The Perfect LinkedIn Profile

Neil Patel is an expert in Online Marketing.  His blogs and websites are wildly successful.  But not only is he successful, but Neil routinely provides a wealth of information for anyone looking to market themselves online.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Sheila Scarborough
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Sheila Scarborough

He wrote a brief blog post on How to Structure a Perfect LinkedIn Profile.  While the post is targeted towards people who are building on-line businesses, the principles of building and maintaining a strong LinkedIn profile apply to anyone in business, including job seekers.

You can read the post here.

How Managers Should Say Goodbye to Your Employees

Kevin Chou over on LinkedIn Pulse has a wonderful post about how to say goodbye to an employee who is leaving for a position at another company.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Reynermedia
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Reynermedia

Kevin writes:

“As founding CEO of Kabam, I take a certain pride in saying goodbye to my employees. But not in a Donald Trump-like “You’re Fired!” way.

When I do my job right, Kabam employees rapidly grow their skills and advance their careers. An unfortunate bi-product is Kabam employees also rise to A-list status with industry recruiters. Retaining high performers is almost as difficult as hiring them in the first place, and sometimes we lose people to other companies. When that happens, saying goodbye is bittersweet. I don’t like to lose valued employees, but I am proud to have given them the opportunity to grow in their careers and become even more marketable.”

Kevin’s words echo the sentiment of a good client and good friend of mine.  About 15 years ago, he said to me:

“Being a good manager is a lot like being a good parent.  A good parent spends time with their child preparing them for the future.  They teach them, challenge them and help that child to grow.  And at some point, the child will “leave the nest” and venture forth into the world.  While the parent will obviously has some degree of sadness when their child leaves – no good parent would ever attempt to stop the child from leaving.  Instead the parent will possess a sense of pride in the future success of that child and rightfully feel that they have helped play a role in their future success.

Good managers should act the same way.”

Sage advice indeed….



Answer a Question with a Question

Years ago, I was discussing with a fellow recruiter about the best way to handle typical interview questions.

One of his bits of advice was priceless.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Maryland GovPics
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Maryland GovPics

He said that sometimes it is best to answer a question with a question.

I asked him what he meant, and he replied:

“Sometimes on an interview you will be asked a question that catches you “off-guard”.  You are either not sure exactly what the interviewer is asking, or you are just simply not sure how best to answer the question.  By using the technique of answering a question with a question, you do two things.

The first thing you do is buy yourself some time to think.  The worst thing for you to do when faced with a situation like this is to just start rambling and saying things off the top of your head.  By answering a question with a question – you buy yourself more time to formulate a concise answer.

The second thing that you do is obtain more information about what exactly the interviewer is looking for.  And once you know what the interviewer is looking for, you can give them a better answer.”

He went on to give an example.

“For example, if the interviewer simply says to you, ‘Tell me about yourself’, instead of simply launching into your answer, you might say to the interviewer, ‘Let me ask you – do you want me to start with my college experience or are you just looking for me to discuss my professional experience?’ By questioning the interviewer, you can get a better idea of the type of information they are looking for, and that way you can formulate a more targeted response.”

I thought his suggestion was brilliant.

And his advice is not only good for interviews, but his technique can be used in all types of business situations.

So the next time you are asked a question that you can’t answer immediately, instead of responding immediately, the more prudent thing to do may be to answer that question with a question.

Executives Share The Best Advice That They Had Ever Been Given

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Will Folsom
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Will Folsom

8 Executives were asked what was the best piece of advice they had ever been given.

You can read the full article here – but I thought Ashley Mady’s response was brilliant.

“Hard work always pays off, so be the first one to arrive, the last one to leave and remember your experience directly benefits you in the end. The world can strip you of your job or close doors in your face, but your knowledge is something you get to walk away with fully intact and ready for the next adventure.”                      

Colleges should paste that quote to the bottom of every graduates’ diploma – Ashley’s advice is that good.

Mark Zuckerberg – The One Question He Asks Before Hiring A New Employee

Interesting article over on ABC News re: Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring philosophy.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Jason McELweenie
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Jason McElweenie

The Facebook CEO is quoted as saying:

“I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person…It’s a pretty good test.”

I agree with Mark’s assessment.

One thing I was told early in my career as a Recruiter was that a good way to judge how a Hiring Manager’s competence was was to see who they hired.  Competent managers tended to hire strong candidates. Incompetent managers tended to hire weak candidates.  The reason for this – competent managers want to bring strong, accomplished employees in their departments because they feel that strong employees make for a strong organizations.  Incompetent managers see strong employees as a threat.

