Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Connecting on Linkedin
Though I’m usually sympathetic to students wanting to build their Linkedin connections, what commonly shuts down that open-heartedness is a generic invitation from someone I either don’t know or can’t remember meeting. The totally bland “I’d like to add you to my professional network” from Tom C. Now maybe I’ve met with Tom C in the past. Or then again, maybe I haven’t. Not to be rude but I’m not going to connect with someone whose face I can’t at least vaguely envision.
Instead, as a courtesy to your potential contact, refresh their memory as to the date or setting in which you last met. Or perhaps a shared conversational tidbit. Or mutual connection. Something to build a bridge for the reader in answer to their vague suspicion that they might be giving a virtual stranger access to their own connections.
How do I look? An Interview Checklist
Two people looking for work, one young and one old. What do they have in common? Appearance challenges guaranteed to reduce results to about zero.
On the upside, both are actually actively looking for work. Eager. Sincerely interested. But all that effort destined to be scuttled by first appearances.
So in case no human being catches you before you head out to meet and greet, here’s a nifty checklist you can use to catch yourself:
• Flip flops. Unless you live in the tropics or maybe Hawaii or maybe have incredible technical skills, count these out as acceptable foot wear—at least until you’re hired. Additionally nixed if your feet are grimy.
• 1960’s unkempt hippy-style clothes. Okay, I know they may be in style but if you must wear a long flowing skirt, make sure it is clean and tidy and that the elastic waistband is tight enough so there’s no danger of it sliding
over your hips and hitting the floor without intervention.
• Make up. Recent grad, middle aged woman—you need it! I hate it too but seriously, few women look well rested without a touch of, at minimum, lipstick and blush.
• Energy! Yes, you’ll need it for the job, so please make an effort to convey it during your job search. You might be able to check off the ‘clean and tidy’ box but if it looks like you can hardly shuffle into someone’s office, what
are they going to think about you doing actual work?
• Hair cut. Spring for one. Yes, it might have worked for you to cut your own hair to save money during college but it no long pays to imitate a fugitive from justice who cut their hair in front of a cheap motel room mirror. Super
Cuts is not all that expensive!
And one final note, before you walk out the door, look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Would I want to hire this person?” Chances are that you’ll not only answer with a resounding YES but so will your future employer.