Archive for LinkedIn

Tired of Trudging Through Tons of LinkedIn Trash?

If you’ve been using LinkedIn for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed activity on the once “professional” or business networking site has rapidly deteriorated into a jumble of junk. For many years, there’s been a steady influx of people using the site for anything and everything except what most of us would consider professional purposes.

Examples include:

1)     Posting riddles and jokes

2)     Posting puzzles

3)      Posting word jumbles and math quizzes

4)      Posting lion pictures or cartoons

5)      Posting the same thought, blog link or ad in several groups simultaneously

6)      Posting mindless slogans such as: “hire for character, train for skill”

7)      Posting IQ tests accompanied by “only 10% get this right”

8)      Posting endlessly repeated cliché inspirational quotes

9)      Posting eye charts

10)   Posting content that would be superfluous even on Facebook

11)   Posting irrelevant, off-topic content or comments in groups or discussions

12)   Posting images or other content for the purpose of gathering sympathy “likes”

13)   Posting any approving comments and/or sharing any of the above to further perpetuate such activity

In addition to the above nonsense cluttering up everyone’s timeline, many people also send broadcast messages to all or most of their connections at once. Which means the content is usually irrelevant to the majority of recipients.

LI Logo

Obviously some LinkedIn members are merely using the site to collect connections for assorted reasons beyond the intended purpose of doing so. Typically, these types are indentified by the fact that they don’t bother to actually be acquainted professionally with their targets. Rather, they just randomly send out generic invitations requests knowing that most people are too busy or too lazy to click the ignore or “I don’t know __” response. Once connected, they acquire the ability to add that person’s contact information to their email database or otherwise engage in spamming activity.

So what can be done to reduce or perhaps even eventually eliminate all of this unpleasantness?

For starters, scrutinize each connection invitation, especially those using the default generic language. Examine the profile to at least guestimate whether it might belong to an actual human member of the business world or whether it could just be a phony account set up for nefarious purposes.

Don’t feel obligated to connect with anyone you don’t know. And, don’t hesitate to report or flag obvious spam accounts either.

Contrary to certain opinions, it is perfectly acceptable to only accept new connection requests from those with whom you are already acquainted. Unless you yourself are interested in expanding your own network for the sake of having more connections, it is 100% reasonable to focus on quality versus quantity.

Consider sending a personal reply note when accepting connection requests from strangers. The content could range from your own professional positioning statement, to details about what you do for a living, or anything related to your personal networking philosophy. You can even include a “disclaimer” message suggesting the type of interaction that would and would not be appropriate between the new contact and yourself.

Set the right example by personalizing your own connection requests and only sending them when it makes sense for both parties to connect. For example, remind the person how/when/where you met or refresh his/her memory about how you two know each other if it’s been a while since you were in contact.

Refrain from automatically requesting something from a new connection – especially if you don’t know each other quite well. For instance, if you happen to be looking for a new job, it is not your new network connection’s duty to assist with that process. Nor, it is reasonable to expect a recommendation, referral or introduction to someone else to assist with that process.

Be considerate of your network’s time, resources and professional connections. If you do believe the circumstances are appropriate to request assistance from members of your network, make sure to make it as simple and convenient for them to understand your situation and provide specific information about how they might help.

Be sure to acknowledge and thank anyone for replying, even if they are not able to supply the exact type of help you are seeking.

Finally, don’t be afraid to hide (or better yet DISCONNECT from) anyone that undermines your interest in visiting the site due to their inappropriate actions or unreasonable requests.

If everyone pitched in the counteract these unprofessional acts, those responsible would probably find another place to populate. Just a thought…

Written by Kelly Blokdijk at TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog @TalentTalks


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TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2014 Edition

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2014 Edition

2014 phone screen

From – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk

How to Become the HR / Recruiting Holiday Hero

Simple Secrets to Make Your Hiring Process Suck Less

HR and Recruiting Professionals: Time to Pull Your Head Out

#SHRM14 Report – Evolution of Work and the Worker

Hiring Habits: Holacracy at Zappos

Picture This: Top Career Motivators for the Best of Us and the Rest of Us


From – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk

The Ticket Scalper Version of Direct Talent Sourcing

Conundrum of Candidates’ Conjecture

Recruiter Poll Regarding Active Applicant Interactions

Are You Bored With RBC?

Ditch the Double Standard

What Does it Mean to Be Employable?

Does Anything Good Ever Come From Skipping Phone Screens?

Who Should We Blame for Poverty, Debt, Obesity and Robots?

