How NOT to get a response on LinkedIn

response

Because I head up a consulting firm focused on recruiting and career coaching, I get dozens of requests to connect on LinkedIn every week and nearly that many requesting a coffee or phone call with me to tell me more about themselves. As a side note, ask me for advice. Ask to draw on my expertise. Don’t tell me you want to tell me about yourself. I had a fellow recently with whom I met for a coffee who would have spent the entire 30 minutes talking about himself had I not stopped him about 10 minutes in and spent the next 10 minutes coaching him on how to use an informational meeting effectively.

I get it. As a career coach, I often tell my clients to use this as one part of a job search strategy. But there is a right way to reach out and then there is the way that so many LI users reach out.

When someone reaches out to connect, connects with me and then tells me a little about themselves and how I might be able to help them (or even why they want to connect with me), I usually find the time to jump on a call or to respond via messaging.

But more and more I get people who want to connect and don’t tell me why. Just a flick of the finger on the ‘connect’ button for them. Why do you want to connect with me? What do we have in common? Who do we have in common? It’s not a contest with the person with the most connections winning. While the LIONs out there will say it is all about having the most connections, I disagree. It’s about having the most relevant connections. But I digress.

More and more I get people messaging me with vague messages about meeting them for coffee or lunch or to ‘learn more.’ Learn more about what?

Some examples:

  • A woman asked to meet with me so she could tell me more about herself so I could find her a job in retail banking. First of all, if I had a job I was looking to fill in retail banking and she was qualified, I would have probably reached out to her. But, more importantly, has she looked at my LI profile? Has she looked at my website? I venture to say no since, had she done so, she would have seen that not one of the roles I’ve filled is in retail banking. What would bring her more success — talking to me or finding someone who fills roles in retail banking? It’s not rocket science.
  • This very morning I got two messages from the same person. The first said ‘hello Alice.’ The second said ‘I need your help in something.’ Now I consider myself a helpful person. But (a) I don’t know you and (b) you don’t say anything more about yourself such as specifically what you need help with so that I might direct you to the right resources.
  • Yesterday I got a message from a fellow who is introducing himself to me because he is interested in getting into global investments and wants to work as part of Goffredo Consulting Group’s investment team. News flash. I don’t have an investment team. Just a little effort on his part would reveal that I fill roles for investment professionals for investment firms. That’s what I do. But no, yet another example of not paying attention. Not doing a little research. Not putting in any effort on a job search.

Why do I tell you about this? Honestly, it’s to tell you why so many of you never ever hear back from recruiters. You see a posting, you hit ‘apply’ and attach a generic resume (or, given LI, maybe no resume at all despite asking for one and having a limited profile that tells me nothing), and then want to know why you hear nothing.

While it’s true that many recruiters (in search firms and in corporate offices) mistreat candidates all the time, I’m not one of them and frankly I’m not sure which came first. Recruiters not responding or recruiters not responding because candidates don’t put in any effort into their job search and apply to roles for which they have no qualifications.

Here are some words of wisdom from someone who sits on both sides of the fence (as a recruiter and as a career coach). Build out a job search strategy. Know yourself and where you want to work and what you want to do. Be realistic. Take a look at your background, experience and qualifications. First of all, don’t just rely on job postings. But, if you are utilizing this medium, look at the job postings and apply to those for which you are qualified. Maybe you don’t have all the qualifications — but please please please have SOME of the qualifications. I have no problem with people who apply with only some of the qualifications and who try to ‘connect the dots’ for me as to why they should be considered. Good for them!

Show me in your resume what you have done that is directly relevant to the role for which I am recruiting. If I ask for 1-3 years of specific expertise, don’t apply with ZERO expertise in that area. If I ask for a university degree in a specific area of study, please don’t apply if you are a recent high school grad with no university.

Sometimes I think that many candidates don’t even read the job postings and just apply. That is not the way to find a job. And, while it is always a good plan to reach out and try to connect with the recruiter or hiring manager, know what you want to say when do so. Saying ‘I need help’ is not the way to do it (although it did get my attention!)

And finally, do not rely on job postings to find your next role. It is key to build your network and work your network. Get out in front of people. Ask for informational meetings. Let people know what you are looking for and what your qualifications are. It’s hard work but it does pay off in the end.

