LinkedIn recently introduced a new feature on its site, one-click skills and expertise endorsements. Now you can go to a friend or colleague’s profile find the skills and expertise area and click on a listed skill (or even add some skills or other areas of expertise that aren’t yet listed). This new feature makes it very easy to endorse your connection on LinkedIn. Think of it as LinkedIn’s version of a Facebook “Like”.
This is very different from a recommendation on LinkedIn. A recommendation requires that your connection actually sit down and take the time and energy to write a thoughtful and articulate testimonial regarding your work and performance. For a recruiter or decision-maker reviewing a job candidate’s profile, the recommendations can give additional insight into a prospective candidate’s background.
The ease of the one-click skills endorsement begs the question of how much weight someone reading the profile will give to these “likes” on LinkedIn. To me, gathering these endorsements is reminiscent of Valentine’s Day back in elementary school. Do you remember (I know, for some of us this goes back a little ways) running home with your little cardboard box filled with Valentine’s and counting and comparing with your friends how many Valentine’s you’d received. Most with “Roses are red, violets are blue . . .” not exactly the quality love notes we come to expect as adults from a single special admirer.
Which brings me to my point, quantity versus quality. Are we just becoming a one-click “Like” world and moving away from quality assessments that actually add value and insight into a person’s background and capabilities. I’d love to hear from recruiters and HR professionals on their feelings regarding the new one-click endorsements and how much they will impact their decisions in contacting potential candidates.
For many executives and professionals, identity and self-worth are defined by the work they do. So what happens when you no longer hold the position that defines you; when you’re made redundant because your company has been acquired by a larger entity and you’re subsequently let go, or when your position is outsourced overseas?
Any of those scenarios can be like a sudden earthquake, rocking even the most confident executive to the core, not to mention being a huge blow to the ego and leaving even the best and brightest questioning their desirability in today’s competitive job market.
For example, I worked with a former corporate president who was going through a career transition. When I suggested he network with other presidents and CEOs he said, “why would they want to talk to me, I’m not the president of anything any more?” To which I responded, “I see, so all of your past knowledge of running a company has just evaporated and you have no experiential advice or wisdom you can impart to anyone?” After thinking about this a moment, his eyes brightened, he sat up straighter and he was able to rethink his approach to his career transition and networking.
Remember, as an executive, you bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to any discussion. When you reach out to fellow executives to network, you’re reaching out as a peer, an equal, someone with whom a conversation can be mutually beneficial. This enables you to approach networking from a position of strength and confidence. So, the key to executive networking is to remember your self worth, to remember that you are not your job, and to approach it as a peer to peer meeting or discussion.
Even the most accomplished executives need help branding and packaging themselves for today’s competitive market. Besides a well-written, attention grabbing resume that tells your stories and highlights your skills and achievements, you also need an online presence in the form of a web portfolio. Why a web portfolio?
Logistics. A web portfolio designed with HTML5 enables hiring managers and executives to see your background even when they’re on the go. By including the URL to your web portfolio in your signature line or sending a link via email, the recipient can open an impressive display about you on any tablet, iphone, android or mobile device anywhere they have Internet access. You can also include the link on your LinkedIn profile.
Beyond the resume. A web portfolio allows you to go beyond the resume, enabling you to add sections on successful projects, accolades, articles, patents or any other achievements that will sell you and your brand to the decision maker.
Tech savvy and very “today”. Web portfolios aren’t just for creative types, techies and recent graduates. They show you’ve not only embraced our Internet age, you’ve mastered it. This can be very important for more experienced and shall we say mature executives.
Marketing magic. An expertly written, attractive web portfolio turns you into a cutting-edge candidate who truly stands out. Having a sophisticated, polished web presence gives you a leg up on the competition. You can get that leg up at The Imagemakers, Ink!™ LLC with one of our exceptional web portfolios.
A well-written resume and well-designed web portfolio is the one-two punch you need to knock-out the competition and should be a part of every executive and professional career campaign.