So we’ve been on Twitter a while and we have gotten a few followers. Regardless of how self-serving it may seem, if you are anything like me at all, you love to see your name in lights. I get excited when I get an email from Twitter announcing that a tweet of mine has been favorited or ReTweeted or that I got a mention.
If we have learned anything in social media work it is this: those mentions and ReTweets are a gold mine. We cannot afford to let them just sit out there. Apart from the opportunity it presents us to engage people and keep our brand in front of them (whatever that “brand” may be: a product, message or cause), it is also poor social media etiquette to not respond - some way - in kind.
But here’s the rub: “Thanks for the RT @HeyOverbey” is boring, mundane and downright intolerable. How do we avoid the monotonous? The more followers we have, the more our timeline becomes valuable real estate. And when we sign off at night, the last thing we want to do is leave our last 3 tweets - the ones that display on our snapshot profile - hanging out there as mentions to someone that people do not know or care about it. Leaving people with that is like telling an inside joke at a party and excluding the crowd. They half smile, sure, but inside they hate those with the goofy joke. Who does that? “Oh, sorry, it’s an inside joke. You had to be there.” No, not at the party!
So we need to get imaginative. In the frenetic day-to-day of the social media world, it is easy to get lazy and I have been guilty of it, to be sure. But I will confess that when I go to someone else’s timeline and they do it, I shake my head… however hypocritical it may be.
Here are a few ways we can freshen up the way in which we respond to those who took time out to engage us. They are strategic and purposeful. If executed properly, they satisfy professional etiquette and they position us and our timeline in an artful and pointed manner.
1 - Always link the responding Tweet by using the reply function on Twitter. It seems like a no-brainer but we all have seen the stand-alone thank you Tweet and wondered if there was some secret meeting on Twitter we were left out of. Using the reply function lets everyone in on the otherwise “inside joke”.
2 - Klout is a source of contention and chagrin for some - even mockery for others. But with corporate American jumping in on Klout and establishing them as a real player in the game, we can hardly dismiss it out of hand. Chances are, most of the people we interact with on Twitter are on Klout. We get 10 +K per day to give away. We can use some of those to thank someone for a RT or mention. When we give the +K, Klout produces the Tweet option box and we have the chance to edit the phrasing. I have said things like, “I love seeing my name in lights! @susanavello mentioned me on Twitter so I gave her +K in blogging…” We can play around with the language but I am here to report that I have gotten a lot of response from this way of thanking someone for their ReTweets.
3- Don’t directly thank them. Instead, using the reply function to link our Tweet to their efforts, we can post a link to their blog or site. “Have you folks checked out @new_resource’s blog! He is killing it this week in #HR writing. Read him at…” No boring “thank you” here. But by linking the Tweet he will get the “thank you” idea and our followers will have a Tweet to read with value in it to them!
4- #FF sucks! I know it’s not dead… yet. But it aggravates the love right out of me to see a block of #FF tweets in my feed. Ick. I am inpatient and somewhat controlling though. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! But not exactly. I still participate in Follow Friday but with a twist. I like to add value and a reason for my followers to pay attention by putting a blurb in about the person. Posting “Stuck on your job search? Following @Resume_Strategy and @CornOnTheJob will pull you outta the mud! #FF” is so much better than saying “thanks for the mention”. And it tells my followers WHY I think they should #FF someone. Any other way, I think, is a close cousin to spamming.
5- Alternative language to saying “thank you”. If all else is failing us and we just have the itch to say thanks, we can try saying it in a different way! That whole variety is the spice of life deal. It at least provokes a reader’s mind in a different medium than the monotonous. Continuing to use the reply function, we can play around with these words and phrases:
+ Phenomenal + Sensational + You are amazing
+ You make me look so good + No one holds a candle to you
+ Your social media presence speaks volumes. Gracias for the support!
+ Much obliged for the RT! I enjoyed your blog post yesterday on_______
+ You’re one of the reasons I love coming to Twitter, thanks!
