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.
We had an inquiry recently from a potential client who said that he wanted to hire someone who would do EVERYTHING for him and find him a new job. Of course my response to him was that no one, other than he himself, can actually land his next position and here’s precisely why.
While a top notch professional resume, bio and career coach can help you reach your career goals faster and with less stress, the bottom line is that once you have the tools and knowledge, finding a new position is primarily determined by your own motivation. As Zig Ziglar puts it, “your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
This is paramount to understand when undertaking a job search because a successful transition requires a disruption to most peoples’ comfort zone. There is no magic bullet or secret technology that can just make it happen regardless of what some in the career services industry are selling.
You should be wary of any organization or individual claiming they will do the work for you. Often times organizations will say that they will place your resume in front of targeted decision makers from their network. This is when you should delve deeper and start asking questions. Find out if they personally know these decision makers, or if they’re just pulling executive names from a database to which they have access. Also, ask about how they will be delivering your resume. Will it involve a personal introduction or are they planning on distributing your resume en mass? We all know how well those bulk mailings, e-mailings or faxings work – NOT, especially at the executive level.
There is a group in the career industry who will represent you, legitimate recruiters will present you to a decision maker if they’re running a search for a position for which you’re well qualified. You can judge the authenticity of a recruiter by the way they’re paid. True recruiters will not charge the job candidate a fee for services because the company that the recruiter is working for will be footing the bill. But a recruiter is only interested in you if you’re a perfect fit for a position they’re trying to fill. To get the most exposure, you’ll need to work with several recruiters as well as on your own behalf.
As is often said, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Remember no one has more incentive to find you your next position than you do and while working with an expert in career transition can absolutely make you more effective in achieving that goal, you’re still going to have to do the leg work. As essayist John Burroughs said “For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work . . .”
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.