.
- Never send unsolicited resumes. It undermines your profile.
In my view, no one can guarantee a job, all they can do, is forward your resume to the recruiter or at best the hiring manager. This is to stop any kind of hiring malpractice , stop nepotism etc. So this is actually a good thing. On most occasions the referring person will not be the hiring manager or be involved in the interviewing process.
- Build bridges when you don’t need them. So when you send in a request, keep a long term view in mind. Like they say, never mess with a geek, you could land up working for one someday!
- When you construct your message, try and make it genuine. Not like, one line of wow your post was great, and then ten lines of give me a job because I am a superstar!.It screams of hypocrisy , not a right attitude you’d like to display.
Look, no one says it is easy to ask for a job. Specially in a country like India where availability of talent is far greater than jobs available. To give you an example, for a typical mid level role in say Toronto, or SFO, or NJ there would be a 1 : 50 ratio ( i.e fifty applicants for one job) While in India it would be 1: 500. These are not accurate /actual numbers, but I am just trying to highlight the enormity of difference to make the point.
So you see, it will be tough and you can’t do much about that, but certainly don’t add to it by practicing ordinary practices!
This is for all those who send invites to connect for networking :
- There is nothing wrong in asking to join someone’s network. The trouble is when you don’t know how you could benefit out of it, and also how your connect could work for them. The most obvious one is to tap into their network to get a job. But LinkedIn is not a job site alone. It is also a platform where people exchange ideas, share their thoughts and opinions, lend expertise to some business problems, showcase their startup perhaps or simply share a work achievement. Try and dabble into these as well. Make the net- work for you!
- There some common courtesies like no personal attacks, or personal questions. A polite conversation starter is to ask , why you got connected ,what was the common ground of interest? What prompted you to seek a connection. It cannot always be about a job! I know there could be some tough experiences with some leadership titles, but use your judgement wisely. Don’t paint all with the same brush. Its a pointless connect if it just stagnates in your address book! Placeholders mean nothing. What are you going to get out of it? You’d rather want 10 active connects than 100 placeholders in your contact list.
- Practice some typical conversation starters and you might get a response. It is important to keep in touch with your connects say every six months or so. People change roles, careers, or even no longer exist, It is always good to have an updated active list. But be careful not to spam them with messages – that might have a counter effect.
- If a leader takes time out to reply, then please be courteous to respond with a proper acknowledgement and keep in touch. Find a common ground other than just asking for a job. And last but not the least, all those leaders who cannot give you a job, are not bad people!
This is for all those leaders who ignore invites :
- Yes you have a 100 connect requests everyday, and there is no time to sift through all. Its a fact. But have you budgeted some time to sift through at least 10 of them every day? If not, then you should. Remember the time when you were looking for a job , chances are ,there was no LinkedIn or job sites back then, only applications and perhaps some networking that got you through. Times have changed now, social selling is a reality. Being accessible is not a bad thing.
- You are a leader, so by design you have to show more maturity and take the higher ground. Else who is going to educate these young talents? Yes, they many be ignorant, but that is because they haven’t found a great mentor like you. Yes, they may not understand corporate protocols, but that’s where you give back what you’ve got. Remember your job title is perhaps inspiring a whole new generation. So take time out and talk to them, even if it means you can’t give them a job.
- As leaders we have always learnt to never judge a book by its cover. I think it would be fair to say that we might have had our share of wrong hires as well. We learn from our mistakes and that’s why you are a leader today. So if you see a youngster making a mistake, point it out, help them , just like someone somewhere helped you grow. Every one seeking a job has a story, and while you can’t solve all the problems, you can certainly help point them in the right direction without being sarcastic, rude or ignorant.
So, thank you readers, I learn from you every day and would encourage you to keep the interactivity going. Ask a question, give a suggestion and or get to know and learn a counter point of view! Learn to coexist peacefully with a diverse thought process. It will only make you a stronger person.