Saturday, January 24, 2009

Connecting via LinkedIn

I have been using LinkedIn for a number of years as a tool to stay in touch with people. In the past few years I have been using it for business development. In my experience people do not always reply to an invitation to connect - I have found a way to change this. I recently started sending a thank you note to people I meet via a LinkedIn invitation. I write a personal note thanking them for meeting with me and at the end I include “If you use LinkedIn, I would like to connect with you”. I have seen my acceptance percentage increase as well as the time it takes someone to accept.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Winning Managers

When an assistant coach or head coach resigns from a sports team to move elsewhere, it is viewed as a good move for the coach. Most of the commentary is how the move was strategic, i.e. the person moving will have greater control of the new organization they go to or the assistant will gain new experience that will ultimately move them closer to a head coach opportunity.

In my professional experience I have seen the same thing happen with Winning Managers. Think of Winning Managers as people who have succeeded within their role, i.e. reached their profitability goals, controlled team attrition, grew gross revenues with client accounts, etc.

I have noticed most Winning Managers want to be promoted to a Vice President role or Senior Executive - just as an assistant coach works toward a head coach position.

Like you, I have personally experienced career situations where I could not advance. The reasons vary for everyone and are typically one of the following: the position you are aiming for is held by someone who will not be leaving soon, your current boss is not capable or willing to help you grow to the next level, the opportunity is there but the company culture or their product/service is not what you are passionate about or the company you are with does not have a career path in place.

So what's my point? If you are a Winning Manager do not feel like you have to work with one company for the majority of your career in order to advance. Be careful of too many job changes on your resume but as long as you are taking on more responsibility, increasing your salary, and working for companies with recognized brands, you will get to where you want to be. So if you can not make it to the next level where you are at, it may be time to resign.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thank You Notes

I have a long-standing personal rule about sending hand-written thank you notes to any prospects that agree to meet with me. I recently expanded my thank you note rule to include the speakers of any business events I attend. When the event concludes I make my way to the speaker and introduce myself and engage in conversation. I will also ask for their business card before leaving. I generally send out my thank you cards within a week of meeting someone.

I believe it is simply good manners to thank someone. However, it also can help you if you intend on following up with that person to pursue a business partnership. Your thank you card may help you stand out in that person’s mind and thereby they’ll be inclined to meet you again.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Executive Summary by Whom?

If you are a job seeker and you work with a recruiter, odds are your resume will include an executive summary. The executive summary will either be in the body of an email, which is sent to the hiring authority, or it may be added to the top of the resume. The purpose of the executive summary is to capture attention and draw the reader into the resume with interest. Typically recruiters write the executive summary after speaking with the job seeker. My recommendation is to have the job seeker write it. The job seeker knows their own experience better than anyone. This will save the recruiter some time and it will likely yield a stronger executive summary since the job seekers know themselves better than anyone. I also recommend the recruiter review and make any necessary edits.