Recruiter LinkedIn Secret: Follow Companies Where…

George_Blomgren_med - picGuest Expert, George Blomgren,
MRA, The Management Association

The other day, a recruiter colleague shared a tip with me. He told me that when a candidate applies for a job with his company, if that candidate otherwise looks qualified, he looks to see if the candidate is following his company on LinkedIn. If not, he won’t consider that candidate.

Rather an extreme attitude, but it illustrates a best practice. Recruiters assume that the main reason you follow a company on LinkedIn is that you want to work there. So smart recruiters use their company’s followers on LinkedIn as the “low hanging fruit” for their hiring needs. So, take a moment to follow the companies you want to work for!

Editor’s note: Great tip George! The same holds true if you want to get on a company’s radar for your business. And if you’re running a business and want to attract great employees, ensure your company has a company page on LinkedIn.

George Blomgren is the  Director of Recruiting Solutions for MRA – The Management Association. George has 20+ years of talent acquisition (aka recruiting),  and operations experience. Prior to joining MRA, George ran the advertising and marketing department for a fast-growing network of local employment websites.

Ticked off? Step away from the keyboard!


Taylor Grey Meyer was ticked. So ticked after sending the San Diego Padres 30 resumes and getting rejected, she wrote a counter offer – via email. The email went viral.

Check out Taylor’s letter here. The letter’s a must-read prior to reading the rest of this post. Warning, strong language.

From the story, “Just looking at the forwards on the chain that eventually made it to us, Meyer’s letter has been seen by, in order: the Cavaliers, the Lake Erie Monsters, the Diamondbacks, the Yankees, the Astros, the Bobcats, the Heat, the Houston Dynamo, the Marlins, the Dolphins, the Red Sox, the Cubs, the Mets, FC Dallas, the Nationals, the Orioles, the Falcons, the Vikings, the Bengals, the Cleveland Gladiators, the Dayton Dragons, and the Chiefs.”

I’m guessing this is not the first impression she wanted to make. And it could be a career-ender.

Some ideas Taylor could have tried: Instead of sending resumes to the job board for multiple positions where she was overqualified, she could have tapped her network to see who she knows who knows someone in the Padres organization. She could have checked her LinkedIn network to see who may have a Padres connection. Revamped her resume and cover letter to better fit the career goal. Or stopped by in person, as she already relocated to the area.

So many ways Taylor could have approached her search that would have netted better results. Instead, she wrote a ticked off email that went viral and may end her career in sports all together… and after the graduate coursework too.

What are some other ways Taylor could have connected with the Padres?

Have you ever sent an email, wrote a blog post, or tweeted something you’ve regretted? What was the result? Were you able to save the situation?

Share your stories and ideas. I look forward to hearing what you’ve got to say.

© 2012 Wendy Terwelp | Opportunity Knocks™ | All rights reserved. |

Networking 101 – Starting Conversations

“I know networking is really important, but how do I get the conversation started?” said an attendee at one of my presentations. In the words of Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get people interested in you.”

Translation: Ask the new people you meet about themselves. When in a group or at a party, listen carefully to the conversation. See where you might be able to jump in. It may be something as simple as an exclamation, “You’re kidding me!” that gets the ball rolling.

I recommend preparing in advance of the event by setting networking goals and having at least three open-ended questions you can ask any person at the networking event.

Here are open-ended questions that encourage conversation:
1) What brings you to today’s meeting [event, conference, barbeque…]?
2) What one or two things would you like to take away from this event [conference, meeting, party…]?
3) What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you all week?

NEVER ask: “Do you know anyone who’s hiring?” Or “Do you know anyone interested in buying [insert your product here]?”

If you’re at a business event, get a business card from the new contact and jot down some notes from the conversation. It can be as simple as, “Big Elvis fan.” That way, the next time you see the person or call the person, you can start the conversation with, “Hey, did you see the new 2-CD set that came out on Elvis? Has all the songs, plus a 32-page book. Cool.” Then, once they’ve exhausted their excitement of the big event, you can jump into the “real” conversation, “So, what’s going on at the office? Did they create that position we talked about at Bernadine’s Memorial Day party?”

Your goal is to create real and helpful connections, NOT close the deal on a job offer, nail the sale of your product or service or collect the most business cards in the room.

