Archive for networking

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.

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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.

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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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Are the jobs hiding from you?

People often tell me they’ve heard they need to avoid job boards and focus on the hidden job market instead. That comes up in conversation because they have no idea what that advice means or how to interpret it for their specific situation.

Frankly, that may be the best or worst way for them to conduct a job search and they may not realize how to tell the difference. The fact of the matter is there is not and has never been a one-size-fits-all job search approach. Nor is it wise to exclude or include possible resources based on someone else’s opinion without them or the job seeker understanding what is entailed in the bigger picture.

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Statistics vary about source of hire. Some may suggest that up to 80% of employers use job boards to fill jobs. Others may reflect that up to 80% of positions are filled through relationship based methods such as referrals, references and recommendations. Based on those seemingly conflicting or at least confusing concepts, how is a job seeker in the current market supposed to spend their time?

Let me simplify this the best way I can… The main reason job boards have become under-appreciated isn’t because there is a flaw in the job board platform itself. The issue is with the users of the job boards.

Way back when job boards became common place, the “apply now” button enabled practically anyone, anywhere, at any time, to apply for any job. That in turn created too much volume for any employer to manage. Since then, a dramatic downturn in the economy flooded the market with even more users of the job boards.

Concurrently, to manage this volume of applications, employers started integrating their external job board postings with their internal applicant tracking systems. These were to filter the data and sort out the unqualified applicants. The problem that occurred then was applicants tried to game the system by keyword loading and other “tricks” so they would still show up in searches no matter what.

Overall the quality of applicants diminished. Meanwhile compounding the user-error predicament, the hiring side failed to upgrade their process to deter unqualified people from applying or add methods to attract the right type of applicant. Even if someone was qualified, the likelihood of them being identified under all of the clutter was minimal. The response to apply ratio was dismal.

The next thing you know, the only people applying for jobs are the unqualified people. That discouraged employers from using job boards and took things “under-ground”, if you will. No one on either side was satisfied with the return on investment.

While job boards remain a solid point of reference for taking the pulse of hiring trends, the kinks still haven’t been completely worked out. That said, I encourage anyone looking for a job to integrate any and all relevant job boards into their search strategy. In a competitive market, it would be foolish to discount one of the primary tools employers use to advertise opportunities and to identify talent.

Regardless of how, when or where a person becomes aware of a possible opportunity, it is critical to remain in contact with an extended network of business connections that understand your value in the employment market. In the event someone you know learns of a confidential search, you want them to keep you top of mind. You need to be known for what you have to offer in advance, that way when internal discussions start happening, people automatically think of you.

Alternatively, if a position is already publicly communicated, you need to do some research and investigating to reveal who is involved with the sourcing, screening and selection process. While having direct contact with the ultimate decision maker is ideal, don’t discount others who may be less prestigious, yet still influential in getting you closer to the front of the line.

Regardless, you need to be prepared to position yourself effectively through your professional marketing strategies and materials online, on paper and in person. No matter what form your tangible presence takes (value proposition, business bio, resume, professional profile or networking correspondence), it must convey deep understanding of the business needs through a concise and targeted message. Your communications must immediately demonstrate an obvious match for the desired role to anyone who “finds” 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 and compelling, customized communication materials 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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Purposely Pretentious Professionals

As a “what you see is what you get” kind of gal that communicates in a plain and direct “tell it like it is” or “call it like I see it” style, the opinions I’m about to share may not appeal to those with different sensibilities. For that reason, the following serves as a disclaimer should you continue reading: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss

In what resembles an OCD pattern, my brain seems to have a ravenous appetite compelling me to consume an inordinate amount of business related and current events content on a constant basis. Others play sports, video games or engage is assorted hobbies to chill out, but that stuff doesn’t appeal to me at all. Being a non-athletic, non-competitive type and a gigantic geek, reading for enjoyment and to stay informed about the world around me is how I tend to spend any free moments. I seek out sources of new data and diverse views on assorted topics pertaining to my profession as well as plenty of other entirely unrelated topics.

Periodically, I encounter articles by various individuals that some refer to as thought-leaders. I have no issues with these folks per se, but strong individualistic tendencies prevent me from gushing all over them like a hysterical teeny-bopper at their favorite pop star’s concert. It’s rare to discover something that isn’t derivative of an existing perspective or a just a more clever arrangement of vocabulary to describe a familiar theme.

Lately, much of the published material I read is not particularly noteworthy, interesting or informative. There has been a dramatic shift away from quality to quantity, frequency and immediacy. Certain people or publications seem to have become obsessed with remaining omnipresent as if activity and visibility somehow equates to relevance and validity. Nope, this would a case for less is more if there if ever was one…

Actually, that is what deters me from writing more often. Just because I’m continuously observing, absorbing and reflecting doesn’t mean my thoughts need to transfer from my noggin to my keyboard. To me, writing means sharing my unique point of view and independent opinions with the full expectation and acceptance that others may reject the drumbeat I march to. With that in mind, please ponder a few poignant words from Kurt Cobain: “I’d rather be hated for what I am than loved for what I am not.”

