It’s a warm feeling when a respected colleague asks you via a LinkedIn message for a referral to an expert for a large strategic project they are launching. They are looking for, and expecting me to provide them, a pro. So, I wonder to myself to answer their query, whom do I know who {does this} with organizations {such as theirs} whom I know will do a great job {with the senior staff with this personality}?

It’s a challenge, as I know a lot of good people in that space. Which one or two do I want to refer, with forethought and provide the background why I recommend them? That’s the problem–I know a few great final candidates.

To be sure I picked among the right few and didn’t forget anyone or ignore any possiblities, I searched my connections on LinkedIn using keywords from my colleague’s initial inquiry. Then I also searched from among my various groups on LinkedIn. Then I assembled the list of names and started reviewing their LinkedIn profiles.

I wanted to refer the right 1 or 2 people whose LinkedIn profiles contain the right narrative so the inquirer will continue to use LinkedIn to evaluate whom to call. LinkedIn after all, provides an easy reference to their website for additional information not covered on the LinkedIn profile, other social media inputs, such that the combined persona and past experience. Then I believe this information on these two contenders will complement the organization and engage the personalities who are to benefit from this introduction. It all has to add up on a few levels.

The others? Yes, worthy but not the right match. Fortunately for me they will not know they missed the short list.

Silently, this happens to you and to me. People review our LinkedIn profiles for whatever the reason, perhaps looking to engage us for our services and we either make the grade or we don’t. Or to be referred by mutual colleagues as in this case.

So dear reader, the right key words must show the quality of the LinkedIn profile you project, and your value proposition must be carefully crafted. No room for generalities and less-than-sterling quality. Certainly not your tired old resume.

Or else you’ll never know you were even considered. Or not.

Referrals were made, with choice comments from me, contact details including LinkedIn profile URL, and the evaluation is in process.

As I always say in my referrals to both parties, let me hear great things come from this.

To mangle the song, my friends more than get by with a little help from me, and for my professional friends.