+ You’re the bees knees + Cheers + Let me know how I can help
+ Brilliant content today in your timeline, thank you.
+ Fantastic + Incredible + Amazing
6 - Post a link to someone’s tweetreach. Like Paula Dean does, we can start everything with butter. If we want to lay it on especially thick we can, still using the reply feature, post a link to someone’s tweetreach. “You are rockin’ it this week @animal. Your tweetreach is: 124,512 people & impressions http://www…” I bet you 10 ReTweets this gets attention and is a lot higher quality than TY.
7 - Post a link to our reader’s comments on our blog. If someone has mentioned our blog and also commented there we can post in the reply Tweet: “Appreciate your comments on my blog post about facebook. Insightful. http://www…”
8 - Dig up their old chart toppers. We can really go the extra mile by taking some time to go through their old tweets, blog posts or videos and post the link to them when we reply in thanks: “You’re amazing, thanks! Your YouTube video from last August on setting up Linkedin Groups is a must-see for newbies. http://www…”
I think we get the idea.
As with any effort on social media, we have to mention that our response must be genuine. Any feigned emotion will easily be spotted and turned away from on Twitter. When we are honest in our praise and professional sucking up, it will play out in our Tweet. It will have that ring. As we toy around with the verbiage, our own voice will come out.
People’s time is precious. We don’t want to waste it with the stale and dusty. I am convinced that as social media use becomes more ubiquitous, we not only can build a better thank you on Twitter… we have to.
thank me give me +K for it later.
PJ Neumann (@Neumania513), a Finance major at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, conducted this interview with me for his Business Technologies course by way of facebook chat.
PJ Neumann: Thank you for taking time out of your day to do this for me and my education. For whom do you work and what is your job title?
Jason Lee Overbey: I am an independent contractor. I consult for a recruiting firm name sourcing talent for open positions. I also consult with businesses on their SM projects and sometimes their credit and collections projects.
Pj Neumann: I see. How long have you been employed in this discipline?
Jason Lee Overbey: About 1.5 years for sourcing. I just jumped on social media work - there is a real need for small businesses who have not yet jumped in or need help with it. I have 14 years now in credit, collections and accounts receivable work.
Pj Neumann: Is the utilization of Social Media an effective way, for an individual seeking employment, to network?
Jason Lee Overbey: Not just effective; today it is necessary. Most all quality, experienced recruiters now have a heavy presence on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and now Google+. Not to mention the ancillary platforms.
Pj Neumann: Ah. Took the next question right out of my mouth (fingers?). Of the SM tools listed, which would you say is the most effective?
Jason Lee Overbey: Depends on what you are measuring, your aim. I have to list Linkedin and Twitter. Linkedin is the obvious answer but recruiters and career “gurus” chat all day long on Twitter.
Pj Neumann: I heard that linkedin is great for individuals with experience in the field they are currently employed in, but what about college grads with basic work experience and skills?
Jason Lee Overbey: Every college student should ALREADY be on Linkedin. There, they can post the word “seeking” in their title along with their target job. They can then be found by recruiters, companies and similar people in the field to build a network BEFORE they need to use it. Get started now.
Pj Neumann: That is news to me. Do you have any thoughts on that?
Jason Lee Overbey: (1) It allows the student to build a network before they need to use it. (2) Linkedin allows you to join up to 50 Groups. There, you can connect with “thought leaders” in the industry, other students, and recruiters. (3) This gets your name established as someone studying in the field of your interest. You’ll get a… presence in that niche. (4) When the student graduates they will have a great network already established; and (5) they will have real time access to professionals in the field with whom they can interact and ask questions about trends in their industry. Ultimately, they will have contacts they can draw on for work.
Pj Neumann: My question was more toward why all of this is news to me. I am nearing my 4th year in college and I was unaware of the benefits of Social Media!
Jason Lee Overbey: AH! Yes… colleges are behind the times for some reason and recruiters and career guides bemoan this fact on Twitter daily. I am not sure why but i do know that colleges are dropping the ball here. Perhaps it is the traditional mindset. But I hear this a lot. Almost every college student that has approached me in the last 6 months has bad information or none at all about Social Media.
