Posts Tagged linkedin

13 Ways to Instantly Impress LinkedIn Connections

Remember when you first joined LinkedIn?

Perhaps you initially received an invitation to connect from a business associate… Or, perhaps you heard about the professional networking site and joined on your own… Either way, you most likely noticed a series of changes within the past 11 years of LinkedIn’s existence.

There have been numerous tips shared about how to complete your profile, add a photo, share status updates, participate in groups and of course expand your network. Now that you’ve successfully done all of that, you are probably ready to take the next step and really impress all of your connections with your professionalism, understanding of unwritten etiquette expectations, not to mention your ability to identify and share relevant information with other site members.


So here is a list of the most up-to-date recommendations to do just that:

1)     Post riddles and jokes

2)      Post puzzles

3)      Post word jumbles and math quizzes

4)      Post lion pictures or cartoons

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

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

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

8)      Post endlessly repeated cliché inspirational quotes

9)      Post eye charts

10)   Post content that would be superfluous even on Facebook

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

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

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

Impressive, right? 


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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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How to Instantly Put Your Job Search in the Crapper

Some consider a resume and/or cover letter the most important professional documents to represent a person’s overall level of competence and credibility when pursuing employment opportunities. In fact for most US employers resumes/cover letters are the standard preliminary evaluation tools.

Therefore, I’m constantly astonished that so many people routinely submit error-ridden correspondence when the stakes are so high. Having to sort through stacks of lousy resumes is one of the most common recruiter complaints. The high-volume of applications and applicant tracking system black-hole syndrome does factor in to response rate, but doesn’t deserve anywhere the amount of blame as bad resumes. 


Perhaps it seems unfair that people are being assessed by how they appear on paper (or on a screen), but that is why they say you only have one chance to make a great first impression. Some of the same sloppiness found on resumes and cover letters can be spotted on LinkedIn profiles as well. It puzzles me that so many career marketing messages reflect a lax attitude about attention to detail and obvious willingness to overlook easily preventable mistakes.

Effective and accurate communication skills tends to be one of the most universally expected qualifications across all types and levels of jobs. I realize that there are situations where that may not be the primary focus of a person’s job. However, those tend to be in categories where resumes and cover letters are not expected and applicants simply complete employment applications instead. Either way, it is still preferable regardless of document type, to receive content minus glaring errors such as typos, misspelled words, poor grammar, incorrect word usage, inconsistent formatting, unattractive fonts and so on…

No one expects the average person to be an expert profile, resume or cover letter writer, but most people in the hiring process do expect basic demonstration of written communication proficiency. Even if those fundamental literacy and quality assurance aspects are not critical for the initial position in question, I have seen plenty of people passed over for promotions and career advancement due to communication challenges. 

Anyone applying for jobs and not getting responses really should take an objective look at how their information is coming across to prospective employers. Make sure you are not flushing your reputation down the toilet by distributing information that makes the reader say: “this stinks!”

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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Does your song make people turn up the volume or change the station?

Music has a way of influencing our mood and producing a reaction whether stimulating, soothing or simply sounds to suit the situation. While driving around if a song I like comes on the radio I tend to turn up the volume and may even start grooving to the beat. When a song is played that is not to my liking, I can’t wait to change the station.

There are some parallels between how we interpret music to how we process spoken and written words and other types of sensory stimuli as well. While all of us are multi dimensional with broad interests and talents, there are usually areas where our levels of attraction are higher or our performance is stronger.

Some individuals are brilliant with numbers and hard data. Others are outstanding at producing images and creative or artistic expressions through assorted mediums. Certain people are physically gifted with extraordinary athletic agility. Then there are those who might be considered a language lover or a word nerd.

In many cases those traits, characteristics and passions contribute to career selections, hobbies and interpersonal relations with others. Leveraging natural abilities and playing up strengths is much more comfortable than trying to force or shape ourselves into something that doesn’t make sense.

job hunting

job hunting (Photo credit: Robert S. Donovan)

For example, most things requiring physical coordination or athleticism cause me to struggle. Likewise, my mind seems to wander or stall when I encounter a situation where anything beyond basic mathematical proficiency is necessary.

During my younger years I enjoyed art and design and I still have an extreme appreciation for aesthetically pleasing environments and objects. Abstract concepts and unconventional ideas are also fascinating to me and I often find ways to organize divergent themes into purposeful patterns.

Attention to detail in various forms of communication has been part of the work that I’ve done throughout my career.  Whether writing content, presenting information or crafting a message on behalf of others, I take steps to absorb and acquire available and relevant inputs and then translate that to a logical output fit for the circumstances and audience. Even though the above sounds straight forward and I’ve gained substantial practice doing those activities, it still takes significant concentration and creativity to place the right parts into position.

That’s why I’m constantly baffled that people with far less experience producing targeted communications fail to comprehend those complexities and ultimately fail to execute effectively. Case in point, I’ve viewed countless resumes and online profiles and other career marketing collateral that quite frankly should have never been published.