©2005 – 2012 | Wendy J. Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Networking Before, During, and After ASTD ICE 2012

I’m heading for the ASTD International Conference & Expo (ICE) 2012 and was asked to write a blog post for them. After writing the post, I though my readers could use these tips at any conference or event they have coming up. Enjoy! And I’d love to hear your tips.

Get fired up to attend this year’s ASTD International Conference & Expo! Here are some tips to help you get the most from the conference through networking.

Before: Plan Ahead

Have goals. Many times people attend events without a plan and that’s when it becomes a waste of time. Instead, plan ahead. Who do you wish to meet at this event? If you wish to meet speakers, name them. Who needs to know about you? How many new people do you wish to meet? (I recommend meeting at least three new people.) Plan ahead to ensure you connect and meet your networking goals.

If you’re shy, bring a friend. Introduce them first, and then introduce yourself. Sit at a table with one person you know – and at least three people you don’t. Get to know the new people.

You’ll remember to do these things if you have made a plan in advance. Set networking goals.

Use social media to schedule meetings and gatherings ahead of the conference. Check out ASTD’s LinkedIn page. You’ll see several people are already starting conference discussions. Follow the #ASTD2012 hashtag on Twitter. This will keep you up-to-date on pre-conference and at-conference happenings. Follow people using the hashtag who seem interesting. If they follow back you can direct message (DM) them, contacting them directly and set up a meeting at the conference. I once planned a guest-spot for my conference presentation using Twitter’s DM feature. It’s terrific when you’re not in the same state – or as many attending ASTD’s International Conference and Expo – the same country.

Pack/bring plenty of business cards. Yes, there are cool electronic tools, like Bump and Evernote Hello, however, most people still use business cards and are familiar with them. If you’re unemployed, create your own cards using or Have a tagline on them that brands you. Ensure you have all your contact information on the cards so people can connect with you. For those currently employed, have your staff order you extra cards. Bring at least 100 cards (more is better). You’ll use them for drawings as well as for networking. And, if you meet someone you click with, you don’t want to say, “Gee, I ran out of cards going for the iPad.”

During: Engage!

Have a sound bite ready. When people ask, “So, what do you do?” in a gathering of trainers, instructional designers, e-learning gurus, you want to stand out from the crowd. Do so by stating a benefit you provide your learners. (More tips can be found in my website’s newsroom:

Get a business card from those whom you meet. On the card, jot down at least one unusual or interesting thing you learned about each of the new people you meet on the back of each person’s business card. You can find out something unique about each person you meet by asking open-ended questions.

For example, “Is this your first meeting?” is not an open-ended question because the person will either say “yes” or “no.” Instead ask, “So, what brings you to tonight’s event?” or “What’s one thing no-one knows about you?” or “What’s one thing you’d like to take away from this conference and bring back to your employer?” And so on.

Also list the date and name of the event (or conference session) where you met.

Use social media during the conference. Twitter is one of my favorite tools for this. At last year’s ASTD ICE conference, Marcus Buckingham tweeted that you could see him at a specific hotel and that he’d be wearing a red baseball cap. At TechKnowledge, a fellow Wisconsinite tweeted that he’d be wearing an Aaron Rodgers jersey and where he could be found. Several Wisconsinites met up with him at the conference. And there’s the Red Feathers group who connected through social media, then attached red feathers to their name badges for easy spotting, and connected during the conference.

After: Follow Up

Follow up. On the back of the business cards you received, list the action you plan to take to follow up with your new connection. For example, you promised the person you’d send them an article on the topic you just discussed, do it!

I typically recommend you send this within 24 hours. If you’re at the conference, send it when you return. You’ll have made a note on the person’s business card, so you can remember and do what you promised.

Use social media to stay connected. Because ASTD has such a vast membership in their LinkedIn group, if you did miss getting a person’s business card, you may be able to connect with him or her using LinkedIn. Additionally, if you clicked with the people you met during the conference and want to stay connected later, LinkedIn is an easy way to do so. Plus, you can learn more about each person via their LinkedIn profile. (Note: if you haven’t updated your own LinkedIn profile in some time, do so before the conference!)

Pick up the phone. Sometimes we can get so busy or so used to using social media, we forget to make it personal. Picking up the phone for a brief call does wonders in solidifying business relations with your new connections.

