If you literally died in your office, how long do you think it would take before people noticed you punched out…for good? More than two days I hope. [Read more…]
If you literally died in your office, how long do you think it would take before people noticed you punched out…for good? More than two days I hope. [Read more…]
That’s the generation we live in, with us so frantically buzzing about our “busy” lives we forget to stay connected to the people closest to us. For all the things we’re trying to do we need to remember that no success exists without a strong professional network.
Need help staying in touch with all the amazing, wickedly talented people you know? Here are twelve ways to help you not be the person who only calls when you need a favor: [Read more…]
At least a couple of times a week, I get a message from someone on LinkedIn or someone who read a post on my blog looking for advice on going into accounting. Sometimes the questions focus on education path, and sometimes they focus on the job or career you can have once you obtain the CPA designation. I’ve gotten enough questions and had enough conversations now to notice some themes I think are worth while to address in long form. [Read more…]
Last week, I logged into LinkedIn looking for someone’s email address and after going to the contacts section and pulling up the person’s name, I noticed something different about the interface. It contained some information that it didn’t have previously, but as I looked at it I thought this could be just what I need. Some months back LinkedIn introduced a mobile app called LinkedIn contacts that was intended to help users manage their networks. I didn’t spend a lot of time with it but in my limited interaction with it I couldn’t see how it worked together with the web platform. That part hasn’t changed but the web platform now has its own contacts management functionality that has potential. So let’s have a look at what changed and how you can use it stay better connected with your network.
When you got into a contact’s profile now the below picture is now what you see. I’ve marked it up with red numbers to reference back to this image later in the post. Some of the information existed before but it’s now in a format which makes a much more sense for users to get some insight from the information. In addition to the tag, a few new sections now play a prominent role on the page. I’ll go through each section in more detail to describe how you can start using them to better manage your network.
LinkedIn now has improved its ability to function as a full-service contact/customer relationship management tool (CRM). This section allows you to keep running notes on contacts where you might store date of previous conversations, key points of the discussion, and topics you might want to cover in the future. The real value is it allows you to build a relationship without having to start from scratch asking the same questions because you haven’t connected with a person for a while. For example, if you met a person that has a couple of kids and you learn their names, it leaves a lasting impact when next time you talk you can ask how they’re doing BY NAME. Another example, is if you found out you and one of your contacts grew up in the same neighborhood, it shouldn’t be a pleasant surprise every time you rediscover this fact. You might even use it as a lead-in as an excuse to reach out to this contact. “I was back in X mutual town and it reminded of the first conversation we had so I wanted to reach out to you…” The practical uses of this feature are endless.
If you’re anything like me, you always have good intentions to follow-up with people but life and work get in the way. Next think you know, 18 months have passed and you feel like it might be awkward reconnecting with people. First, don’t feel awkward. If you made a genuine connection and re-engage people without hitting them up for a job, asking them to invest in your new start-up, or pressing them to buy your new and improved t-shirt or whatever it is you’re selling, then they likely will be happen to hear from you and catch up. With how crazy your life is though, it’s good to have a little help.
LinkedIn reminders offers four options: 1) in 1 day 2) in 1 week 3) in 1 month 4) recurring, and you can set the recurring reminder to be weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. Whether you use this reminder tool or Siri or some other more traditional tool (post-it note anyone?), adding formal structure to how you interact with your LinkedIn network will improve your success at staying in touch and increase the depths of those relationships. Should there be an opportunity that comes up on their end you’ll be front of mind and should you need to ask for a favor, the odds of getting a yes will be much higher.
This one is pretty straight forward, if you met at a conference in Chicago or NYC at a training or conference, make a note of it here. For example, I’m attending the 10-year celebration of an organization I hold close to my heart (MLT) in May, where I’ll meet a lot of great people. When we connect on LinkedIn the note will be short and sweet (MLT 10-yr in NYC) and will instantly bring back how we got in touch and a little reminder of a mutual interest we share. You could also have this information in the Notes section.
I’m sure you noticed this by now but just in case you glossed over this minor detail, every time you send an invite to connect with someone on LinkedIn it asks how you know the person. You can input colleague at PwC or colleague at Pepsi, for example, and in the screen up above both would show up under the colleague tag by default. LinkedIn does give you the option to manage tags here in case you want more granularity. I could see a scenario where you may want to have tags for colleagues at each company you worked with instead of grouping them into one generic colleague group.