The other day a job seeker handed me a full-color, heavy card stock, tri-fold pamphlet promoting their qualifications. Sounds impressive, right? Well it might have been had the entire piece not been visually cluttered, inconsistent and overloaded with redundant and extraneous detail.

The bigger problem with the document was the incoherent content including rambling sentences full of random capitalizations and other jarring formatting. There were also some peculiar word choices as if a thesaurus vomited all over the page without any regard for contextual relevance. For sure that person will be remembered, but I doubt that was the reaction they envisioned.

Another job seeker recently sent me two versions of their resume and two cover letters for alternate career paths. They claimed they had previously sought out professional help with those items, yet were not getting any response. Immediately, I could tell why.

Despite the fact that this person was highly educated with multiple advanced degrees and solid academic and professional credentials and experience, their materials were not at all a cohesive representation of their career stature. I certainly hope they haven’t already damaged their reputation by circulating those to their target employers.

One of their cover letters read like it was written by a high school dropout. It was entirely void of any sophistication that would be expected by a professional seeking a prominent, high-ranking position. Both resumes were far too busy and lengthy to keep my attention beyond a two second skim. I feel terrible knowing that person actually paid an alleged professional for that work product. All of it was a wasted effort and likely to cause them more harm than good.

As an active networker, I am constantly adding new contacts to my LinkedIn account. Naturally when I meet someone new or receive an invitation to connect, I review their profile. It continues to astound me how frequently I find blatant and glaring errors of all kinds on these profiles.

One marketing and advertising industry professional had two misspelled words in the first two lines of their profile. How confident is that supposed to make any prospective employers or clients feel about their abilities?

With as much awareness of how competitive the job market is, it is unacceptable for these scenarios to be so prevalent. Rather than making recipients say this is music to my ears and I feel like dancing, these materials end up resembling an annoying over played song that you can’t get out of your head.

Generally, I try to steer clear of dispensing job search advice on topics that seem obvious or those that should be common sense to everyone. However, I keep finding even the most basic premise “you only have one chance to make a first impression” is being missed in such a dramatic fashion.

When pursuing a new employment opportunity, there is no excuse for typos, misspellings, grammatical gaffes, punctuation problems, funky fonts, formatting and capitalization online or offline. Limited and repetitive vocabulary, incorrect word usage, improper verb tense or any other related flaws should never be displayed on anyone’s career marketing messages. All of these issues are correctable or preventable through proofreading.

People constantly ask me how they can be found, how they can stand out and how they can drive action in the midst of immense competition. There are plenty of techniques that can improve the chances of those things happening, but none of that matters if when found you stand out for the wrong reasons making people think you need to change your tune.

Did you spot the typos or mistakes in this article?  Please comment! 

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, LinkedIn, GooglePlus and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!

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How to build a BAD brand

Maybe I read too much, but for the past several years there seems to be a completely out of control and growing obsession with personal branding. There are even generational gurus and mavens dedicating entire websites, blogs and books, along with countless citations in mass media publications on branding from A to Z for the X, Y, Z and beyond generation.

Regardless of the intended audience, most of the content is generic, repetitive and redundant. Yet based on the incessant flow of these materials one gets the impression that there is an insatiable demand for more of the same. For obvious reasons, many people are fed up with the silly buzzwords and superficial ideas being passed off as expertise on this logic-defying topic.

Branding balls: listen and learn from legendary musician, Lemmy
Branding balls! Listen and learn from legendary musician, Lemmy

Some of the advice seems to imply that the signs of someone who is well branded are a web domain, a logo or an icon, a catch-phrase and color scheme on a business card showing what that brand represents. And, of course the ultimate evidence of a true branding strategy is influence through blogs and social media activity.

The worst branding message I‘ve repeatedly encountered is the recommendation to “brand yourself as an expert.” Huh?

Another gem I’ve seen is “how to create your personality on LinkedIn” which is rather interesting because most people consider that a professional networking site, not a place where personalities are created. As if that is even possible!

Coming from the experts all of this sounds pretty swell though, right? Sure, if you are marketing a running shoe, carbonated beverage or automobile.

But, what if you are Fred in accounting? Not quite the same situation! No one wants to hear you spew out a pithy pivot table pitch or read your blog on balance sheets. If you really are the guru of GAAP. Just do what you do. Accurately and consistently. Your brand will take care of itself.

The sources of this concept attempt to give the impression that one can just whip up a brand out of thin air and act as if it reflects reality. I’ve even seen suggestions for people to model their brand after someone else they admire for being a success in their midst.

That particular idea makes me think of a bride tearing photos out of fashion magazines as inspiration before going shopping for her wedding dress. Or, maybe a person who visits luxurious model homes to get decorating ideas to mimic in their own home improvement projects. And, of course there is the example of a trendy celebrity hairstyle becoming a phenomenon amongst regular people.

