Recommended Reading
  • How To Win Friends and Influence People
    How To Win Friends and Influence People
    by Dale Carnegie
  • Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition)
    Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition)
    by Robert B. Cialdini
  • The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials)
    The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials)
    by Peter F. Drucker
  • Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships
    Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships
    by Jeffrey Gitomer
  • The 48 Laws of Power
    The 48 Laws of Power
    by Robert Greene
  • In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies (Collins Business Essentials)
    In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies (Collins Business Essentials)
    by Thomas J. Peters, Robert H. Waterman
  • The Art Of War
    The Art Of War
    by Sun Tzu
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About this Blog

Debra Wheatman, President of Careers Done Write, provides expert insight to the job search process that puts your career in gear with tips for interviewing, networking, job search strategies and how to create a winning résumé and cover letter.

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Resume and advice blog from Debra Wheatman

7:00AM

Connecting with Competitors on LinkedIn

Dear Deb:

Is it a good idea to accept a competitor as a LinkedIn connection?   Isn’t there a chance I could lose potential customers if they see their names and start shopping?  I am a consultant in the field of environmental impact studies. Thank you,

Doug

Dear Doug:

Thanks for writing. Yes, accepting an invitation from your competitor is a good idea.  First, you never know when that competitor will be a potential partner or hiring manager.  Secondly, it is wise to be aware of your competitor’s activity by reviewing their LinkedIn page.  Lastly, if a potential client is researching other consultants before hiring you (and most clients do), they will obtain find your competitors’ information with or without the help of your LinkedIn connections list.

So, take the plunge and accept those invitations!

Deb

7:01AM

Face-to-Face Networking

Face-to-face networking may be one of the most detested phrases a career professional can hear.  You mean I have to talk to strangers in person?  Can’t I just email them?   Isn’t it enough if I like their posts on LinkedIn?   Sure, it is great to connect online.  Most of our daily professional and personal interactions are virtual.  However, there is a distinct value in meeting face to face.  I have heard all of the excuses for not stepping into the real world for some live networking.  Here are some suggestions to help you to get past those excuses.

I don’t have time to meet in person.

Face-to-face networking does not have to be a lengthy time commitment.  Like you, most people are very busy.  Offer to have a quick cup of coffee prior to a business event, class, or start of the work day.  Having a previously-scheduled place to be at a certain time ensures your meeting will be confined to the time you set.   For a networking check-in or get-to-know-each-other type meeting, a half-hour coffee break should be adequate.

It is going to seem weird to initiate a meeting.

It’s only weird if you make it weird.  In other words, act naturally.  Here is an example of an invitation email or text that you could send. “Hi Rob.  Curtis at RayTech said you are an expert in solid base programming. I am considering a solid base course. Could I buy you a quick cup of coffee before work? I’d love to hear about your experience.” 

There are a few things to avoid in the invitation:  Don’t ask for a job.  Don’t hint at needing a job.  There should be nothing about getting a job in your note.  Don’t deceive and pretend this is an offer of a project, etc.   Don’t be a stalker. In other words, only ask people whom you’ve met (real life or virtually) or people referred by a common contact.  Those messages can be a turn-off and may scare away a contact.

I am not a salesperson. 

Say this aloud:  Networking and relationship building are not just for sales people.  Everyone networks.  It is a natural part of human behavior to reach out and connect with other people.  For many, offering support and encouragement is rewarding.   

I don’t have enough to say.

Prepare your thoughts prior to the meeting.  What would you like to learn from this person?  Keep your plan in mind, but start the conversation flow with general pleasantries, such as  “How is your family?”  Did you enjoy your trip to Vermont?” “Can you believe those Mariners?”  Time is limited, so be sure to allow time to get to the point.  Actively listen and focus on the other person.  

The Bottom Line

Personally connecting with colleagues enhances your career.  The basic rules of networking apply even when meeting face to face.  Therefore, make this  a mutually-beneficial relationship in which you strive to give more than you receive.   Carve time into your schedule to meet in person, and you’ll enjoy the benefits derived from a valuable core network of contacts.  

7:01AM

Do I need to reveal that I am not a citizen on my resume?

Dear Deb:

I am a citizen of Italy.  I have been working at a university as a researcher in the United States for six years.  Our study is coming to a conclusion in six months.  I am beginning to network to find a new placement.  Do I need to state my citizenship and status on my resume?   I am not a US citizen, but I do hold a US H1-B Visa.  The university sponsored me to achieve this and it was given to me based on my PhD (earned in Italy), MS (earned in UK) and my specialized knowledge.

How do I present myself properly?

Thank you for your advice.

Regards,

Emil

Dear Emil:

It is not required to show on your resume, but in your situation it will help you.   Employers will see that your education and experience is outside the US.  If they have any doubt that you are not eligible to work, you can put them at ease.  Add a category to the bottom of your resume, “Citizenship.”  Under that, indicate your citizenship and your authorization to work (your H1-B Visa).  

Wishing you continued success,

Deb