So while you may not agree with everything Mark Zuckerberg says, or you may not agree with every change in policy on Facebook, you have to admit that Facebook is a well run company.  And Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring philosophy is a good reason why.

How to Clean Up Your Social Media During the Job Search

Very interesting post by Lily Herman over at The Muse entitled: How to Clean Up Your Social Media During the Job Search.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © go_greener_oz
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © go_greener_oz

Lily writes:

Think the whole “future employers checking your social media accounts” thing is just an annoying urban legend? Think again.

It turns out that one in three employers have rejected candidates based on something they found out about them online.

Lily’s post is spot on – and the infographic in the post contains a number of great suggestions regarding how to “spring clean” your Social Media presence.

Bottom line – it really is a good idea to follow the suggestions in the post in order to ensure that a “social media” snafu does not cost you your “ideal” job.



Margaret Wheatley Quote

One of my favorite quotes is from Margaret Wheatley.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Torrey Wiley
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Torrey Wiley
Margaret wrote:
Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.
Whenever we are faced with problems – whether those problems are business-related or personal – we would all be wise to remember her words.

Resilience – The Key to Success

There’s a great post on the Harvard Business Review by Rosabeth Moss Kanter entitled: Surprises Are the New Normal; Resilience Is the New Skill.

Rosabeth writes:

The difference between winners and losers is how they handle losing.

That’s a key finding from my ongoing research on great companies and effective leaders: no one can completely avoid troubles and potential pitfalls are everywhere, so the real skill is the resilience to climb out of the hole and bounce back.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by FMWRC - U.S. Army - Official Image Archive - Athens Greece - XXVIII Olympiad
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by FMWRC – U.S. Army – Official Image Archive – Athens Greece – XXVIII Olympiad

One of the things I have noticed over the years in working with successful executives is that NONE OF THEM had a steady rise to the top.  They all experienced “bumps in the road” as they progressed in their career.  Some of these mistakes were self-inflicted.  Others were the result of factors totally beyond the executive’s control. But what these executives had in common was that while they all experienced adversity – they all possessed the ability to bounce back.  While less successful people would have folded under the first whiff of adversity – these executives just rolled up their sleeves and got back to work.

Bottom line: Successful people just don’t quit.

And Kanter concludes:

Potential troubles lurk around every corner, whether they stem from unexpected environmental jolts or individual flaws and mistakes. Whatever the source, what matters is how we deal with them. When surprises are the new normal, resilience is the new skill.

Adversity is to be expected – And change is the new norm.

Which is why in today’s world – the skill we all need most is Resilience.

Pay More For Top Talent – A Winning Bet

Josh Linkner is a very successful entrepreneur, VC, and bestselling author.

He wrote a fantastic  article about the importance of companies paying top dollar to ensure they acquire top talent.

And here’s the thing to remember – Josh is not some academic theorizing about the value of top talent.  This is a man with a proven track record of building successful companies. He speaks from experience.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by ©
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by ©

Josh writes:

As the companies in our portfolio continue to grow, the biggest conundrum for our leaders is hiring top talent. Many find high salaries hard to swallow, especially on a startup budget and when they’re not making as much money as the potential recruits they’re considering. Tough cookies. Paying more for A+ talent at your company is worth the investment many times over, 99.9% of the time.

He continues by writing:

While it’s easy to tally up your “savings” by settling for a B or C-level person, the upside that an A+ team member can bring will far exceed the near term cost difference. When you get down to it, the “risk” of paying up for the best and brightest is simply not a risk at all. Rather, it’s the way you’ll accelerate growth and ultimately win big.

Bottom line – when a person with a successful record of building companies preaches about the importance of paying top dollar to secure the best talent – we would all do well to listen….

None Of Us Is As Smart As All Of Us

I just came across a great and motivating quote by Seth Godin today:
“None of us is as smart as all of us.”
I think his quote is spot-on.
While it is hard not be somewhat overwhelmed by the problems we all face on a daily basis…the reality is that as severe as our problems currently are…whether those problems are personal or professional…..if we all work together, collectively we can…and we will….find solutions.
That is why networking and working together with our colleagues is so important.
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Toffhoff
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Toffhoff
Remember this – No one single person is smart enough to solve all of our problems.
But all of us together are smart enough to solve them….