Pj Neumann: The types of questions that enter my mind about SM include: 1. how do I portray or brand myself using SM tools; 2. do I create a “fun” account and a “professional” account for each tool; 3. how much do I let individual’s see; 4. is my personal info to reflect my resume and skill set; etc. All of these questions have dominated my thoughts for the past 6 months and I seek clarification.
Jason Lee Overbey: 1- Social media is just an extension of a “brand” (and people are growing tired of that word but what should we use until a better language develops?) that should be established in traditional methods as well. Have a clear, written mission of what you want to accomplish to guide you. The second part of that is consistency - have your message and facts about you be the same across all SM platforms. The third part is be accessible - on all of those platforms. Let the reader know how to reach you further and make that easy.
The MOST IMPORTANT part is to ENGAGE. Do not just be a broadcaster or a “preacher” on SM. Respond to people, comment, repost other people’s work, ENGAGE!
2 - When you write out your mission from part one you will have the answer to this question. Clearly, if you have a professional aim in your branding then you are not going to use your SM platforms to post the more lewd side of your life. So, yes, many people have multiple accounts. Having said that, you have to be human in your professional posts and humor goes a very long way in attracting and keeping people engaged with you.
3- This question comes up every week. The advice I always hear is don’t post anything that you would be uncomfortable having posted on a billboard in your home neighborhood. More and more though (thinking about Google+ and the new facebook timeline rolling out) people are going to be able to choose who exactly see what posts.
4- Personal bios should reflect the written mission you came up with in answer 1. If that mission is to feed hungry children then the bio should reflect that, if it is to find a job in the medical profession it should reflect related schooling, accomplishments, desired company maybe. And you can always add a quick funny one-liner or quote. Anything that appears forced, plastic or computer generated is going to be passed over. It needs to be perky, alive and reflecting a real person behind the bio/avatar.
Pj Neumann: All of this is very useful information but how do students on limited budgets receive consulting on these topics if they are not getting it on campus?
Jason Lee Overbey: Twitter is saturated with SM enthusiasts and career guides who love to help college students. Right now it seems that the colleges are not bringing in SM leaders so the students have to go to them…. I always point people to tweetchat.com. There they can put in hashtags surrounding keywords of their interests. For example: #recruiter. Then, start following a bunch of them. But more than that, reply to a few of their tweets, read the links to their blogs and comment there and then ask to connect on Linkedin. They almost always do. You can then reach out and ask questions. Most recruiters have lists they keep on twitter. For instance, here is a list of 497 companies that recruit candidates on Twitter alone: http://twitter.com/#!/JobHuntOrg/employers-recruiting. (via @JobHuntOrg) You will hear different things about their effectiveness but that is another conversation left to the recruiters to fight out.
Jason Lee Overbey: That is a lot of twitter accounts to start connecting with. The person tweeting from those 500 accounts is mostly the corporate recruiter. BAM you are in! They LOVE to talk.
Pj Neumann: Thank you! If a student was to approach you and ask what it would cost for them to have all 4 SM accounts setup and basic coaching associated with each, how much would you charge them?
Jason Lee Overbey: PRICING wow…okay! Well right now I see “experts” (and there is no such thing because SM changes each week) but they are charging $50-$300 per hour. I charge BUSINESSES $27-$35 an hour and up. STUDENTS: I usually help for free if I know them but $75 bucks for 2-3 hours and then 90 days of access to me by phone/web. This shows them the main 6 SM sites, analytic sites and 3rd party apps. Who to connect with. And, a lot of questions come up in the first few weeks - a lot. I will retweet them on my account and stay available to them.
Pj Neumann: That is very reasonable. The 90 day phone access is worth the money alone!
Jason Lee Overbey: It is! A lot of issues come up and it takes 3 months to build a foundation. Only celebrities get overnight success. And that is suspect. The main way to look at this is as a guide. I have been down the path and know where the snares and toils are and can point people away from them and toward a smoother trek. That’s really all a SM consultant can do: guide.