Knowing how long you’ve been connected in and of itself doesn’t give you much to work with it but if you combine that with the information you have in the notes, again it could be an interesting conversation starter. “Can you believe it’s been 10yrs since we met at Z conference?!” This, like tags, is there so you don’t have to go digging for the information in case you ever want it, but this won’t be something you expect to get tons of insight from without additional context from referring to the Notes or How You Met sections.
To be clear, LinkedIn hasn’t reinvented the wheel here – they’ve just added their own spin to give you a another option to go about executing on your contact management strategy. In the past, I’ve used Google Docs or Excel to track this information and included follow-up dates in the comments – no automated update function but it worked fairly well. Even if you decide to have LinkedIn be your primary method for staying in touch with you professional network, you still may need to do some sort of offline document since (believe it or not) there are still some people who aren’t LinkedIn users who you want to stay in touch with. There really shouldn’t be (talk about that here)….but there are. Act accordingly based on the people in your network.
So what do you think about the new update? Will it get you to log into LinkedIn more frequently? Do you think it’ll help you stay in touch with your professional network? Let me know in the comments!
You ever get those emails from LinkedIn saying X number of people have looked at your profile? You know, the ones where they show you 5 people but to see the rest you must have a premium membership. It kind of makes you feel special but you may also be wondering who exactly was hanging out on your profile and what exactly were they looking for.Some of you on the more OCD end of the spectrum may upgrade your LinkedIn accounts just to ease that curiosity.
With LinkedIn premium upgrades that range from $7.95/month up to $74.95/month, the cost of alleviating that feeling for some people may be too hefty. To be fair, knowing who’s viewed your profile can actually provide benefits other than reducing the number of things you have available to ponder at night.
Luckily for you, I stumbled across a way where you can obtain this information at the great price of FREE. You can read about it and install it here, but I’ll tell you it’s a Chrome extension that saves the viewed history of your LinkedIn profile. I’m still checking it out but it seems to work pretty nicely.
Now, why should you care about who looked at your profile? I’m glad you asked – three immediate benefits come to mind.
Based on the people who view your profile you can tell the kinds of searches where your profile shows up. For example, my profile may be viewed by accountants or accounting recruiters all over the country when in fact I’ve switched into the management consulting industry, so what does this tell me? It tells me my profile has been optimized for search geared towards accounting and if I want to be found by more consulting industry folks I should probably change up my profile.
Knowing who viewed your profile can provide potential new leads on jobs. If you see someone, especially a recruiter, who works at one of your target companies viewed your profile, you may want to reach out to them or go to their profile see what groups are involved and see what you have in common and see if there’s a starting point for you to initiate that connection. Even if the person who view your profile isn’t working at a company on your list, it never hurts to see where people are plugged in and what interests they have. I’ve connect with many people through LinkedIn groups simply because I enjoy their contributions to the group’s discussions.
|Networking is a full-time job|
If you are a professional at any level and you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on all sorts of opportunity. There are different levels of participating on this social network but at a minimum you have to make yourself available.
The most valuable feature of LinkedIn is the fact that it creates a platform where opportunities can come directly to you, not through a headhunter where you won’t find out the company right away and you may not gel with the recruiter. If you don’t take advantage of LinkedIn, the perfect company you never knew existed could be looking for your exact background and skillset. And you miss the chance. Why? Because you decided you didn’t have enough time to fill out your profile yet you still find plenty of time for watching Honey Boo Boo and Catfish. This is not only the least you can do but it’s the least you SHOULD do.
If you want to take your LinkedIn experience up a notch, you want to take a serious look at the groups. These are the forums where like-minded professionals congregate to ask questions, answer questions, share news, and engage in overall thoughtful discussion. Consistently contributing to these group discussion is a way to stay on top of industry trends and establish credibility with new business contacts, which may be customers, partners, employers, or recruiters. So what’s the benefit of that? Demonstrating knowledge in this forum can also lead to your next job. Imagine this:
You want to work at Dream Company but you don’t know anyone that works there that can help get you in the door. You log onto LinkedIn and search for people that work at Dream Company and find a Finance Manager. After taking a look at the Finance Manager’s profile you see this person belongs to a group called Dream Industry that you haven’t joined yet but you rectify that immediately.
After a few weeks of driving discussions engaging many people and providing valuable insights in response to questions from others, the Finance Manager engages on one of your discussion topics and you exchange a few comments back and forth, which leads to you connecting on LinkedIn, which leads to you asking a few questions about opportunities at Dream Company. Questions get answered, you apply, get hired, and live happily ever after- all thanks to being an active member of the LinkedIn community and more specifically the Dream Industry group within LinkedIn.