The fact that most members of our society seem to have an insatiable craving for the ideas, ideology and intellect that others possess rather than thinking for themselves is rather disturbing. It is incredibly common for citizens to vote politicians into office based on talk show hosts’, actors’, athletes or musicians’ endorsements rather than learning what they need to know to make an informed decision on their own.

Another area I notice people blindly following their chosen expert’s advice in is the area of career guidance. For unknown reasons, people willingly display a complete lack of critical thinking ability or common sense when it comes to who or what they elect to pay attention to in this category. As I’ve written many times before, I find it alarming that an abundance of outdated, ineffective and inaccurate information is being peddled to those in major need of real help with their employment or unemployment situations.

If a dentist claimed to be a plastic surgeon and botched an operation, it would be called malpractice. In the career expert world there is no recourse for such blatant incompetence, and sadly the victims don’t realize the damage until it’s too late. There is no barrier to entry so anyone – bank teller, bikini waxer, chemical engineer, dog-walker – can wake up one day and decide to proclaim guru status on any career oriented subject matter they choose.

Essentially, all they need to do is fake it until they make it – meaning find enough naïve, gullible, lost and confused people to be their audience and voila! instant faux credibility. They proceed to impart their pretend wisdom on anyone willing to buy the shtick and spiel they spew. After all, according to their scripted, sleazy elevator pitch, they are, have or know THE solution.

One of the concepts I’ve seen floating around over the years is the phrase “networking with a purpose.” The first point about why this troubles me is that it seems to imply that simply living your life, meeting new people in everyday settings, social activities and any other interpersonal interactions is considered inadequate. Ironically, some people I know quite well with extremely rich personal and professional networks, never as much as utter the word networking and would scoff at the suggestion that they intentionally go somewhere or do something for the sake of networking with a purpose.

The next part of this networking methodology that I find objectionable is that it reeks of social climbing and all of the other distasteful status seeking behavior and self-serving motives that, aside from the reality TV crowd, others typically frown upon. I’ve attended events where people literally walk around scanning name tags on shoulders and lapels, presumably to identify those worthy of striking up a conversation with. They make no attempts to be subtle about it either. Apparently, they are so purposeful that they know it when they see it and don’t need to waste time chatting up the little people with the wrong name or occupation on their badge.

Based on several of pieces of advice I’ve seen and heard dispensed, the goal is to attend networking events with predetermined power targets in mind. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to only speak with important, influential and interesting people when out in public. Don’t be distracted by the insignificant people in your midst, as they clearly lack any ability to add value. To me, this practice represents an exaggerated interpretation of Zig Ziglar’s expression: “If you go out looking for friends, you’re going to find they are very scarce, If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”

Even more pathetic is the obnoxious habit that many of these purpose-driven networkers display – that being the premature and presumptuous “how may I help you?” offer. Unless Scotty just beamed me up to the Nordstrom shoe department, I will be annoyed, insulted and offended by such a preposterous question from a complete stranger. Either you are delusional enough to think such a query doesn’t seem phony, or you believe you are a super hero on a quest to assist everyone you meet, or you think I appear needy and helpless – none of which engender a favorable impression.

Unless you have Meryl Streep’s acting chops, please realize that you aren’t fooling anyone with your silly, inauthentic or disingenuous lines. I have and will readily express that sentiment too – trust me. Eyes pop and jaws drop right then and there when the level of insincerity and absurdity of this elitist attitude is called out. I understand these poor souls are merely following the direction their favorite thought-leader passed along, but some random business card passer-outer trying to impersonate Mother Teresa with a pretentious “pay-it-forward” and “give-back” mentality is beyond awkward for me and makes the would-be helper look socially inept.

Wouldn’t you rather risk being forgotten for being the dude or dudette making natural small talk about the weather or latest blockbuster movie than remembered for resembling the word of the day on urban dictionary? If so, please heed Ice Cube’s recommendation to: “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

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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Does your resume overwhelm your networking connections with TMI?

Often when a person embarks on a new job search, one of the first activities they do is update their resume and start passing it out to anyone and everyone they’ve ever met. While that might sound like a fine way to get things moving quickly, it tends to send the wrong message and ends up being a complicated, confusing and burdensome set of data for other people to process in their attempt to offer assistance.


Much of the content typically included on a traditional resume used to apply for jobs, could potentially distract a professional or personal networking contact from truly understanding the core job search elements that a job seeker needs to share.  It’s simply too much information (TMI)!


Most likely, the other person will not be in a position to have the proper context of the job seeker’s professional history, capabilities and differentiating factors, in relation to the current employment market or their desired career goals. Using a “networking resume” is one way to eliminate that issue.


A networking resume’s purpose is to provide a high-level overview of the key competencies and value added contributions a person delivers within their occupation. It may also cover education level, professional credentials obtained and prior employers, without the specific details of dates or titles… just enough to give readers an idea of what they’ve achieved.


Another feature of a networking resume is a section to highlight examples of target companies and / or the type of industry focus a person may have for their future role. Keeping the entire “story” to one page is an excellent way to help others be able to support a job seeker in identifying possible prospects and leads.


Here is an example / sample of a networking resume for reference..


If for some reason the above link does not translate accurately, it can also be located on the document section of my LinkedIn profile


Please let me know if you or someone you know might find this  beneficial next time they begin a job search.


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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