photo thanks to autoguide.com
No the title is not my line. I am not that clever or cool. But I was impressed by the top executive search consultant based in Dallas who did use it.
And the point she was making? In searching for candidates for positions, she is able to recover much data and information that people leave in their wake online. Some of it is good and some of it is preferable to be gone.
Your reputation is a piece of your brand, and anything found online that would tarnish it would be better removed or buried down multiple search pages in Google. Unflattering or uncomfortable Facebook photos are obvious culprits. But other items are more stealthy like political donations, real estate sales of multi-million dollar homes, complaints to the City Health Department by your neighbors, prayer meditations you led, lawsuits, participation in sports and events. You get the picture and so do the hiring managers.
You have to decide how much you want to show to the world of your private life. If the answer is not much, then you must systematically and persistently work to push down the offending content. How is this done? The easiest way is to put brand-building content up that is fresher and newer, thus older material is pushed down. This will not work for listings in Wikipedia and IMDB but one assumes they have value for you.
Posting content on sites like Quora, Vimeo and Tumblr would be helpful as well as profiles on the Linkedin competitors such as Viadeo, Xing, Apnacircle, Tianji and Orkut. They will give you a global reach as well. Of cours Google is top billing thanks to its algorithms to a named website and a named blog. What do I mean by named? Look at the URL name at the top of this blog. It is mine and therefore when Google sees it it gives it preference over other types of posted content.
I did not mention how much work it is to put up good content and keep it there but it is a really small price to pay for being screened in for a job and not out.
Several advice columns in respected national news magazines have published articles from the career community on how to get hired into big name tech companies like Google, and Apple. I was literally stunned by some of the misguided advice I saw.
Much of it was from the last century just retooled with younger fresher language and jargon, but it was still the same: ask tough questions in the interview, take charge of the interview, present a work sample, send expanded thank you notes with business plans, prep your references, and be ready for the Mt Fuji impossible to answer questions.
Let's try to set the record straight starting with the impossible questions like, “How do you move Mt Fuji?” They have been derided and discarded by the originators, Google and Microsoft, as not being effective measures of a good employee. They aren’t using them anymore.
During the interview if you want to seal the deal, be the expert they expect and tell them what you know without any contrivances or grandstanding. But they already know what you know. They want to verify it and then see if you fit into their culture. Culture fit is why they test drive people as contractors.
It would be redundant and low tech during an interview to offer a work sample when your samples, opinions, and track record should be easily found on your website/blog. They expect you to have large digital footprint. They will look at it before they even talk to you. They check your references in advance too through all your recommendations on Linkedin and other testimonials online. Since those are your references, it is best to have good ones.
It behooves you to pave the way by getting to know people in the company who will vouch for you. These companies have very clubby cultures built on trust and comeraderie. If you have high level friends at them, then they will just walk you in, and you won't need to be a contractor.
And, it is easier to be hired by one of their contracting agencies who will present your credentials and pave the way for you. Companies like Google, Facebook, or Apple all tend to hire larger ratios of (like 60%) contractors and compared to (40%) smaller numbers of perm employees. Start as a contractor and then do the temp to perm hire once they get to know and fall in love with you.
The big sexy tech companies feel you should want to work for them. Then after paying your dues for a few years including being a contractor, then the rewards will flow towards you. So don't expect the red carpet when you are hired. They don’t all pay that well. Google and Apple are at the median or below on salary scales. Glassdoor.com will tell you that. Bigger salaries and more stock options for the same jobs are found in smaller companies who have to compete with the big guys for talent.
If it is important to you to have a brand name tattooed on your CV then by all means go for the big name tech companies, but sometimes it is even better to be in on the ground floor with a startup, instead. All those name brands were start-ups once upon a time ago.
I have wondered by people don't use Linkedin requests more than they do. They don't know how to do it in a way that generates a response.
A Linkedin request was the original function of Linkedin to get people who were separated by degree to connect and exchange value with each other through intermediary introductions.
However, most people have turned to the Groups function to find opportunities and people to open doors for them. And that works until you need to get to someone not in a group who is integral to an opportunity or business deal you want to consummate or explore. Then you must turn to the original way of reaching out to someone through the requests system. They are not easy to do successfully unless you are in sales and coming up with a pitch is your second nature.
You have to give the intermediary a good reason why they dhould pass on the request even if you know them well. Why? Because the recipient of the request will be seeing what you write to the intermediary. The messages have to seam together with a congruent and compelling thread that incites the recipient to accept your request. It is not easy. People are busy and they don't want to be bothered.
Read the suggestions for contacting him that the Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman writes in his profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/reidhoffman.
Advice for Contacting Reid: Unfortunately, I'm extremely busy.
First: if you have an interest in getting my attention for an investment, working at Linkedin, a business development deal (for Linkedin or another portfolio company), then I *highly* recommend that you get an introduction to me. I am almost certainly not going to engage without a reference/introduction.
Second: I am generally not available for new projects. If it’s a new project, you must have a great introduction. Otherwise, I generally recommend you indicate who you would like to be connected with at one of my organizations to proceed.