According to this article, 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to identify candidates for their respective companies.
Here’s another article talking about LinkedIn as the first “point of entry” for candidates and several other reasons why you need to have a presence there.
Building/maintaining relationships and staying in touch with all of these new contacts requires a significant time commitment but what better place to invest your time than in your career? Don’t let Honey Boo Boo distract you from your big break…
|Consultants love hotel points and free food|
No, this is not about Cheers. As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, relationship quality is often the key difference in all types of business decisions – vendor selection, buyer selection, employee hiring – you name it. In consulting, that increasing competition directly impacts your ability to find a project internally. You can click here to read about the “airport test” that consultants often refer to when talking about how managers decide who to staff on their projects. That’s a decent start, but it can take a while to get to know people if good airport convo is all you have in your bag of tricks. If you really want everybody to know your name, you need to brush up on your negotiation skills, and I’ll tell you what I mean by that.
The fastest way to get your name out there on a consulting project is to broker a deal…a hotel deal, and I’ll tell you why:
My friend @jondobz inspired this cartoon but I failed to mention the fact that he got us a free movie every week and access to the lounge and internet for everyone (usually reserved for those with platinum status). Jon is a veteran consultant but the beauty of this type of initiative is that anyone at any level can proactively do this. You might be surprised at what you can accomplish just by asking.
Anyone have a deal they made on a project or other networking idea that helped everyone to know your name?
|photo credit: F.Pamplona via photopin cc|
I feel awful – my left wrist is throbbing in pain and my right finger has temporarily (I hope) lost full range of motion. Not to mention the abrasions I have on my shins, elbows, and a few other random places. Based on that description and the slight limp to my walk, you’d think that I got mugged on the way home from work, but no. Not only did I volunteer for this punishment, but keep coming back for more every Monday. That’s right – I’m in an indoor soccer league. Our team isn’t very good (tonight was our fourth game in a row losing by more than ten goals). In fact, prior to joining this league, I hadn’t played soccer in ten years, and some of the other team members had never played in their lives…but …read the entire post here.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote this post on applications declining at top business schools. Today, I came across an interesting post with a slightly different perspective on the topic. What made the post worth a (full) read for me is the fact that the author immediately discloses that he dropped out of business school. So while I can say it’s not worth it for everyone in theory, this is a real life example of someone who started and came to the conclusion that it STILL wasn’t worth finishing.
He makes some great points on the return on investment being a risky proposition and more time being spent on networking and recruiting than actual coursework, but I question his premise that people can take online courses and network through LinkedIn and get the same results in their career search.
For learning purposes, of course you can learn online just as much as in the classroom, I’m not sure self study carries the same weight as saying you studied a certain topic at Kellogg, HBS, Anderson, or any other top school.
On the networking side, you can make some powerful ontacts on LinkedIn but the effort required to do so is MUCH more than when you’re networking at business school. It’s much easier to network with people on campus in your class or actively recruiting for talent than it is randomly reaching out to an executive at the firm you’re targeting for your next gig. I’m not saying the difference justifies the full cost of going to get your MBA, but there is no denying that it has some advantages over an individual job search.
What are your thoughts? Do you think self-study is the new trend in resume building/career search? Let me know in the comments.
Being on the road full-time is tough. For starters there are all of the typical things people list as challenges living the road warrior lifestyle: you’re away from your family, friends, and all of the comforts that come with being able to come home every night if for no other reason than to sleep in your own bed. One of the lesser known struggles of living the up in the air lifestyle is managing personal health.
Traveling for business means a lot of meals in restaurants. Whether they be sit-down, fast casual, or just plain fast food, the risk is still the same – WE EAT TOO MUCH AND DON’T EXERCISE ENOUGH. Consulting, in particular, is notorious for this. The business model revolves completely around networking, which translates to a fair share of drinks and a copious amounts of food. To make matters worse, after a hard night of networking, hitting the gym isn’t always top priority. Days all blend together so it’s easy to lose track of things, but I’ve found a way to help keep us honest: MyFitnessPal.
|Handy Dandy Notebook|
MyFitnessPal at its core is a food journal for keeping track of all of the things we eat, but it has a few key features that you don’t get from jotting your eating habits down in your traditional/old school (or antiquated depending on how you look at it) handy dandy notebook*.
|The Bottom line|