Pj Neumann: What types of “success rates” do you see? Employment within 90 days of graduation of students using SM versus students not using SM?
Jason Lee Overbey: There is a chat every Friday on twitter called HireFriday - #HFChat - that boasts thousands of participants. We hear a lot of success stories there and in other places the #HFChat conversation takes place (start with http://www.hirefriday.com). Some numbers I hear thrown around right now are 6-9+ months to get a job today…. 4-7 if you are on SM. But I am just throwing out what I have heard. Who knows. The question is does SM help? It most assuredly does because it is networking. The key factor is the quality of one’s network. Anyone can be on SM but are they ENGAGING and networking? All of this must be followed up by getting on the phone.
Pj Neumann: Absolutely. Of course, the discipline is a factor as well. I would imagine that business people are seeing higher successes than teachers.
Jason Lee Overbey: Oh, of course. I do know some professors actively using SM and they have been asked for more speaking engagements. If you look at the marketplace today…. if you don’t have the little “in”, the “t” or the “fb”, etc. after your product or brand it will viscerally delegitimize you in the “consumer’s” eye. Whether or not they click for more is unclear. But a product has to have the SM platform available. That is the same with your product, as a student, too.
Jason Lee Overbey: Even if they don’t follow or “like” you - they need to know you are there. This goes for blogging too, it needs to be showcased on your blog site.
Pj Neumann: SM is just a part of life, today. It really seems so time consuming. How many hours a day do you suggest individuals use SM?
Jason Lee Overbey: Who can say, really! I would guess students need an hour a day - and that can be split up 20 min in the am, afternoon and at night. That way you hit all the primetimes. Also, there are a lot more schedulers out there so you can post tweets, status updates, blog posts, links for whatever time you want then go to bed. But, you have to still jump on to engage. That is where the goods are - in hooking someone into conversation with you - whatever that looks like.
Jason Lee Overbey: It really depends on your mission again. Recruiters need more time on SM than a doctor would but BOTH need to be on there. A first year college student is going to have different goals/needs than the graduating one. And as social media evolves so will the requirements. But it all leads us back to the phone!
Pj Neumann: Well, I appreciate you taking time out of your busy day for this interview. I have become aware that my life is lacking effective SM skills. I think employing your services would behoove me.
Jason Lee Overbey: I would be glad to work with you. We will really cover a lot more. And I love the word, “behoove”.
Pj Neumann: How does your schedule look for…
What are your friends in university saying about how much they are being taught and hearing about social media?
Find me on Twitter: @HeyOverbey
I have a veritable carnival event of different types of friends and personalities in my life. I decided long ago to not cheat myself out of challenging and inspiring relationships because I judged folks by their exterior and to, instead, acquaint myself with people from all manner of living. Admittedly, I still judge people based on what I see in the first seven seconds… let’s be real. But I stick with it. I hang in there and attempt to go deeper than what is floating on the surface.
By practicing this, I have ended up with a lot of… tough guy characters in my circles. Even a few tough gals. You know the sort of thing: “I eat nails for breakfast and enemies for lunch. I don’t eat dinner cause I’m out taking over the world. I have NO fear!”
But I’m a pretty amiable guy. They all know I used to be in the ministry. They vaguely know that I am in the recruiting and social media world for a career. So quite a lot of them turn to me for counsel from time-to-time. They trust me.
They come to me with varying degrees of what, very simply, is fear-based paralysis. From being stuck in a relationship they want out of desperately, to being blocked from taking their next career move, my analysis for them is that they need to deal with the fear.
Here is what I am met with more times than not: “Come on, Man! I ain’t afraid!” Their chest puffs up. They square their shoulders. They look like they are about to spit or cuss. Clearly they want to break my nose.