Couture, carpeting and coifs are easy enough to imitate or duplicate, but borrowing a branding idea from one person and applying it to another seems rather suspicious and frankly a bit stalker-ish, if not entirely pathetic. Not to mention the absurdity of trying to fabricate a new persona as if starting over fresh under the witness protection program.

The obvious problem with all of this is that a person’s brand is essentially their reputation. Meaning it already exists in some form or another. It is reflected in how others perceive that person from the context of what they see, hear, observe and know from personal experience with that person, whether through tangible evidence or intangible gut feelings. There is no way a person can magically make that image vanish and replace it with their chosen brand of expertise.

Most people have enough instinct to sense when someone is trying to portray something that is less than authentic. And, more importantly, the people we tend to admire, respect and recommend for whatever reason usually have a level of credibility built from actual talent, expertise or personality that can’t be easily replicated.

True experts, geniuses or brilliant innovators don’t go around telling everyone that’s what they are, because they don’t need to. It just shows.

A prime example is legendary rocker, Lemmy. As the founder of Motorhead and a constant fixture in the LA rock-n-roll scene, he has been an influential force in practically every genre of music that mattered since the 60s.

There is absolutely no chance Lemmy ever gave a single thought to impressing anyone through wardrobe, grooming, playing style or stage presence other than to show up and do his thing. He has never shown any sign of an interest in “branding himself” or “creating his brand” yet he endures like only a few others from his era.

In the documentary film Lemmy, there is an endless parade of industry insiders and fellow rock stars praising Lemmy’s ability to transcend generations and musical tastes. If you haven’t seen the film, check out Jon Konrath’s overview.

Lemmy is the real deal and he has no need to prove his expertise or tell anyone he is an expert, because it is just obvious. Here is guy quoted as saying he remembers what it was like before rock-n-roll and he has managed to remain relevant in a highly competitive environment, by simply being who and what he is… Badass!

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 positioning 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 LinkedIn, GooglePlus, Facebook and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!

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Talent Topic Compilation 2011 Edition

Perhaps like me you struggle to keep up with the mass quantities of information that flows your way each day. Here, I’ve compiled many of the job search, career management, employment market, recruiting and networking articles I’ve posted throughout the year.

The header before the link gives a general idea of the content and the blurb below the link shows an excerpt from the article itself. Please do share feedback by commenting directly on the source site or via private message back to me.

Why job search basics matter most

The most obvious sign of a person who naively follows rudimentary job search advice is that their resume, LinkedIn profile, business bio or verbal introduction looks, reads and sounds like everyone else’s.

Problems with interviews and interviewers

Savvy job seekers are skilled at navigating interview questions and formulating appropriate replies to tell the interviewer what they think they want to hear.

Performing the job before you get the job

In the past, I’ve been asked to provide work samples and actually found that preferable to enduring round after round of “tell me about a time when…” behavioral questions.

Recognizing the difference between good and bad job search advice

Most, if not all, providers of career services assistance offer free initial consultations. There is no reason not to take advantage of those being generous with their time and who actually have the specialized knowledge to help those who need it most.

Unconventional top talent might rock your socks off

I can’t help myself, it just happens – whether eating a cheeseburger, folding laundry or watching embarrassing reality shows, I somehow find a way to yank a talent management or talent acquisition issue out of practically everything.

More of the best and worst job search advice

In honor of Labor Day, I encourage job seekers to avoid treating their professional future like a disposable kitchen sponge. Take ownership of your progress. Be discerning in vetting advice or advisors and don’t succumb to the cluster funk.

Don’t be a LinkedIn loser

While almost everyone is aware of the need to create a positive first impression, here are a few of the most common issues observed where that may not be happening.

Not as simple as it could be to apply for a job

Are the companies that do this really hiring the best talent or are they merely finding those with enough time and patience to hop through hoop after hoop?

Too much information for your resume

While composing their customized messages, job seekers should consider their audience and just point out the critical pieces and ingredients related to their target position

Employee referrals

With limited resources and an interest in finding the right cultural and skill fit, employers often rely on employee referral programs to incentivize current workers to help them acquire new talent.

Poor treatment of job candidates

Perhaps these employers feel that they have nothing to lose with their lack of compassion and disregard for those expressing interest in joining their firms.

Dealing with job search rejection

Being that unemployment has reached and remained at historically high levels, it is possible that employers interpret that to mean there is no reason to show compassion and courtesy to those expressing interest in joining their companies.

Professional networking and industry connections

My underlying feeling was that if a couple minutes of my time might help someone accomplish something that otherwise may not have occurred, why not lend a hand? And, I’ve been around long enough to have experienced several random outcomes from chance encounters to keep an open mind about helping out in this way.

Making a great first impression

Regarding first impressions, whether being found in person, online or on paper, you must have your act together. That means your physical and tangible appearance as well as any virtual representations of you must all reflect the image you wish to portray.

Now hiring “A” players only please

Top talent is always in demand regardless of state of the job market. Make sure you understand what that means to those who decide who they plan to call when the time comes.

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, Twitter and LinkedIn – fans and followers welcome!

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