Third: sadly, because I’m busy, if your communication to me is just a generic “ask” of me, I’m very likely just to decline it. Nevertheless, I wish you the best success if your project is a good improvement in the world.
A generic "ask" is the kiss of death for any request especially if it self-interested. When making a Linkedin Request, especially job opportunity related, the more important the person is in the scheme of things the better the story you have to make to get a piece of their time. This is not about you and what the recipient of the request can do for you, but rather what you can do for them.
There are two different messages to write and both will be read by the intended recipient of the request. Here is what to write:
This is essentially an abbreviated elevator pitch and your Linkedin summary should echo the messaging delivery and style as it is a full-blown elevator pitch about you. The better you get at this kind of deliver, the more improved will be your networking and interviewing results as well. Too often we rely on the kindness of contacts who make introductions that go nowhere when we follow up and tell an uncompelling story.
Adam's Linkedin Photo
I met Adam over lunch years ago at the height of the dotcom boom. My first impression was that I was talking not just to a really smart (Cal Tech educated) guy but incredibly insightful too. He has a unique ability to extract the essence of a topic, distill it down to the essentials and easily create a system or set of rules to apply it or use it.
The same is true for his take on networking. I have advised clients for years to grow the biggest networks they can and forget about the "trust" slogan Linkedin uses. If you don't then when you need to extend your reach to access help then you end up paying Linkedin to reach out to strangers.
The other two points he made about how to use a network: often and with those worth working with are the keys to making all your contacts and time spent count. Too often people don't network until they need something. They never think that possibly giving in advance might be a good thing to do for the purpose of reciprocation. But, giving to the right connections matters. As Adam says, we must keep our network cleaned up and weeded out of less supportive connections.
The Basics of Power Networking
By Adam Rifkin
Two years ago Fortune magazine identified me as the best networker on LinkedIn; this in turn led to some wonderful stories in Adam Grant's excellent book, GIVE AND TAKE.
Since then, every day people ask me about things I’ve learned about networking on Twitter, PandaWhale, and in real life.
I feel fortunate to have learned networking from many excellent teachers, and the greatest of these teachers was actually the Internet itself. The top three lessons of Internet computer networking serve as valuable lessons for human networking, too:
1. Networks add value by getting biggerIt seems uncontroversial now, but that’s because our thinking has been so inflected by many years of access to a public, open, scalable Internet. Back in the day, many computer scientists argued that networks would maximize their value by being made out of nodes that were more tightly controlled by a single owner. Similarly, until recently, human networks were small, tightly connected, and controlled by gatekeepers such as elite colleges, social clubs, and prestigious professional organizations. The Web has been a great example of how technology — in the form of apps such as LinkedIn — can help foster more connections than can be maintained in real life.
TIP: Since networks add value by getting bigger, use every day as an opportunity to grow the quality of your connections. I am often asked how I created my network, especially given that I am naturally introverted. It turns out that building a network is not hard; with time and patience, you can do it, too. The key is to tend to your network a little bit at a time, over the course of many years.
A good rule of thumb is to connect with at least 1 and up to 3 people every day. More than 3 means you're not connecting deeply enough.
Each interaction need not take long; you can get started with just a single five minute favor each day. It's not about time; it's about authenticity. The main way to deepen a connection is through genuine interactions that share knowledge and stories and emotions. 2. Networks add value by being used more
There are many obvious downsides of heavy network usage: slowness, conflicts, lack of prioritization, lossiness, and low signal to noise ratio immediately come to mind. But the corresponding upsides include plenitude, ubiquity, rapid growth, and habituation. They don’t call them network effects for nothing! The same lessons apply to human networks: the more we reach out to our acquaintances, the more value we create not just for ourselves but for all of them, too.
TIP: It is important to connect EVERY day. Let's repeat that: EVERY SINGLE DAY. Some connections can be new (and, ideally, with a warm introduction from a mutual connection). Some connections should be re-connections with "dormant ties" that deepen a connection already made.
Relationships are progressions and re-connections are the fuel for that progress. Deepening 1-3 connections every single day makes you healthier, happier, and it's good for your career.
3. Networks add value by being fault tolerantIn many ways the Internet is the very worst designed network of all time (think about how often things fail when you're surfing The Web!) but paradoxically that is also its greatest strength. Every part of it was designed to fail early, often, and hard without impacting any other part too negatively. On the human level, I have learned that communities must also be designed to deal with messiness, loss, and failure. Unlike the architecture of the Internet, we also have the ability to learn and grow from the error conditions of life -- which ultimately makes the whole network stronger if we all share what we’ve learned.TIP: Tend to your network like a garden, a little every day, by weakening connections. Weed your garden: If someone demonstrates s/he is not worth growing a connection with, do not invest more time with that person. Instead, invest that time in someone who IS worth knowing better. Over time, your network will dynamically reflect your efforts, and be wonderful and helpful not just to you, but to your connections, too. We distill these lessons into 3 rules of thumb:
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