“You didn’t hear me.” I chide gently. “I am not saying you are a sissy. I did not say you couldn’t win in a bar fight. I did not say you let people push you around. We are not talking about boogey men or ghosts. I did not say you were afraid. I said you have to deal with fear. It’s not the same. “ What they are hearing and what I am saying gets confused by pride and ego.
One of the best definitions I have encountered for fear was from our friends in the recovery support communities. It goes like this:
“…fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded. Living upon a basis of [these] unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual disturbance or frustration.” - Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
When we can look at it in this way we take away the stigma of fear that assaults our pride and we can measurably deal with what the root problem is and take real action.
Whether we are refusing to end a relationship, go on an interview, meet with a high profile client, start a workout regimen, start writing a book, or research the career path we feel called to switch to, if we look at the fear in this way we can walk through it.
Later in that passage it goes on to say that this type of fear is the main activator of our defects of character. When not attended to it draws out our procrastination, excuse-making, attempts to ignore, anger, sarcasm, anxiety, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, isolation, even jealousy. Anyone can add to the list.
It is worth mentioning that wildly successful people in many areas of life can still be crippled by this form of fear in just one nagging corner of their psyche. Because of their overwhelming confidence and results in every other facet of life, this one little area dogs them at every turn and they attempt to gloss over it. They cannot or will not admit that in just this one area of existence they are stuck. At best, they ignore it. At worse it bleeds over into work and home and trouble starts to brew. Many times they can’t even link the two together.
So what can we do?
I’m a lover of charts and lists and I think a very logical, excel-spreadsheet-type of approach, can best tackle this often illogical, yet stubborn form of thinking.
So we get out a pad and pencil. We draw a chart with three columns and we head them like this:
In the first column we list the issue that is troubling us. No one is watching so we forge ahead. In the middle section we use the above definition and we write out as thoroughly as we can what we are fearful of losing that we already have or what we are fearful we won’t get. We also list some of the ways that we have been reacting by not dealing with this constructively. Those undesirable personality traits we mentioned. In the last column we face the real truth about the matter. We list what would happen if we did, in fact, lose the thing we already have or don’t get the thing we want. We face it. We list what real actions we can take. And we leave some extra space for a little later.
Let’s try it with an interview for an exciting job opening:
We already begin to see clearer. No hocus pocus. No spooky couch therapy or feel-good mantras. No sloppy pep talks. We are approaching it seriously and business-like. We have logically dealt with illogical thinking.
I mentioned leaving space in the last column. If we have done the first three parts we have made a serious approach at tackling this pesky fear. Chances are though, that our thinking can still be clouded. Our last task is to find someone in whom we have true confidence and ask if we can get their opinion on the matter. We tell them, almost nonchalantly, that we have a little problem and would like their insight. We read the part we have done on our own and we ask for their take on the matter. Invariably, they will offer up some additional insight that we did not think of ourselves and we can jot it down in our last part of the table.
This is just one way that I have used and shared with many other people to deal with all manner of issues that are troubling them. It is by no means new or revolutionary. It is purposeful. And because of the table format, it is a linear answer to a cyclical way of thinking. It works! Now, it may not be for you. That’s okay. Maybe looking at the alternative definition for fear we started out with is enough to change how you look at the problem. Either way, by honestly admitting to ourselves that this kind of fear has nothing to do with how manly… or womanly we really are, then we can remove any lingering prejudice from stereotypes and get down to the business of moving on.
Whatever the challenge, if we are not facing it I think we can finally agree it is not because we are weak or afraid or not strong. I think we can also agree it is because we have a form of fear we have not honestly dealt with. When we do, we have taken away all of our last feeble excuses.
Let me know what you think! I’m not afraid… I can handle it.
I am honored and excited to be named the newest member of the HireFriday and #HFChat leadership team. HireFriday is a community a million strong (the goal for 2011) where job seekers meet with recruiters and career experts to talk about the job hunt. Every Friday at NOON EST the HireFriday Chat (#HFChat) convenes on Twitter to discuss hot topics and ideas on the job search. This community is amazing and its reach is powerful.