Recruiting: Just a Series of Conversations

Talent Shortage or Trust Shortage

Job Postings Are Not the Enemy

Grunts & Groans Sound Gross

Step Inside The Outhouse That Is LinkedIn

Call for Mr. Hole, First Name: Jack

Wall of Shame

Recruiting Stuff That Made Me Shake My Head This Week


From Human Capital Institute (HCI) – Succession Planning Webinar & Podcast Featuring Kelly Blokdijk

Podcast – Succession Planning

Webinar – Succession Planning


From Bulls Eye Recruiting – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk

Proactive Career Management

Mind Your Own Business and Career

What Makes a Tough Job Search Even Tougher?

A Yellow Guitar to Rock Out Your Talent Strategy


From Medium – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk

Appetite for Disruption

From the Depths of Obscurity

The Messy Me


From LinkedIn – Articles Written By Kelly Blokdijk on LinkedIn

Employers Dirty Habit of Treating Job Applicants Like Dirt

Why We Need a More Diverse View of Diversity

Could 3 Boring Tips Make Your Job Search Better?

Give Your Network a Hand When You Need Job Search Help

Buzzwords Myths and Absurdities in the Job Market

Resume Reality for REAL

Are Job Hoppers Flakes and Failures?

Is Who Gets Hired the Best Person for the Job?

The #1 Reason for Resume Rejection

Double Trouble Hiring Standards

Why Who’s Viewed Your Profile Doesn’t Matter

Imaginary Talent Shortage Caused by Real Trust Shortage

Ideas, Information and Influence


From TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Article Written By Kelly Blokdijk

Does Every Day Seem Like April Fool’s Day on LinkedIn?


If you like these articles, you may also like some earlier work written by Kelly Blokdijk

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2013 Edition

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2012 Edition

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog – Talent Topic Compilation 2011 Edition


Subscribe to TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog here:

Connect with Kelly Blokdijk on LinkedIn here:

Tweet with Kelly Blokdijk @TalentTalks on Twitter here: http://www.twitter/talenttalks

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Get Googly with Kelly Blokdijk on G+ GooglePlus here:


Note: some articles listed above may have appeared on more than one site and/or been modified from previously posted articles by Kelly Blokdijk

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Why You Shouldn’t Care About LinkedIn’s “Who’s Viewed Your Profile”

There could be any number of reasons why someone looks at your LinkedIn profile and why your profile shows up in a search.

LI Logo

A few possibilities include: 

1) Nosy lookie-loos just curious about what you have going on.

2) You’ve changed something on your profile and it shows in their timeline, so they click to see the “news.”

3) A certain word or series of words exists on your profile when someone does a search.

4) People who are unsure about how to build their own profile are checking out what other people have done.

5) Recruiters sourcing for talent or contacts in certain industries or companies.

6) Job seekers looking for connections that may help them land their next gig.

7) Vendors searching for potential customers.

8) You posted a comment in a group discussion and people want to check to see if your comments are worthy of their attention and if you have any credibility to comment on the topic.

9) New LinkedIn members who you may have worked with previously just saw you in their list of people you may know.

10) Connections of other connections see that you just connected with someone else and click to see who you are.

There are plenty of other things that could be going on when someone clicks your profile or you turn up in a search. The main reason I don’t think the tally matters is that you should be concerned with people not just looking at you, but calling, emailing, InMailing or direct messaging you because they found something appealing about you or that they could benefit from.

I often encounter people experimenting with various tactics to increase that “who viewed my profile” number without taking into consideration that gaming the system is not entirely possible, nor does it make much sense to try given the constant algorithm updates. There are some very questionable practices that have unfortunately created a pattern of people doing whatever it takes to stay in view. The majority of time the action, content, sequence and arrangement is geared ONLY to attract views. For some people this is the only goal they care about and that is how they justify those techniques.

What concerns me is that other people tend to mimic these ideas and my not even understand how that looks to those viewing their profile or their activity in general. For example, there are certain people loading their profile or timeline status updates with specific content that looks suspicious to viewers who regularly search LI for particular types of talent. Sure they show up, but then what?

When I (and others like me) see these type of profiles, it is immediately obvious what is going on and I assure you just because it may fool some people, other people will think of you as the fool. If someone is noticed for doing some of those things that they think are impressive, but are in fact harmful, they may never even know. Obviously, not the kind of attention most of us want to attract!

There are plenty of legitimate methods to enhance your LinkedIn profile – to make it reflect the impressive qualities you have to offer. That should be the focus, so when someone does search or look, they like what they find.

