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?

“Ask The Recruiter II” Event Recap

December 7, 2009 at 10:41 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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We received many great questions last Friday. Here is a recap from our “Ask The Recruiter II” event!

Q: How do I look for an intern/project/consulting job instead of a full-time job since getting a full-time job is so difficult in this economy?

A: Many of the job boards are a great place to look.  DiceMonster and CareerBuilder are great starting points.  Recently sites such as  Indeed and SimplyHired, which pull from corporate websites AND job boards, are more robust and allow you to sort open positions by type: contract, permanent, etc.  Also, if you are working with a recruiter, let them know you are open to (or prefer) contract positions.

Q: If you have not contacted a recruiter in a long time what is a good way to get back in touch?

A: A friendly and professional email is always appropriate. Let them know that you are still in the market for a new position, and would be open to a variety of roles. If the recruiting firm lists their jobs on their website you may want to search their open positions and follow up with your recruiter regarding a suitable role.

Q: When asked “What is your biggest weakness?” in an interview, what would be a good response?

A: It is always best to be honest with your potential employer, but you do want to manage your answer to the question. I would cite an area for improvement in the interview, but then also mention that you are continuously working to be better at it. Also try not to select an area that may turn the employer off to you.

Q: There are a lot of advertisements on LinkedIn for resume writers and interview coaches. Is this really worth the money?

A: Having a good resume is a must, but a lot of times the recruiting company you work with will assist you at no cost. If you are not working with a recruiter a resume writer is a good start.  I would review 2-3 and pick the most economical choice since they all offer pretty much the same service.

Q: Besides CareerBuilder and Monster, what are other websites where I can search for a job?

A: Indeed and SimplyHired can be good resources. We’ve also seen more firms posting open positions on LinkedIn. I would search the “job” section of LinkedIn user groups to search for available jobs.  Also, researching firms you are interested in and applying directly to their website is always a good way to go.

Q: What social networking sites are the best to find financial jobs? Would you suggest making two profiles: one personal, one professional?

A: LinkedIn is a great place. I would suggest joining industry specific user groups, and connecting with group members to build a network. Facebook has some good networking groups as well that are industry specific. Making two profiles is an option, but your potential employer may stumble upon your personal one instead of your professional. Making your Facebook profile unsearchable is a good way to control what you let a potential employer see during a job search.

Q: How can I translate my insurance industry experience over to financial trading? Both areas test complex systems.

A: I would try to make any parallel experience very apparent on your resume. Tailor each application to the specific role for which you are applying.

Q: Does the job market really slow down during the holidays?

A: No.  Most employers want to start the new year fully staffed and often are given the go ahead to make hires in December.  I would highly recommend making your job search a priority even during the holiday season.

Q: What is the best way I can negotiate additional/better benefits during an interview?

A: It can be tricky. It’s important to know all the details of your current package prior to going into the negotiation. After comparing your current package to the new offer, discuss with your employer what a fair middle ground is for both parties.

Q: I am experienced in C++ and Java and most recently have work with web languages like PHP and HTML. What would you suggest I do to get reacquainted with C++ and Java and land an IT position?

A: I’d suggest taking a BrainBench exam once you are back in the swing of it. If you can produce some high marks it may dispel any doubts potential employers may have about your skill level since you have been away from C++/Java for a bit.

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.

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