The 7 Habits of the Highly Annoying Social Networkers

December 10, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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  1. Sending spam messages selling products on professional focused social networking sites.  Yesterday I received an InMail on LinkedIn with a list of recommended holiday presents and links to purchase them from a fellow group member…seriously? How is this related to professional networking?
  2. Sending personal anecdotes or jokes to people you do not know personally.  Such as the Constant Contact email I recently received featuring a picture of Tiger Woods beaten up and then below it information on a financial firm – do I need to say more?
  3. Writing disparaging and personally mean messages to other members in comment sections of networking sites (flame wars).  If you don’t agree with another member’s opinion – show some class and share your opinion, don’t take personal pot shots at the author or any other member for that matter – the only credibility questioned in these types of comments is yours.
  4. Post products you are selling under group discussions.  I recently saw an advertisement in an IT group I belong to under the discussions section pushing fictional books on tape – again how is the professionally relevant to developers?
  5. Ignoring your audience – the reason you joined a social network is to have a voice.  A message from another member should be responded to – they are listening to you, don’t turn them away.
  6. Post links to anything you are promoting on someone else’s wall.  I recently accepted a friend request on Facebook from someone I barely knew and they actually posted a link to my wall promoting a book they wrote – needless to say it was quickly deleted and that person de-friended.  Is my wall really a place for you to promote your book?
  7. Posting Profanities – If an f-bomb is really necessary to get your point across, don’t do it on a professional site and make your comments unsearchable.  Keep in mind that prospective clients, employers, and colleagues are going to Google you.  I am not judging you – but they probably are.

Professional networks are a great resource, yet if they are used to hawk products & services it only decreases their value.  Use your network, don’t abuse it.  If you do fall prey to any of these online foibles there is an appropriate way to handle it. Contact the poster directly and let them know your thoughts- don’t start an online argument.  I have found the following approach to work best:  Contact, De-friend or Unlink, and lastly report.  Any other recommendations?


Manners Matter in the Interview Process

October 5, 2009 at 9:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Is common courtesy essential in the interview process? Do manners matter? The obvious answer is yes. Yet recently, I have witnessed a number of candidates that seem to think otherwise. Despite the economic climate candidates are still no-showing interviews, blowing off client requested tests and not returning calls. I am left wondering….do candidates really think this is acceptable?

People don’t blow off doctor, hair, or even car maintenance appointments for fear that they will be charged. Yet, many don’t think it is a big deal to no-show an interview when the consequences are much graver.

Here are a few reasons why this is poor business etiquette:

  • Someone will think you are irresponsible and rude
  • You are putting your reputation on the line. This is a very small industry and the world is getting smaller, with social    networks everyone is connected. You never know who knows who. Don’t give someone a reason to talk bad about you…word travels.
  • You could ruin a future employment opportunity. The duration that someone spends with a given firm today is much shorter and most people work for several different firms. In short, the person you blow off for an interview today could be the hiring authority at the next firm you want to work at.
  • Your resume will be red flagged in these firms. Most firms have applicant tracking systems that store every resume that is applied and their interview status. If you don’t comport yourself in a professional manner, it will be tracked and you will never be considered for any position with this firm again. Period.
  • Many firms only use search firms to fill their openings and often have exclusive relationships with them. If you are unprofessional to a recruiter for one opportunity- you could miss another.

Here is the bottom line- if you don’t want to go to an interview, can’t complete a test or just plain change your mind about a position. All you have to do is send an email to the potential employer/recruiter thanking them for their time, and letting them know you have decided to pursue other opportunities. It is that simple.

Ask Andrea…A Guide to Commonly Asked Recruiting Questions

July 10, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Is formal business etiquette lost in the financial industry? Here are a few commonly asked questions regarding appropriate behavior during the interview process.

What should I do after the interview?

At the close of an interview it is appropriate to ask each interviewee for a business card or email address for follow up questions. A well prepared thank you note should be sent to each person that interviewed you. It should not be a form letter and should comprise of specifics from each exchange.

What are some mistakes to avoid?

A job search is like any other professional transaction and should be approached with proper business acumen. One area candidates sometimes neglect is paperwork/applications and responsiveness to interview requests. On more than one occasion, I have seen firms decide not to move forward with interviewing a candidate because a pre-employment test or application was not completed in a reasonable amount of time. The firms felt that it reflected poor follow through and an attitude of disinterest. Conversely, over eagerness can also be a deterrent. Give prospective employers ample time to respond to inquiries, a general rule of thumb is to follow up only once a week so that you don’t appear desperate. Keep in mind that if a prospective employer is not making an effort to stay in touch, they are probably just not that in to you!

Does anything I do after an interview even matter?

Yes. The interviewing landscape is increasingly arduous and, you need to do whatever you can to give yourself the competitive edge. If an employer interviews people with similar backgrounds and skill sets, a well crafted thank letter can be a point of differentiation. Some employers will decided in the first 15 minutes of meeting a candidate whether they fit the corporate culture. However, most will have a collaborative calibration process. A thank you note is a great way to provide additional color on questions you feel like you could have answered more effectively in the interview. It will also help to ensure that everyone you met with has positive experience.

Are thank you notes appropriate- if so, what should they say?

The thank you note should include the following:
• Any personal information that you discussed to help build the rapport…i.e. That’s so ironic that we are both Notre Dame Alums…isn’t it great that President Obama spoke at this year’s graduation!
• Reflect on specific skills or an aspect of the position that was discussed during the interview and relate it to one of your past successes.
• Mention something about the firm that impressed you and made you feel like it would be a great place to work.
• Ask a follow up question regarding the position- do not ask about next steps (you will look desperate) but more so a question directed to the specifics of the position.
• Reference Letters or References

Is it better to hand write or email a thank you note or do both?

Email – you never know how long snail mail will take and a hiring decision could be made before the letter even arrives. I do think that sending a hand written thank you note after an offer has been accepted expressing your excitement about the opportunity is an elegant touch.

How do I not look desperate?

Try to keep your questions position/firm specific. Do not contact an employer more than once a week if they haven’t gotten back to you. If you would like to know status, send notes that update the firm on your status updates vs. asking when you will be making a decision. i.e. I am in final stages with a few other firms…this should illicit a response from a prospective employer if they are interested in you.

When should I follow up after the interview?

It is best to compose the thank you letters as soon as possible following the interview while the details are fresh in your mind. Letters should be sent within twenty four hours of the interview.
Etiquette counts, it is important to comport yourself professionally throughout the process. Like interviews, follow up should be composed in a manner that will help you to establish a relationship with the firm. Demonstrate that you are friendly and affable. Who doesn’t want to work with someone they like?

Additionally, I would strongly advise that you use your personal and social network to find someone associated with the firm that recommends you. In financial firms, more than any other industry references and reputation are exceedingly significant.

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