So interesting that recently over the past couple of months I have had many people reach out and connect with me on LinkedIn. I enjoy the connections and building of our professional networks. I am also honestly curious by the manner in which some of these new connections inmail me for a career recommendation and career considerations.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy to support and help people that I know and have had a positive professional relationship with during my career. Nothing makes me happier than referring, recommending, and supporting people who would be a great fit for the company I work at – I actually see talent recruitment and support as a part of my leadership responsibility.
What I find amazingly curious is those that reach out and share things with me such as:
“I am not sure if we ever worked together but I did know Joe Smith and I see you may have worked with him as well”
“It’s good to see how well you are doing at your company, I am hoping that you can help me find a job”
“Maryann suggested I reach out to you to see what you can do for me”
“I recently applied for your customer service manager position in Oregon.” (I work in the Northeast – clearly outlined in my profile)
I do get people who request insight on their LinkedIn profile or resume – and I happily oblige providing my feedback and I am hopeful they are seeking a number of reviews of their professional profiles.
I take my professional brand (my thumbprint of recommendation) very seriously and I would not (and will not) provide a reference or recommendation for people I don’t know or have had casual interaction with professionally. I can direct you to my company’s career website and can certainly take a look at your resume but if I don’t know you and we haven’t worked together, it is not professionally appropriate to request a recommendation.
My professional brand carries through all facets of my professional career including advocating and providing recommendations for candidates with my company. I focus on ensuring that I am providing a high-powered candidate and one that is rooted in knowledge, experience, and knowing the person and his/her capabilities, leadership, and value they would bring to the organization.
Connections are important as we build relationships virtually. Recommendations are a critical value to the talent acquisition and hiring spectrum – make sure they mean something and are founded on a solid professional relationship. Your brand matters – in the workplace, in the community, and in your life. Make sure you stay true to that brand!