LinkedIn Liars

I am a big believer in LinkedIn.  I use it to find candidates for my executive recruiting clients and to help my career counseling clients network.  Do I know my 39,000+ first degree connections personally?  Of course not.

And that’s why I do not offer endorsements or recommendations.  If I were to endorse someone, or recommend them, assuming that I do not personally know them, I would be lying.  Endorsing or recommending someone means you are attesting to the quality of their work and their professionalism.  Based on that, someone might decide to hire them.  And if they are incompetent, you are partially responsible for the damage they will cause to their clients.  That is why I do not endorse or recommend strangers.

But every day I receive sometimes multiple requests for endorsements and, to a lesser extent, recommendations.  Usually the LinkedIn connection tells me that they have already endorsed me and would appreciate if I would endorse them.  Or, they offer to write a recommendation for me if I will write one for them.

And that is why recommendations and endorsements are meaningless.  And that’s a pity.

So what should you do if someone asks you to lie for them?  Well, what I do is to tell them that they are liars, explain my reasoning, tell them that I am not a liar, refuse their offer, and I then remove them as a connection (What do I need liars for?) and block them so I don’t have to deal with them in the future.

Why do I tell them that they are liars – one of the worst things you can say about someone?  Well, maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part but maybe, just maybe, one of the liars will realize the error of their ways and will change.  Maybe…but…

I just received the following response from one of my “liars.”  This may be a good example of why it’s not worth the bother.  And I quote (the spelling errors are in the original):

Clearly the response i would expect from a non-millionaire, struggling, incompetent over credientialed man that feels that they know it all.

It impresses me how ignorant people like you are.  

GOD will not reward your behavior and you will continue to live a life full of regrets and misfortune.

 PS. You don’t’ know me. Why did you request me as a connection? Perhaps a simple “remove connection” would be the best solution here.

I rest my case!


Thank You For Rejecting Me

When I give a talk, or have a session with a career counseling client, I always end by telling my audience of one or 100 that, at the end of a job interview, they should ask about next steps.  If the employer says they will be in touch in two weeks, and they do not hear from them, they probably have their answer.  “Probably,” not “definitely,” because things happen and maybe their schedule was thrown off course.

If the employer advises to call in two weeks, and two weeks later they call and the employer does not take their call, or return their message, they definitely have their answer.

So what should they do?

Send a rejection thank-you letter.  And when I say “letter” I mean “letter,” as in piece of paper that goes inside an envelope.  Why?

Well, maybe their assumption is incorrect and the employer has not yet made a decision.  A polite thank-you for their time and consideration shows them that the candidate is a class act and they respond by telling the candidate that she is still be considered..  Or maybe, the employer made a decision, and now they know the candidate is a class act.  And, maybe, they made a decision, and don’t understand why the candidate is sending a letter and not an e-mail. So, they look in their SPAM file and discover the e-mail thank-you the candidate sent them when they got home from their interview.  (And, of course, there’s no SPAM folder when it comes to mail!  The letter will arrive.)

Funny thing is, I know of two individuals who got jobs because of their thank-you rejection letters.  No, they did not get the jobs they originally applied for, but, when the companies were looking to fill new positions, they remember those letters and contacted the candidates.

And there was a third candidate, the one whose original e-mail went to SPAM.  They felt so bad that they did not reply to her e-mail that they opened up for her networking opportunities that led to some very nice possibilities.

So send a thank-you rejection letter.