Today's LinkedIn Nugget

I almost threw you out of my session


Skeptics and non-believers, you are welcome to attend my session to learn something new and better yourselves. That’s part of my evangelist brand: helping others see the LinkedIn light.

Only once I had to publicly ask someone to leave the room. That was a long time ago. I was warned by the group that hired me that there were some tough cookies in the room. Right in the front row, and very early on in my presentation, I saw a face scowling and eyes rolling, defensive body language, and a lot of head shaking, and then came the out-of-context questions: “Why do I have to do this? How do you know this will work for me?”

I politely asked her to sit and listen and perhaps pick up just one tidbit that might help her, or to depart: her choice. She did not leave, ultimately, and behaved maturely thereafter.

I can put up with quite a bit when I present.

But when an attendee closes his/her mind and makes others who want to learn uncomfortable, and if that attendee does not hear the others correcting, shushing, and admonishing, I am one step from asking the intruder to please leave my session.

Then the other day it nearly happened again: someone in my session for underemployed boomers grumbled that LinkedIn was too much work for no reward. Her 10-year old LinkedIn profile was adequate. She scowled when I suggested we show our years of graduation, even if that meant her age might be estimable. Layer on that, that she voiced her doubt that recruiters were even on LinkedIn.

Grumble. Grumble. Grumble. Deny. Deny. Deny.

“Fine,” I thought, “stay under-employed:”

  • I will not waste your time or make the other attendees who want to gain and advance have to feel your negative energy. There’s enough deer-in-the-headlights-mentality in a room of under-employed boomers as it is!
  • So I politely replied: if you want my help, listen and absorb.
  • I went further to comment that LinkedIn is completely different from 10 years ago. Heck, anything 7 months old on LinkedIn (when the desktop user interface changed) is antiquated and being petrified is penalizing the owner with an archaic profile.
  • And yes, a LinkedIn profile renovation takes work–a lot–and the process I recommended might even be cathartic and help better formulate thoughts for more effective interviewing.
  • And just so we are clear, HR pros love LinkedIn, so you had better strongly consider that into your equation of working with recruiters and hiring managers to succeed.
  • Your copy-paste-resume-as a-profile? Readers will click away from your page and never come back. Recruiters will move on to smarter-looking candidates and never consider you again. Job referrers will demur. You will languish, under-employed.
  • Your attitude? Please don’t come back to the next session with that mindset. You certainly seemed to be content wallowing in the primordial mud you sunk into 10 years ago.
  • Your self-image? Now you need a job NOW, so what are going to do about it?

OR (and preferably):

  • Learn from my verbal and written materials, and renovate that antique profile and take my advice, as much as you can.
  • Use the handout and my oral commentary as your guide.
  • Come back to the next session accepting the revelation that the forefront of 21st century job seeking includes LinkedIn, a power tool in your self-branding toolbox as a job candidate.

Your choice.

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