For those wishing to connect with me at the conference, I’ll be in the career center and presenting “Rock Your Network®,” an interactive networking presentation where you’ll learn how to create an effective sound bite and apply what you learn immediately. Follow me on Twitter @wendyterwelp, use the hashtag at the conference #ASTD2012, and be sure to check out the ASTD group on LinkedIn. See you there!

©2012 | Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved. | Graphic design:


I Googled myself and was somewhat taken aback…

Question: JoAnn writes “….when I Googled myself a while back, I was somewhat taken aback to see my name and other contact info listed on some sites I’d never heard – nor had I given my permission for the listing.”

Answer: Hi JoAnn, your experience is EXACTLY why you want to Google yourself regularly. You want to know what’s out there, what’s relevant to you and your goals, what’s NOT relevant. In this case, the sites you never heard of were not relevant.

Google yourself once a week or a minimum of once a month.

When you find your info on other sites, as you experienced, there are a few things you can do. Here they are:

  • Claim your profile. Some sites are called “aggregators” – they comb the web and any mention of your name is compiled into one location. ZoomInfo is one such site. When you claim your profile, you are in control of what’s listed in the profile. It will still aggregate news stories, but they will be the correct ones.
  • You can ask that your information be removed from the site. 
  • Bury the info with better info. You can do this by having a top-notch LinkedIn profile (LinkedIn typically appears on Page 1 of a Google search), cleaning up your Facebook page (if you’ve got one), or starting a blog relevant to your goals.

Good luck and let me know how these tips work for you… and for YOU too readers!

For those interested in getting the most from LinkedIn, here’s the link to my upcoming class:

Amazing People You Can Meet at Networking Events

Get ready, it’s the holidays. There will be shopping, holiday parties, and more parties, and friends coming to town, and relatives who are having parties, and on and on.

Rather than figuring out who to avoid, as this article mentions, 6 ridiculous types of people you’ll meet at networking events, how about being on the lookout for some fabulous folks to meet and talk to instead? Take five minutes to plan ahead and choose three of these type of folks to get to know.

Here are six types of people to meet at your next event:

1. The Connector: This person knows many of the event attendees and is happy to introduce you to them.

2. The Listener: I’m not saying lay your “Dear Abby” woes on this person, however, they do listen well and ask great questions. Learn from them.

3.The Storyteller: This person shares amazing, funny, and interesting stories. They can hold you spellbound and often are surrounded by a group. A great way to get to know more people at once. When The Storyteller takes a break, you get to meet the audience. And then move on to the next group.

4. The Historian: This is one experienced person who knows the background of the event and the inside scoop on key people and event happenings. If you haven’t made a plan BEFORE attending the event, this person always has a schedule handy (a la conference mode) or a recommendation and you can determine your next move, speaker to see or person to meet.

5. The Master: This person is not always the host. A VP I worked with was a true master at being a gracious networker. I recently saw him at a wedding – he’s still the master. This is a person who can meet with nearly every person at a gathering, know his or her name, say a positive word and all in under two minutes. And, when he moves on to the next person, the person left behind feels GREAT. I often hear things like, “Hey did you see Tom?”

“Sure did. Do you know he asked me about my son’s football game?”

“Really? He asked me about my book.”

COOL is the mutual response. And the positive mojo keeps on going.

6. The Rememberer: (If you come up with a better name, SHARE!) This is the person who has amazing follow through. She takes a note or two on the back of your business card, then, miraculously, does what she said she would do! And, later, when you are now connected, she sends you a congratulatory note or quick DM or birthday card. And you feel great because you were remembered.

My grandma was truly amazing and gifted at this. She would remember all of our birthdays, our close friends’ birthdays, her coworkers birthdays, their kids’ events and special days, always sending a card with a thoughtful, handwritten note inside… She worked at a hospital and would also send kind little notes up with the dinner trays.

I learned from the best. And you can too at your next event or holiday gathering.

Have you got a type of person you’d like to meet at your next event? Do share.

Want more networking tips? Check out, “Rock Your Network®.” Good luck! I look forward to hearing your stories.

PS: Tip of the hat to my friend Joan who sent me the link to the “Six Types” post.