I am very serious about networking. This means I look to my network to help grow this blog and to grow my Vigil Health Solutions resident call system business. But that is only half of it. I am also committed to lending my assistance to others who are in my network.

Here is what this means to me:

1. I accept LinkedIn connections whenever they are requested.

2. My blog postings are written not as advertising, but to provide information that is helpful or thought provoking to the senior housing community.

3. I work to accommodate requests that come to me from people in my network.

4. I keep my eyes open for ways that I can help others in my network.

5. I proactively facilitate introductions between people where there appears to be synergy.

6. While I am a huge fan of using electronic media to advertise my business, I try to be judicious about it.

The Most Frequent Request

The most frequent request I receive is for help with job hunting. I am always very sympathetic to these requests because I have been jobless. It is scary, demoralizing and frustrating. These requests are also the most problematic. In most cases these requests come from people I do not know well and, unfortunately, the way the requests are structured often does those individuals more harm than help. I recently received a request that really highlighted how easy it is to shoot yourself in the foot. This particular request included a document that was so badly written that, if I had been an employer, I would have immediately placed the resume on the bottom of the stack. If you are going to ask me or anyone else for help in finding a position or landing a job, these rules will help:

1. Read what you write with a critical eye.

Make sure your document is readable. Have someone else read it and correct it. Read it out loud to yourself and think about how it sounds. After you have done all this, read it again.

2. What kind of job do you want?

If you are going to ask for help with a job you want or are approaching an organization you would like to work for, spell out what your skills are and what kind of job you would like to have, the kind of job you would be excellent at.

3. Do your own legwork.

If you want to tap into my LinkedIn network, don’t just ask me to help you find a job. Go look at my connections and tell me who you would like to connect with and why I should make that connection for you.

4. Tell me why you are worth hiring or recommending.

It is not good enough to just say, “Hire me because I have an administrator’s license or because I once worked as an executive director.” Tell me why you are a stand-out candidate, where you have been successful and why. Tell me why, if I recommend you to someone in my network, you are going to make me glad I did.

5. Take good advice.

When I received this most recent request and terrible documents, I responded that I saw some problems and even made some suggestions. There was no interest. My edits might have kept this candidate in play. I work very hard to honor you as a member of my network, please do the same for me. (Side Note: Before this blog is published I will do three passes and then I will run it by two other people then do another couple of passes) If you are willing . . . . I am doing am doing a little survey on how people use LinkedIn.  I would appreciate it if you would participate.  It has just 6 questions and is completely anonymous.  Take the survey here. 

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