Written by Kelly Blokdijk. As a talent optimization advisor Kelly’s professional background “Creating a Voice for Talent” includes 10+ years experience offering exceptional human resources, organization development and recruiting support to diverse organizations. 

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Talent Topic Compilation 2013 Edition

It’s that time again to bid farewell to another year. Before we race in to the new year, here’s a rear view look at 25 of the talent topics touched upon in 2013. Please feel free to provide feedback and share your favorites with those in your network who might benefit. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014!



Wishing all good luck in the new year – praying mantis —

 Some of the worst job search advice EVER —

Hidden reality of hidden jobs —

Job searching can be a crappy process, don’t make it worse —

Not all diversity looks like demographic diversity –

Greatest job seeker gripes (about recruiters) —

Learning how stuff works is YOUR job —

Not all unlucky numbers are bad —

Can you train a monkey to do your job?

Maybe it’s April Fool’s Day everyday for job candidates —

Who decided that 80% of jobs are not posted? —

What happens when clueless people become recruiters? —

Companies say they want to hire for certain traits, yet end up selecting something else —

Overly restrictive job requirements —

Recruiters that are crazy, lazy, or both —

Job search version of 20 questions —

Age old issue of old age (and discrimination) —

Shedding light on the stigma of job hopping —–kelly-blokdijk/maybe-you-should-withhold-that-job-hopper-judgment/

#1 reason for resume rejection —

Opposite of good employer branding —

No need to settle for terrible HR —

Is it necessary information or an interview question? —

We all know what they say about assumptions —

Everyone believes they know how to pick the best person for the job

Caring enough to cook up creative content —

 Talent Topic Compilation Edition 2013 Articles by Kelly Blokdijk

Kelly Blokdijk on Twitter @TalentTalks

Publication sources include:

TalentTalks Talent Optimization Blog

Recruiting Blogs Dot Com

TLNT Dot Com

Electronic Recruiting Exchange – ERE Dot Net

Bulls Eye Recruiting via

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5.5 Million Boring Resumes – Is Yours One of Them?

During the course of my career, I’ve been involved with sourcing, screening and selecting candidates and participating in hiring decisions quite a few times. Enough so, that I’ve seen more than my fair share of resumes and online profiles.

It’s probably safe to estimate for every hundred positions filled, there were at least 3 to10 times as many applicants to sort through. Kind of baffling to do the calculations, but that is a lot of resumes!

In addition to dealing with recruiting and HR related resume viewing, I’ve been a freelance resume writer for approximately 15 years. Likewise, I’ve volunteered as a resume evaluator at several career fairs. And, of course countless people have sent me unsolicited resumes along the way as well.

One of the most common observations is that the vast majority of resumes are in need of improvement in some way or another. Aside from the obvious deal-breakers such as dreadful grammar, typos, spelling mistakes, improper word usage, incorrect verb tense, random capitalization and inconsistent fonts and formatting, there are plenty of other ways that people fail to make a positive first impression.

A main theme that I notice is the over-use of stale, bland and cliché phrases and terms that makes practically everyone look and sound the same. A few examples are listed below.

And, to show just how often these appear, I did a quick word search on LinkedIn and included the number of profiles that came up with those words.

Seasoned – 161,838

Results-oriented – 204,493

Proven track-record – 251,496

Team player – 395,014

Responsible for – 5,582,191

Take a quick look at your own resume or LinkedIn profile to see if you are inadvertently making yourself sound generic, boring and dull by using any of the above. If 5.5 Million+ people are saying they were “responsible for” something (what they were supposed to do), how about YOU stand out by showing what you (actually did) “achieved or accomplished” in your professional life?

And, you can also save the “seasoning” for your next backyard BBQ where you can brag about your Olympic medals demonstrating your “proven track record” as a “results-oriented, team player.”

Article by Kelly Blokdijk ~ As a Talent Optimization Coach & Consultant with TalentTalks, Kelly thrives on “Creating a Voice for Talent” by partnering with business professionals and job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies, customized communication materials and compelling personal branding campaigns to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative, leading-edge human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts employment market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!


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Job Searching with Jan Brady Syndrome

Who can forget the dramatic teenage angst driven Brady Bunch episode where Jan exclaims: “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” over her “invisible” middle child status? In Jan’s world, everyone was always blabbing about how amazing Marcia was at this or how wonderful Marcia was at that. And, of course there was the constant adoration for their precocious, pig-tailed youngest sister, Cindy.