Because I head up a consulting firm focused on recruiting and career coaching, I get dozens of requests to connect on LinkedIn every week and nearly that many requesting a coffee or phone call with me to tell me more about themselves. As a side note, ask me for advice. Ask to draw on my expertise. Don’t tell me you want to tell me about yourself. I had a fellow recently with whom I met for a coffee who would have spent the entire 30 minutes talking about himself had I not stopped him about 10 minutes in and spent the next 10 minutes coaching him on how to use an informational meeting effectively.

I get it. As a career coach, I often tell my clients to use this as one part of a job search strategy. But there is a right way to reach out and then there is the way that so many LI users reach out.

When someone reaches out to connect, connects with me and then tells me a little about themselves and how I might be able to help them (or even why they want to connect with me), I usually find the time to jump on a call or to respond via messaging.

But more and more I get people who want to connect and don’t tell me why. Just a flick of the finger on the ‘connect’ button for them. Why do you want to connect with me? What do we have in common? Who do we have in common? It’s not a contest with the person with the most connections winning. While the LIONs out there will say it is all about having the most connections, I disagree. It’s about having the most relevant connections. But I digress.

More and more I get people messaging me with vague messages about meeting them for coffee or lunch or to ‘learn more.’ Learn more about what?

Some examples:

  • A woman asked to meet with me so she could tell me more about herself so I could find her a job in retail banking. First of all, if I had a job I was looking to fill in retail banking and she was qualified, I would have probably reached out to her. But, more importantly, has she looked at my LI profile? Has she looked at my website? I venture to say no since, had she done so, she would have seen that not one of the roles I’ve filled is in retail banking. What would bring her more success — talking to me or finding someone who fills roles in retail banking? It’s not rocket science.
  • This very morning I got two messages from the same person. The first said ‘hello Alice.’ The second said ‘I need your help in something.’ Now I consider myself a helpful person. But (a) I don’t know you and (b) you don’t say anything more about yourself such as specifically what you need help with so that I might direct you to the right resources.
  • Yesterday I got a message from a fellow who is introducing himself to me because he is interested in getting into global investments and wants to work as part of Goffredo Consulting Group’s investment team. News flash. I don’t have an investment team. Just a little effort on his part would reveal that I fill roles for investment professionals for investment firms. That’s what I do. But no, yet another example of not paying attention. Not doing a little research. Not putting in any effort on a job search.

Why do I tell you about this? Honestly, it’s to tell you why so many of you never ever hear back from recruiters. You see a posting, you hit ‘apply’ and attach a generic resume (or, given LI, maybe no resume at all despite asking for one and having a limited profile that tells me nothing), and then want to know why you hear nothing.

While it’s true that many recruiters (in search firms and in corporate offices) mistreat candidates all the time, I’m not one of them and frankly I’m not sure which came first. Recruiters not responding or recruiters not responding because candidates don’t put in any effort into their job search and apply to roles for which they have no qualifications.

Here are some words of wisdom from someone who sits on both sides of the fence (as a recruiter and as a career coach). Build out a job search strategy. Know yourself and where you want to work and what you want to do. Be realistic. Take a look at your background, experience and qualifications. First of all, don’t just rely on job postings. But, if you are utilizing this medium, look at the job postings and apply to those for which you are qualified. Maybe you don’t have all the qualifications — but please please please have SOME of the qualifications. I have no problem with people who apply with only some of the qualifications and who try to ‘connect the dots’ for me as to why they should be considered. Good for them!

Show me in your resume what you have done that is directly relevant to the role for which I am recruiting. If I ask for 1-3 years of specific expertise, don’t apply with ZERO expertise in that area. If I ask for a university degree in a specific area of study, please don’t apply if you are a recent high school grad with no university.

Sometimes I think that many candidates don’t even read the job postings and just apply. That is not the way to find a job. And, while it is always a good plan to reach out and try to connect with the recruiter or hiring manager, know what you want to say when do so. Saying ‘I need help’ is not the way to do it (although it did get my attention!)

And finally, do not rely on job postings to find your next role. It is key to build your network and work your network. Get out in front of people. Ask for informational meetings. Let people know what you are looking for and what your qualifications are. It’s hard work but it does pay off in the end.

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