My debut blog post was published on the site earlier this week. I ask and encourage you to check out the site here. Thank you! I am posting the article here today. I appreciate everyone’s support… and thank you again!
Telephone Names Sourcing – The Candidate’s Way
If you are new to phone sourcing, it’s a technology whereby those in the recruiting industry use the telephone as their primary method of sourcing – or developing – a list of names and phone numbers of people inside of a company who perform a specific job function, holding a specific title. These candidates are referred to as passive because they already hold jobs and are not necessarily looking for new opportunities. The researched list is then presented to the client, recruiter or hiring manager as a source of talent they can approach with their open positions.
I consult for and study under Maureen Sharib (@MaureenSharib), the Master in telephone names sourcing. She says:
“Phone sourcing is the fastest and most effective way to get ALL the names inside any company holding specific titles. Hands down it’s the best!”
She also says:
“The ONLY WAY to find ALL POSSIBLE POTENTIAL CANDIDATES that might be appropriate for your open position is to call into the places where they work. In order to do this you must be socially skilled. You must know how to talk with people. Surprisingly, this is a skill that is diminishing today amidst all the focus on “social media”. Much of sourcing today embraces the social media agenda of “web-based and mobile technologies”. Think Internet sourcing and texting. God forbid anyone would really talk to one another. If you know how to talk with someone you can telephone names source. I said before it’s not easy but it is simple. Here’s how I do it:
“This is Maureen Sharib. Can you tell me who the Manager is for your External Reporting group?”
Sometimes she knows and she tells me. Why does she tell me? It’s a very good question and one I have done a lot of thinking about. I think she tells me because of one simple thing. Can anyone tell me what that one simple thing is? She tells me because I removed the mystery.”
Phone sourcing has also been adapted for the sales community – or any niche that needs to get inside of a company structure to determine who is doing what. Here we will list some ideas you can use as a candidate in the job search to use the telephone to ferret out information from companies that you need to get in front of the right people. You can use this technique that recruiters are using to find you and use it to find quality intel.
I will not argue social media / internet vs. the telephone. We will leave that to the Twitter community. I will say that the best way to get results is to combine and use all the tools that have been laid at our feet. Now let’s get on the phone!
1- Research. Any good project starts with some prepping. Do your homework. Work in simple Word documents. At the top of your sheet you can list your name and the job title you are pursuing. After that, list a job description that fits the industry title you want.
Jason Lee Overbey – Director of Company Humor
“This position ensures the entire company balances business with levity. The D of CH develops hilarious content to disseminate by way of email, post in break rooms, and provide spontaneously on walk-throughs in each department. He or she also plans guest speakers for corporate events, provides nonprofessional counseling to dry coworkers, and works directly with the CEO to keep his speeches and content in compliance with corporate humor policies. The DCH also stays abreast of the competition’s humor policies and adapts internal policy accordingly. Monthly reports in a clown suit will be due and presented at board meetings.”
You are already setting a tone for your project.
2 - Next, list the requirements that are deal breakers for the position.
+ Must have a Master’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Campy Humor
+ Must be certified in funny faces and imitations
+ Must be certified in Workplace Equality
+ Must possess 10 years of related laughter and knee-slapping scenarios
+ Must be able to travel and work weekend functions
+ Must be certified in First-Aid & CPR
3 - You already have a document setup that is now guiding your sourcing effort. You’ll be surprised at your newly acquired efficiency and focus. Next list the: Name, Address, Phone Number, and Email of the target companies you want to get in to and maybe 2 or 3 other companies you’ll place at the bottom of your list. List them in blocks. Leave a few spaces between each company for your notes. You are ready to start sourcing.
321 Zero Street
Everywhere, USA 11221
4 - Now you have to get on the phone. Sometimes it feels like the phone can weigh can 1,000 pounds. Take heart! Ease yourself into the project by reminding yourself that you are not calling about the job itself – yet! This is very critical. In recruiting we separate the sourcing of candidates from the actual recruiting of candidates. This gives each task a laser-like focus and prepares us for each succeeding project. It makes it manageable. It gives it a grit.