Jan was so distraught over being sandwiched in between her two sisters that she tried to stand out by hiding her lovely, long, blond locks under a hideous dark, bouffant, granny wig. After some intense brotherly ridicule and a few other failed attempts to be different, the Brady parents reassured Jan that she was unique in her own way. Isn’t it splendid how everything turned out so swell in 70s sitcom land?


Contrasts and comparisons don’t necessarily wrap up so neatly in the employment market. There have been numerous accounts of challenges faced by practically every demographic group broken down by gender, age, race, education level, socio-economic status and so on. Most reports are based on complex statistical analysis and trend measurements over the course of many years and even decades. For the past several years a few new patterns have emerged that suggest historical data may not provide an accurate prediction of the future. It’s likely that we are in the midst of a major transformation that won’t be fully recognized or understood for a while.


What about the incessant chatter regarding multiple generations in the workplace? Not a day goes by without a new study, article or book on the topic. Many of these pieces point to the various traits, characteristics and tendencies of each generation. Even though there is some validity to certain observations, the overall concept of focusing on differences, tends to produce an “us vs. them” mentality. Anyone that takes the time to review the typical definitions is likely to identify their own personal values and behaviors in each generational description.


Maybe it’s fatigue with the entire topic or a bit of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” complex, but no one wants to be overlooked and even excluded from consideration just because someone else is viewed as having some type of stereotypical advantage or disadvantage in the workforce. How do we translate that to the current state of the job market and what does it mean in the context of career management?


For one thing, it is always best to accentuate your existing assets to stand out rather than donning an artificial disguise or fake persona. Another point is to not let statistics, stereotypes and published stories sway you into thinking you don’t have the ability to succeed, even if that means overcoming unpleasant obstacles along the way. Despite isolated incidents suggesting otherwise, most employers do wish to attract and retain the best available talent to meet their business goals.


Just like Jan learned, individuality and value can shine through whether or not other factors reflect similarities or differences to those around us. Embrace and enjoy what makes YOU, you! 

Article by Kelly Blokdijk ~ As a Talent Optimization Coach & Consultant with TalentTalks, Kelly thrives on “Creating a Voice for Talent” by partnering with business professionals and job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies, customized communication materials and compelling personal branding campaigns to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative, leading-edge human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts employment market and job search related content on Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!

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Have you noticed LinkedIn has been afflicted with a highly contagious infestation?

Now is the time to look for a cure to eradicate the contamination source(s)…

With all of the H1N1 virus information constantly in the news, I couldn’t help but notice the maladies taking shape on my favorite professional networking site, LinkedIn. What “disease” am I referring to, you must be wondering… I don’t know the exact strain, but it is what I would label as extremely inconsiderate, clueless and unprofessional conduct.

Perhaps, like me, your usual response to the rapid influx of spammers, scammers and other obnoxious posters who have aggressively boosted their presence on LI, is to simply ignore them. Sort of like when you drive down a remote highway and swerve to avoid road-kill. Now that I think about it, these folks do share some similarities with decomposing, smelly, squashed rodents!

It started innocently enough, with the random invitations to connect from strangers in far-away mythical lands with absolutely no concept of how to craft a compelling and relevant introduction to make someone possibly consider “meeting” them. It then evolved and continues to mutate into a seemingly endless barrage of useless and irrelevant posts on assorted topics ranging from work-from-home, get-rich-quick, sell-this-fill-in-the-blank-miracle-potion-and-earn-millions-in-just-two-days, to resume blasters, social media wizards, Hogwarts and muggles who will revolutionize your SEO results and help you land your dream job in the process!

Ignoring this “stuff” does not seem to convey the right message. Lately it seems that just like when blight builds in certain neglected neighborhoods, these people and their stealth maneuvers have gone relatively unnoticed and certainly undeterred. Their presence on this site has turned into the equivalent of graffiti and other forms of vandalism that ruin an otherwise pleasant place. Left unchecked for too long and it eventually becomes a slum.

As an active participant on LI for close to four years, I really don’t want to see that happen. The vast majority of us, joins and remains on LinkedIn for legitimate professional networking purposes. Thus, we value the original intent of the site in providing a method and venue to do just that. The existence of the above element is creating an unhealthy experience for newcomers and veterans alike who may not have fully developed or protected their immune systems yet…

Recently, I’ve engaged in a few discussions with different group members who feel the same as I do, that changes are needed to prevent further disintegration and deterioration of a once vital organism. The question is, how exactly do “we” the collective members of this community, establish an atmosphere which is unwelcoming and inhospitable to this invasion? Will you be the one to invent the “vaccine” needed to save us all?

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