Recently, someone in my network of friends posted the following message:
“Many of you congratulated me on my “new” job. Thanks, but the company in which I‘ am presently employed, is neither new nor full time. I’am seeking full time employement. Please review my employement background. If you know of a company in my skills and knowledge may “fit” that company, please refer me. Much oblige!”
A cryptic message is misinterpreted as desperate. If public and desperate people will read into it something unintended. Therefore, the messages sent to further employment efforts need to be intentional and strategic, not accidental. If you are putting your best foot forward on LinkedIn, every message you leave for scrutiny counts, and everything is examined when it comes to employment opportunities.
Like many job seekers, this person arrived at the point in her job search she is expecting someone to go the extra yard to help her job search efforts. Yes, all of us need help in our job search, and there is nothing wrong with asking. The cry for help is essential, but there are other issues with the above statement that makes me want to tear up from laughter:
- The person who authored this statement misspelled “I am” twice. A closer at the statement, several grammar errors stand out. If you are like me, you are distracted by the lack of perceived professionalism than the “please help me” request.
- Most people will not see her message because it is unlikely people will go look at her profile and see where he or she “fits!” She has a current job that does not fit her current profile but even worse, the “unfitted” job is a part of her LinkedIn profile!
- She did not invite a conversation, nor desired to screen the potential referral. She was going in for the score (the referral). No invitation to talk, or extended gratitude for taking the time for consideration
- She wanted her network to scour her profile for her network to see if she was a fit! Yes, that’s the way to do it. Let someone else do all the hard work for you!
- Her laziness that I read into her status update will scream, “RUN!” to everyone else. Any recruiter or God forbid potential employer, will bypass her profile like scruffy hitchhiker.
If you’re like me, you’re trying to avoid your name from appearing on the “Who’s looking at your profile” section, to avoid the desperate inbox message from the same individual.
The point that needs emphasis is in this story by Elie Wiesel in a speech given at the White House in 1999:
“The story is that once upon a time there was an emperor, and the emperor heard that in his empire there was a man, a wise man with occult powers. He had all the powers in the world. He knew when the wind was blowing what messages it would carry from one country to another. He read the clouds and he realized that the clouds had a design. He knew the meaning of that design.
He heard the birds. He understood the language of the birds, the chirping of the birds carried messages. And then he heard there was a man who also knew how to read another person’s mind. I want to see him, said the emperor. They found him. They brought him to the emperor. Is it true that you know how to read the clouds? Yes, Majesty. Is it true you know the language of the birds? Yes, Majesty. What about the wind? Yes, I know. Okay, says the emperor. I have in my hands behind my back a bird. Tell me, is it alive or not?
And the wise man was so afraid that whatever he would say would be a tragedy, that if he were to say that the bird is alive, the emperor, in spite, would kill it. So he looked at the emperor for a long time, smiled, and said, Majesty, the answer is in your hands. (Laughter.)”
Now for my response to this person’s outcry:
“Look through your network and engage people who are in industries and companies you’re interested in. Look at your 1st level and 2nd level contacts equally as either may know someone who knows someone. It takes time to do this but it is well worth the investment of time.”
I received a half-hearted and obligatory, “thanks!”
Although general in nature, my advice is the moral of Wiesel’s story. The answer is in your hands.