Remember that in most companies, and in all larger ones, you are dialing in to an operator or a secretary and not into the department you want to work in. This should ease some initial anxiety.
Remove the mystery from the call and avoid causing any suspicion that they gatekeeper or operator may have by identifying yourself. Like this:
Operator: “Thank you for calling Acme Tools – home of the best deal guaranteed. This is Wanda how can I direct your call?”
JobSeeker: “Hello, Wanda. This is Jason Overbey. Before you connect me, can you please give me the name and direct dial of the Vice President of Corporate Humor please?”
Do not be concerned with the exact title. They may go by a different moniker but if you have experience in the field you will know the variations. Help the operator out a little if she seems stuck, “Oh, they might go by Senior Communications Officer?”
Do not concern yourself with who does the hiring or how they do the hiring. Right now you are just focused on the information gathering and sourcing piece of your project. You are not doing anything with the intelligence yet. Just compiling data.
5 - The dreaded questions! What if I get objections or probing from the operator? Remember that Maureen Sharib starts her teaching by advising us to remove the mystery (see her latest here: http://www.slideshare.net/Maureen_Sharib/the-mystery-the-magic ). You CAN answer those without fear.
Gatekeeper: “May I ask what this is about?”
JobSeeker: “Sure, Wanda. I need to get in contact with them next week about some information I want to share.” This is not a lie. We do not have to be clever or sneaky.
Gatekeeper: “Okay? Well, who do you work for?”
JobSeeker: “I’m sorry. No, I’m not calling from a company. I’m at home.”
If you are prepared, you will pick up a feel for Wanda’s tone and you can mimic her and respond in kind. If she persists you can always politely thank her for her help and say you will try another way and end the call. You can then try during a different shift to get a different operator. But if you hang in there and stay on the call you will get results. If she persists:
Wanda: “Well, I’m sorry. Without exact details I cannot give out their information.”
JobSeeker: “Okay.I understand. I really need to get the information to them personally.” Then pause. It can be hard – but pause! Just hang in there. If no response try, “… what is their email and maybe I can present it to them that way.”
6 - If you get stuck on one company, skip it and go back after you have sourced all of your targets. Taking a break helps. Be sure to note any slips the answerer may give you in the way of useful information and note it on your sheet.
7 - Directly transferred. If Wanda didn’t listen very well and directly sends you to the department, try the same approach with the receptionist there.
8 - Remember to approach each call calmly and with your document in front of you, guiding you. This will remove any frenetic tones you may have lingering in your voice. People who work on the phone all day sense nervousness right away. With the document in front of you, you have that inner sense that you are doing a job – and you are.
9 - If you still can’t pick up the phone, try your sourcing with a list of dummy companies. Call three or four companies in another state that you have no interest in whatsoever and see what results you get there. It will be a great start.
Phone sourcing is a powerful tool. It gets you “now” information. What you find on the internet can be old and stale – and rarely updated. On the phone, you get information that is hot and reliable. You get those slips we talked about, like, ”the VP just got promoted and that spot is empty. I could give you…“ or, “…right now we are restructuring that department… marketing is filling in. You should talk with…”
I have presented you with a brilliant start to going after your target companies methodically and purposefully. Next time we will talk about using your list of titles and tidbits to call in for information about the job!
Let me know what objections and hesitations you are facing!
We talk about Linkedin every day. I read a post about Linkedin every day. I can’t beat ‘em… so I thought I would join the choir. My voice might be a lil rusty so forgive me if you’ve heard these before.
Some cool Linkedin tips and insights:
1- Blog Link App. Promote your blog on your Linkedin account. It supports all platforms. It also automatically pulls blog updates from your connections on Linkedin so you get all the news and posts from people you chose to connect with professionally. Click here for the app.
2- Leave Some Groups. We all know you can join up to 50 groups on Linkedin. I tell everyone new to Linkedin: “Join up!” I was only active in a few of my 50. I relied on the emails that Linkedin sent me for the latest about what was going on in each community. Until recently… when Linkedin informed me they were changing certain group’s email alerts because it didn’t look like I was active in them. So I thought, why don’t I toss it up? I left those groups (for just a couple weeks). I joined several groups that have no correlation with my current career path whatsoever so I could eavesdrop on their powwows and see how they did things. I tried a molecular biology, law enforcement, and poetry writing group. My findings were staggering. They do not post like the recruiters and #HR clans do. I learned a lot. Toss up your memberships and rejoin your old haunts after you have learned a few new tricks.
3- Speaking of Groups… No matter what your ilk is on the site, you can benefit from specific, sometimes lengthy, boolean operator searches. And of course, you can use boolean for searching outside of Linkedin. Before your eyes glaze over, there is a Boolean Strings Group on the platform with loads of useful search tips, starter articles/links and they will even write a search string for you on a particularly troubling query if you suck up properly. Most helpful! They once helped me write a search string for all the hospitals in Chicago hiring OR managers.
4- Customize the Link to Your Public Profile. If you haven’t done this, you have a bulky link to your page on Linkedin. It can be very cumbersome when you are on Twitter or in a quick meeting and you want to share with someone about how to find you there. Go to the profile tab on the top bar. Click “Edit Profile” from the drop-down box. Scroll down to the box on your profile containing your public url link. Click the “edit” after your link. On the right upper hand section of the newly opened page you can choose a tailored link. Use your name. This will affect how you appear in search engine results - part of managing that social media image you are working so diligently on. No more cutting and pasting of an over-sized link. You’ll remember it now.
5- Recommendations. I do not take these lightly. It isn’t like a, “You were so cool this semester. Have a good summer. See ya next year!” yearbook entry. Having said that, you might be wondering how to get more recommendations to beef up that section of your profile. I think it’s easy. Recommend someone else.
What if you haven’t worked directly with them? Last month, I took 5 people that I have been following on Twitter, interacting with through blogs and listening to on blogtalkradio or YouTube. I wrote careful, glowing reviews about each one. I was sure to use a tone that made it clear I was recommending their content and not a co-working relationship. The results were successful and I plan to do it each month this year. You don’t have to sit next to someone in an office to vouch for them. You can recommend someone right now!
6- Weekly Linkedin Updates Email. If you are not sitting with a direct business need it’s sometimes challenging to engage connections on Linkedin outside of such a need or group dialogues. Each week I get an email from Linkedin with updates from what is happening with my connections on the platform. What I have been doing is going through each one and congratulate folks on new positions or comment on other changes. I get a response every time and my contacts stay in touch with me.
7- Fill Out Your Skills & Expertise Section. I am still not hearing this taught. Increase your chances of being found on Linkedin. If you want recruiters to find you, possible business partners, or companies with propositions - they will find you by these keywords you enter. Click here. Linkedin also gives you a snapshot of each skill you search by showing: the demand of the skill, people who claimed the same skill, related companies and related groups, and open jobs in that skill category. Wicked cool.
8- Add YOUR Company. Do you work for yourself? Freelancer? Small business partner? After you create and tweak your personal profile, increase your brand presence by adding your company. From the main header bar click on “Companies”. From the drop-down box click on the first option “Search Companies”. On the top right-hand side of the new window choose the blue “Add a Company”. Have fun.
9- Get a Client Recommendation Badge. After you have claimed your company in step #8 and filled in your services/products, you will be able to get a code from Linkedin to add a badge to your site. This badge will allow your clients to recommend you on your LI profiled directly from wherever you display the badge.
10- Search Your Contacts. Try the app: IN stant. After you authorize the app you can begin searching all of your contacts… well, instantly. I really like the graphics and arrangement of the people in the search results. All you do is click on a contact and you are taken to their profile. It is much less cumbersome than sifting through connections directly on Linkedin. The REALLY employable feature is that you can search by keywords such as: recruiter, attorney, or social media.
There’s 10 Linkedin insights that aren’t your average tips. Watch out for Part II.